Board:  Edexcel AS / A2 Level

For all who study Music, whether through strong natural desire or a spirit of academic adventure, there is the enticing prospect of:

  • Fostering a passion for, a love of, a subject which enriches and enlivens people of all cultures
  • Cultivating a deeper understanding of the diverse musical world that surrounds us
  • Developing an enquiring mind and the ability to think critically and to make informed judgements
  • Nurturing a creative imagination
  • Discovering, experiencing, understanding, sharing and expressing feelings and abstract thoughts
  • Revealing intangible aspects of human experience that are embodied in the creative arts, especially through music
Course Aims

The course provides students with two excellent opportunities to develop your performance skills, both in a solo and/ or ensemble setting. You will also have the opportunity to create two compositions and develop your aural and analytical skills through the study of a range of set works from a variety of different musical genres.

The full A- Level course is excellent preparation for higher education courses in Music and a future career in the music industry, but is equally as valuable for non-specialists as a second or third area of study. The AS level units alone can offer a broad and satisfying experience for those who want to conclude their musical studies at this point.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Performing Music – Internally assessed (30%)

Pupils can perform as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble. Pupils can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a six minute assessed performance. Must be a public recital/concert

Unit 2: Composing Music – Externally assessed (30%)

Pupils will complete 2 Compositions one in response to a set brief, the other could be free or to another of the briefs. Minimum of 2 minutes each and minimum combined total of 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Unit 3: Written Exam - Externally assessed (40%) 90 minutes

  • The exam will look at the musical elements, contexts and language through set works and unfamiliar music. There are 6 Areas of Study with 2 set works in each.

    Section A of the exam comprises questions on the Areas of Study and dictation (45 marks). There are three questions linked to the set works (skeleton score and audio provided) and one short melody/rhythm, dictation exercise.

    Section B is an extended essay response comprising two essays. One is worth 15 marks and draws links between set work and unfamiliar piece and the second is a choice of three questions analysing musical elements and context of the set works

Entry Requirements

Students need to have achieved the following

  • GCSE Music (a grade C or above is required)
  • Grade 5 on their instrument
  • Grade 5 Music Theory

It is expected that all students studying Music A-Level will participate fully in a range of extra-curricular activities; ranging from school ensemble rehearsals and performances, to even creating opportunities to lead and mentor the younger musicians of the school.

Progression to A2 Music is dependent on achieving a grade C or above at AS – Level

Future Careers

Music complements all subjects and the Edexcel A-Level can lead to a degree at University or Music College where you may decide to specialise in performing, composing or music technology.

The career opportunities in the music industry are broad and extremely exciting. You may consider one of the following career paths:

  • Performance                                                    
  • Music Therapy
  • Teaching                                                                             
  • Instrument repair / restoration
  • Arts Administrator                                                          
  • Journalism
  • Publishing                                                                          
  • Sound engineering
  • Broadcasting                                                                     
  • Producing