The Nature of the Course
The course is very well suited to musicians who have specific strengths, be these performing, composing, or academic study (listening). The subject is broad enough to appeal to musicians from all music schools - Classical, Jazz, Rock, Folk.
The assessment of Music at this level has three strands – performing, composing and a written paper with Audio extracts. All are externally assessed.
Skills Demanded and Developed
Students will develop performance skills (solo and/or ensemble), compose music and learn about harmony. They will build up their aural and analytical skills by studying selections from the New Anthology of Music and wider listening. Due to the aural content of this course students should expect to use their singing voices extensively in class and be a member of one of the Schools’ Choirs. Grade 5 theory is preferred on entry to Year 12 although students who are on course to achieve that standard by November of Year 12 should find that they will be able to access the analysis and composition reasonably confidently. Limited theory experience will not, on its own, be a bar to entry onto this course; however, students with Grade 5 theory all say what a difference it makes to their understanding and speed of comprehension.
A conversation with either the Director or Assistant Director of Music would be very beneficial in helping you decide whether this course is appropriate for you.
Careers and Higher Education Implications
University courses in Music and some Music Technology courses ask for A Level Music. Music courses can be combined with other subjects to match a student’s interests. Some courses specialise in pop music, jazz as well as the more traditional Classical studies. The study of music can include such things as acoustics, ethnomusicology, and music therapy. University and Conservatoire courses specialise in performance.
If you think you would like to study an arts or social sciences course at university but you are not sure which one, then English Literature, History, Languages and Mathematics are good ‘keystone’ subjects: choosing one or more of these will provide a good foundation for your subject combination.
Other good choices to combine these subjects with include: an additional Language, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Further Mathematics, Geography, Philosophy, Religious Studies and sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).