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.
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.
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.
Two of the following three: grade 5 practical (on voice or instrument), grade 3 in music theory or GCSE grade 5 in music.
Year 12 & 13 consultation evening by invite 5.30-8.30 10:15am on 1st March 2018