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A’ Level MUSIC

Modern musical learning is not just about performing music but instead we are concerned with gaining an understanding of the complexities of music by learning about their unique musical features which influence the development of music over time. It requires students to have a variety of skills with performance, listening, analysing and appraising and ideally have a good understanding for reading conventional music notation.

The Course

A2 Level

  • Unit 4 Extended performance – Perform a variety of different pieces of either a solo and/or ensemble nature of at least Grade 6 standard or above.
  • Unit 5 Composition and technical study – Students must submit two compositions, of a combined duration of at least 6 minutes.
  • Unit 6 Further musical understanding Develop analytical and score reading skills through the study of eighteen set pieces of a variety of styles. Students apply their knowledge in a 2 hour examination at the end of Year 13.

Opportunities and Progression

Students have the opportunity to improve their skills with Theory of Music lessons after school to help with reading of music and analysis skills. Students can take the Grade 5 examination in should they wish. We enter students for the Jersey Young Musician of the Year Competition, and offer students the chance to participate in the Christmas Show, Summer Show and numerous smaller performance opportunities throughout the year. We also offer students who play in a band to participate in the Battle of the Bands’ Competition at Hautlieu School in the Winter Term.

GCSE Music:

The Course

Are you a student who has been performing as a band member or have been learning an instrument or singing but would like to perform as a group? Would you like regular opportunities to perform to an audience and have the challenge of being recorded at the same time? Would you like to understand how to compose and extend your understanding of harmony and learn about the reasons why music has evolved so dramatically over the past 400 years? The opportunities to find out these questions are when you


  • 15% of GCSE: Solo Performance: Students will be asked to record one piece of solo performance of a piece of their choice lasting at least two minutes
  • 15% of GCSE: Ensemble Performance: Students will be asked to record one piece of their choice lasting at least two minutes as part of a group, such as a rock band or a vocal duet.


  • 15% of GCSE: Composition 1: Students will compose a piece based on a set task.
  • 15% of GCSE: Composition 2: Students will compose a piece based on a task set by the teacher.

All compositions will be written using Sibelius Software.


40% of GCSE: Students will study the written scores and interpret various musical features from four areas of study:

  • Instrumental Music 1700–1820
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions

Opportunities and Progression

Students will learn how to identify musical elements such as pitch, dynamics and tempo and be able to place each set work in a wider context of history. Students will be able to justify their opinion on each piece and learn how to write music out by ear in traditional stave notation by listening to the music only. Also, students will be able to write an extended piece of writing on each of the set pieces, explaining diverse features such as structure, harmony, texture, instrumentation, melody and technology while also being able to reference the score for examples and compare this to unfamiliar music.

Students who decide to take GCSE Music will have an excellent basis on which to further continue their studies to AS Level Music.

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