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The continued study of Music at A level is an option worthy of serious consideration by all who have an interest in music and reasonable competence on an instrument or as singers. Prospective candidates will normally have gained a good grade in GCSE Music.

The course is based around three Components, and in each case students prepare fewer elements for AS than for the full A level.

A level
Appraising Music
Externally assessed
Written paper - 1 hour 45 minutes
Questions on set works and topics
40% of A level marks

Externally assessed coursework
Solo and ensemble playing
35% of A level marks

Composition to a brief and
free composition
Externally assessed
25% of A level marks


Component 1 is assessed by a written Examination in June of the examination Year. There are no January re-sits in music.
Compositions are completed during controlled coursework time in the Spring Term and externally assessed. The performances are recorded at school during the course, and externally marked by AQA examiners.


AQA’s current syllabus is ideally suited to Grange students. A level, which, despite its practical element, is widely regarded as a demanding academic A level course. The course offers an opportunity to develop skills in performance, composition and harmony, and to study major musical works in depth. We are delighted to be able to offer this specification in the Music Department, as it seems to contain all the elements of an ideal course of study for musicians.


For those not wishing to pursue musical studies after school, the acquisition of an A level in Music is a useful indication of breadth of interests. Because the qualification includes so many different types of learning – performance, theoretical study of harmony and counterpoint, essay writing skills – it demonstrates that the student possesses the ability to concentrate and organise material. For those wishing to continue musical study, the two most usual routes are a university degree in Music or a course of
study at a conservatoire such as the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The former route favours those who wish to gain an academic degree as proof of their transferable skills. As well as careers directly related to music (such as teaching,
recording industry, broadcasting, music therapy), former music students have gone on to a wide range of careers such as
management consultancy. The latter route is suitable for those with advanced skills in performance and can lead for some to a
professional performing career, either with an orchestra or as soloist, and for others to instrumental or vocal teaching, or, most
commonly, a mixture of both.


If you would like to find out more about any aspect of studying Music A level, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Millinchip or Mr Madden who will be more than happy to answer your questions.