Course specification: EDEXCEL: A Level 9MU01

Sixth Form musicianThe A Level Music course is an enjoyable, rigorous course, concentrating on exploring music through performing and composing, listening and analysis. The course will include the study of a wide range of music from the Baroque to Modern classics, popular styles of music and music from other cultures and traditions.

Content of A Level

Component 1 Performing (30% of qualification)

Students are required to prepare a solo recital (on any instrument/voice) lasting a minimum of eight minutes. Performances must be recorded after the 1 March in Upper Sixth. The recital is recorded and externally assessed by Edexcel.

Component 2 Composing (30% of qualification)

Students are required to submit two compositions. The first will be either a free choice composition OR a composition in response to a brief set by Edexcel, and the second composition will be a response to a brief assessing technique, also set by Edexcel in the spring of Upper Sixth. The total time across both compositions must be a minimum of six minutes.

The compositions must be notated and recorded and they are externally assessed by Edexcel.

Component 3 Appraising (40% of qualification)

This unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding the musical elements, contexts and language. Students will focus on six specific areas of music, with in-depth study of three set works for each area:

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Fusions
  • New Directions

Key skills

  • A passion for music and composition
  • Strong performance skills – students should have achieved at least Grade 5 standard on their chosen instrument/voice in order to begin the course
  • Grade 5 Music Theory and basic keyboard skills are also useful

Enrichment opportunities

Students studying Music are encouraged to participate in a variety of musical ensembles within school and, where appropriate, to take leadership roles. Advanced musicians may be offered the opportunity to perform solos in concerts.

Higher Education and career prospects

Music A Level is a highly regarded academic subject and provides an excellent foundation for studying Music at either university or a conservatoire. Music graduates work in a range of professions inside and outside music.

For example if you are thinking of a career involving therapy and caring for others, you could combine Music with two sciences and explore music therapy. If you are thinking of a career in the arts, then Music will be a strong link. Music graduates can be found working for a variety of employers, such as media organisations, cultural and creative industries, the armed forces, music retailers, schools and colleges and many more.

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