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A Level Music

Arts, Media and Publishing

Arts, Media and Publishing
Arts, Media and Publishing
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What will you be working towards?

Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Music is an exciting and wide ranging subject and is an integral part of life at Barton Court. You will be encouraged to perform, compose and listen critically to music on a regular basis. The music course is ideal for students who want to pursue a career in the music industry or continue to study music academically. You will not be restricted in terms of the type of music you can perform, all styles are welcome! You will have the opportunity to perform in public and take part in events such as musicals and concerts held outside School.


The course is divided into three units:


Performing: an opportunity for students to demonstrate their solo and/or ensemble performance skills. They will be required to perform a public recital of a minimum duration of 8 minutes at the end of Year 13. This can be made up of several pieces.


Composing: Students are required to submit one composition and one technical study by the end of the course.  The composition can either be free choice or follow a set brief and is a chance for students to be truly creative.  This will require manipulation of the musical elements, including melody, harmony, rhythm, structure, texture, tonality, dynamics and timbre.  The technical study is a harmony exercise which is completed in Year 13.

Appraising: Students study a variety of set works from different times, places and genres, linking these to a wider context.  They are required to answer short listening questions on given extracts, identify features of unfamiliar pieces (linked to a composer's intention) and write about the set works in an extended way.

How will it be delivered?

Performance (30%), Composition (30%), Appraising (40%)

Entry requirements

Sixth Form entry requirements, including GCSE Music at grade 6, or BTEC level 2 Music Distinction. Grade 5 or above in at least one instrument. If you have not taken a grade exam, but possess the required skills, please contact Ms Fenn (Subject Leader) to discuss your entry to the course. Students are also required to be able to read staff notation/tab (suitable to their instrument).

Your next steps...

Music is a universal subject and the skills required to be a successful musician are transferable. Pupils will be taught to be confident, creative, to speak their minds and to critically evaluate what they hear. Students will study a variety of set works from contrasting genres and contexts and are expected to listen to these with an open and inquiring mind. An A Level in Music complements many other A Level subjects and can be a pathway to a wide variety of degree level courses and career options. Past Sixth Form pupils have gone on to study Music at degree level (at universities and conservatoires) and some who have taken Music during the Sixth Form have gone on to study Law, History and English. Many pupils find that taking A Level Music enhances their enjoyment of the subject and they continue to play/compose music even if it is not their career focus.


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