Learning Together For The Future

Music - Key Stage 5

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Key Stage 5

Exam Board: Edexcel

Contact: Mr C. Knapp

Course Overview

The A Level music course allows students to further develop their love of the subject, allowing them to build on skills of performing, composing and appraising to become well-rounded musicians with a deep appreciation of the subject and its content.

Appraising (40%)

During this element of the course, students will explore six different areas of study, including: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions. Within each area of study, students will study pieces which define these genres, learning about the context, key elements and fascinating stories behind how some works came to fruition.
This element of the course is assessed through an examination at the end of Year 13, in which students will be tested on their knowledge of all of the set works and their ability to answer academically.

Performing (30%)

In this unit, students are working to develop as performers. For the A level course, students will curate a recital, lasting at least 8 minutes and this will be performed to an audience. Here the students will need to consider choice of pieces as well as how to formulate an engaging programme which will showcase their abilities and interest an audience. The recital can feature a mixture of solo and ensemble works and will take place in front of a live audience.
The assessment of this unit will take the form of a recording of the recital which is marked and then moderated externally.

Composing (30%)

For the composition unit, students are asked to compose two different pieces. The first can be a free composition, allowing the students’ creativity to flourish. They must produce a piece of at least 4 minutes in duration.
The second composition is a ‘composition technical exercise’ in which students have to respond to a compositional brief set by the exam board. Students will have a choice of 4 different briefs and they will choose the one that best suits their compositional style.
The assessment of this unit will take the form of two completed compositions, which will be marked and moderated externally.

Entry Requirements:

5 GCSES 4-9 or A*-C to include Maths and English Lang or Lit Grade 5 + GCSE Music Grade 5

Where can Music take me?

Students who have studied A Level music at The Ecclesbourne School have gone on to study music at both university and music conservatoires. Students may go ton to pursue careers as music therapists, music teachers, lecturers, session musicians, performers, film music composers, technical managers and sound producers to name but a few.


Appraising External Examination 40%
Performance At least an 8 minute recital 30%
Composition One free composition and one compositional technical exercise 30%

If you have any questions or queries relating to the Music curriculum please email for more information.