Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Music

Head of Department: Ms Rebecca Clarey

Music A Level is an incredibly rigorous and demanding course that works well with a wide variety of other subjects, due to its interdisciplinary nature.

Our study of music comprises three disciplines:

  • Historical Studies: close analysis of a selection of around 10 set works across a variety of styles. This knowledge is examined through a mixture of listening questions and essay questions, plus a harmony exercise.
  • Composition: You will compose one piece based on a choice of four briefs set by the exam board. This composition has to be completed under supervision but can be in any style the student likes, and is completed on Sibelius. Students support their work with a written commentary.
  • Performance: Students must be able to perform – instrument(s) or voice, solo or ensemble – to a Grade 5 standard or better to be an A Level musician. This skill is assessed in an eight-minute performance.

We follow the Edexcel specification. Tuition is classroom based, combining a mixture of theoretical study and hands-on application and investigation through project work. Assessment is through both examination and coursework.

Extra-curricular opportunities include our own Sixth Form choir (compulsory for all students) as well as those targeted specifically at A Level and the set works that we study - for example, a trip to Oxford to hear evensong at Christ Church Cathedral and to the Royal Festival Hall to hear the London Symphony Orchestra.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

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