Course overview

You will develop skills as a performer and composer at the same time as studying music history, theory and analysis. You will learn how to compose in a variety of styles by listening to and analysing a range of pieces, with composition work supported by extensive resources alongside regular and detailed feedback. You will focus is on symphonies from the classical and romantic eras, early twentieth century music and musical theatre, looking in detail at composers such as Joseph Haydn, Claude Debussy and Stephen Sondheim.

What will I study?

As part of the A level you will look at composing pieces in two ways, firstly writing in the style of other composers and secondly free composition in which you have the freedom to develop your own musical language. At the end of the course you will submit a portfolio of two or three compositions and for your final practical exam will be expected to perform 10 minutes worth of music with the level of difficulty reaching a grade 6.

There is a academic focus to the course too where you need to complete listening exercises, write short essays and be able to demonstrate your knowledge  in three main areas of study, areas one is the western classical tradition e.g. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven. The second area is musical theatre e.g. Rogers, Sondheim, Schonberg and Lloyd-Webber and finally music of the twentieth century e.g. Debussy, Poulenc and Stravinsky.

Trips, visits and enrichments

  • All music students are entitled to heavily discounted lessons on an instrument or voice as part of the course
  • Music and non-music students alike can join our extensive range of choirs, orchestras and other ensembles, with a range of concerts in and out of college throughout the year
  • We run regular trips to go and see concerts in Birmingham and further afield
  • Year 13 students run a music society which co-ordinates bands and other ensembles, culminating in a charity gig at the end of the year

What can it lead to?

Music students can choose to specialise in performance at a conservatoire or to take a more academic qualification at a university music department. The academic content of a music A level means that it is recognised as a useful preparation for a wide range of degree subjects with many students going on to study humanities, languages, earth sciences and social sciences at Oxbridge as well as a range of prestigious Russell Group institutions.

Special entry requirements

Two of the following three: grade 5 practical (on voice or instrument), grade 3 in music theory or GCSE grade 5 in music.

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Next event:

Year 12 consultation evening 1 (5.30 - 8.30 pm) 5:30pm on 29th January 2020

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