A Level – Music


If you have a passion for music, and wish to study it as an academic as well as a practical subject, this course is for you.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    There are various areas of study: historical perspectives on music; in-depth analysis of set works; performance; aural awareness; appreciation of different styles and genres of music; music theory and compositional techniques.

    Entry Criteria

    • The College entry criteria for all level three courses can be found on our ”Entry Criteria Guidance” pdf document.
    • GCSE Music is not required. (It is possible to pass GCSE Music without being able to play an instrument or read music!) You will need:
    • ABRSM Grade 5 theory, or a commitment to take it during the first term;
    • At least Grade 5 in any practical musician exam (instrument, voice, Practical Musicianship)
    • The ability to read and write traditional musical notation
    • ALL applicants will be asked to do a theory test and perform an audition at Wyke Start.
  • Course Details:

    Exam Board

    Edexcel

    A Level Music

    Component 1: Performing music

    A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE.

    ▪ Students can record a performance after March 1st.

    Students performances must be a minimum of 8 minutes long, and be Grade 7 or above in order to have a chance of getting the top marks. Performances will be submitted to the exam board by May of 2018 (for 2017 a mock version of these will be marked within the college using exam board guidelines).

    Component 2: Composition

    SUPERVISED COMPOSITION TIME.

    ▪ For A Level there will be 1 Brief on Film Music/Popular Song (40 marks) and One Bach Chorale (20 Marks). They must be a combined length of 6-8 minutes long. Students will have 15 hours for your composition and 6 hours of supervised time for their Bach Chorale.

    Compositions will be submitted to the exam board by May of 2018 (for 2017 a mock version of these will be within the college using exam board guidelines).

    Component 3: Appraising

    2 HOUR EXAM PAPER

    Students will cover the listening/aural test examples and all of the set works before the exam.The exam is split into two parts:

    • Section A: (50 marks). Three questions relating to the set works plus one short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
    • Section B: Two essay questions (20 marks and 30 marks each).

    Essay 1 makes links from the set works to an unfamiliar piece of music.

    Essay 2 is a choice of three analysing the musical elements, context and language of one set work.

    How the course is delivered

    Students have four 70-minute lessons per week with the Director of Music. A performance seminar is also held once a week, in which students take turns to perform in front of their peers, to increase confidence and work on performance skills.

    All Music students receive a fortnightly individual performance tutorial with the Director of Music. Students should also be having lessons with a specialist instrumental/vocal teacher. We can organise these lessons if you so wish, or you can have a private teacher.

    How the course is delivered

    Students have four 70-minute lessons per week. A performance seminar is also held once a week, in which students take turns to perform in front of their peers, to increase confidence and work on performance skills. All Music students receive a fortnightly individual performance tutorial with their music teacher. Students should also be having lessons with a specialist instrumental/vocal teacher. We can organise these lessons if you so wish, or you can have a private teacher.

    Departmental Enrichment

    In addition to the academic courses, the department thrives on practical work. Music ensembles act as enrichment for both examination and non-examination students. Choir, ukulele band and jazz ensemble especially involve students in activity which supports their A-level work and also provides enjoyment and a break from academic study at lunchtimes. Rehearsals culminate in concerts at various times of the year.

    The Music Department at Wyke Sixth Form College

    The Music Department wishes to imbue students with a love of music, and to educate and touch the soul through the study of music as a practical and academic discipline; to cultivate an ethos of hard work, high standards and high expectations from both staff and students; to enable students to fulfil their musical potential in concert performance, academic study and public examinations, through the thorough preparation and delivery of all lessons and rehearsals; for students to experience an excellent rapport with music staff and to enjoy their musical studies; for students to experience a pleasant, disciplined and happy learning environment; for students to consider themselves improved musicians as a result of their learning at Wyke.

    Valerie Evans: Head of Music.

    Ben Newton

    • Teacher of BTEC Music Technology
    • Instrumental tutor
    • Music Department technician

    What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

    Ensure that by the time you enrol at Wyke you have the necessary knowledge and understanding of music to pass the ABRSM Grade 5 theory exam. Ensure you are performing at Grade 5 level or above on your chosen instrument or voice. You will need to have skills in written English, so make sure you are reading books and articles on musical topics.

  • Progression:

    What does this course lead to?

    Students may continue to study Music at either music college or university, although, of course, the subject can be studied for its own sake. Music plays a large part in our society and culture, and what you learn at A-level will enhance your appreciation of music and will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    Student success

    The success rate in A-level Music is consistently high. Students from Wyke have recently gone on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal College of Music in London, the Royal Welsh Conservatoire, the Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham University, Hull University and Leeds College of Music.