A Level Music

A Level Music is essential for those who wish to study Music further, Conservatoire at University or another Higher Education Course. It is equally useful for non-specialists who want to take a challenging and interesting A Level course. It is a highly regarded A-Level as employers recognise the many disciplines, the creativity and the talents that this qualification represents.

Qualifications in Music can lead to a variety of careers that do not just include teaching and performing. Students who gain qualifications in Music can go on to work in sound recording and technology, the media, law, composing, the armed forces and many more.


Music A Level focuses on the skills of performing, composing, listening and understanding. Students develop their skills as performers either as soloists or ensembles. They learn about harmony and various composition techniques, composing their own music. Students also develop their aural and analytical skills through studying a variety of pieces of music from 1600 to the present day.


  • AS Unit 1: Performing: Students will need to record a recital of at least 8 minutes.
  • AS Unit 2: Composing: Students need to submit two compositions, one free composition and one based on a technical study.
  • AS Unit 3: Musical understanding: There are 6 Areas of Study: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions. Students study works by 18 composers (3 from each area of study) to prepare for the final exam Students will have to answer essay questions on these set-works and also answer listening questions based on these works and other related works.

Unit 3 is assessed through an end of year exam. The performing units is internally assessed and then moderated by an external examiner. The composing unit is externally moderated.



You should have Grade 6 or above at GCSE Music or at least a Merit at Level 2 BTEC Music. It is essential that those wishing to take the A Level Music course should be committed to learning a musical instrument. You should be able to play a musical instrument or sing at Grade 5 Level (although the actual Grade 5 qualification is not required). A good understanding of music theory and being able to read music notation is vital. If you have not taken GCSE Music or BTEC Music but have Grade 5(Practical or Theory) then you may be considered for this course.