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Upton Hall School

Inspiring Young People

Music

Course Overview

AS and A Level Music both allow students to develop their aural awareness (listening skills), improve their performing ability and explore new areas of music history through the study of specific musical works. This will vastly develop your overall musicianship. 

Entry Requirements

A grade 6 or above at GCSE Music and at least grade 5 (ABRSM or equivalent) in your main instrument. Grade 5 on a second instrument is desirable but not essential. 

Commitment to extra-curricular activities is also necessary to develop and improve your performance skills. 

A Level Topics and Assessment

  1. The Western Classical Tradition 
  2. Listening 
  3. A choice of: Choral Music in the Baroque Period / Music Theatre / British Popular Music from 1960 
  4. Composing skills – Composing techniques, free composition or arranging 
  5. Performance – a) solo and b) ensemble / 2nd instrument solo

AQA Exam 

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Length 

1 hour 45 minutes

(30 minutes listening & 2 essay questions) 

20 hours of controlled time

5 - 8 minutes

to be recorded at any time

Weighting 

15% of A Level 

15% of A Level 

20% of A Level 

AQA Exam 

Unit 4

Unit 5

Unit 6

Length

2 hour 15 minutes

(45 minutes listening & 2 essay questions) 

20 hours of 

controlled time

10-15 minutes

to be recorded at any time 

Weighting 

20% of A Level 

15% of A Level 

15% of A Level 

Beyond the Classroom and Future Prospects

A Level Music prepares students for study and careers in performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, sound engineering, conducting, popular music and jazz, and music education. 

Music helps you to develop a variety of skills such as analysis, dedication, teamwork, self confidence and self-reliance, as well as providing a means of artistic expression and relaxation. It stretches your imagination and playing an instrument also makes you think and react quickly. Skills such as these are valuable to all types of employers.

Student Experience

The great thing about Music is that you're given the theoretical knowledge needed to truly appreciate how compositions are put together.

Mairead, who studied Music in Year 12.