North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021


Why study music?

Those who have an enthusiasm for music and enjoy creating, performing and listening to it should consider A-level music. It will allow you to develop further the wide range of subject knowledge and other skills you started to develop at GCSE.

Music is a highly regarded A-level both by  universities and future employers due to the diverse nature of  skills developed during the course, which will equip you for a broad range of careers, not just in music. A-level music is not just a creative subject, but an academic one, which gives breadth to your profile. It counts like any other arts qualification and can lead into many different fields. Dan Chugg, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Burma did a music Masters degree before he joined the Foreign Office!

What our students say

“I love music as a subject and all the teachers are helpful and supportive. The challenge of the three aspects, performance, composition/harmony and analysis excited me. No other subjects offer such a contrasting skill set. Music also provides me with a contrasting subject to my scientific others (maths and physics) and the style of teaching is totally different, which I really enjoy.” Abbie

“I enjoyed the subject at GCSE and enjoy the instruments I play. My favourite aspect is composition because it gives me great freedom of expression. The teachers are great, both kind and supportive and I enjoy learning about different genres of music with them such as film music, instrumental music and fusion.” Lewis

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in music at GCSE plus working at grade 5 standard, in theory and practice.

Potential courses

  • Music
  • English
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Engineering

Potential careers

  • Musician
  • Dancer
  • Teacher
  • Arts administration
  • Media
  • Politics

The A-level course

Unit%of A-levelContent
Unit 1: Performing 30A public performance either playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising or realising music using music technology of a minimum of eight minutes
Unit 2: Composing30Two compositions totalling a minimum of six minutes One composition will be from a choice of briefs assessing compositional technique One composition will be from a list of briefs related to the areas of study or could be a free composition
Unit 3: Appraising Written examination 2 hours.40The knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language will be applied to 18 set works ranging from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute to Danny Elfman’s film music Batman Returns through to popular songs by Kate Bush and the Beatles. As well as questions related to these set works, there will be extended questions asking students to draw links with music heard as an unfamiliar extract and shorter questions testing aural dictation skills.

Alumni – where are they now?

Holly (2020) studying at Birmingham University

Lucy-Anne (2020) studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Karen (2020) studying at Cambridge University

Hannah (2019) studying at Kings College London

Abbie (2019) studying at Durham University

Robert (2019) studying at the Guildhall

Daniel (2018) studying at  Oxford Brookes University

Or, if you prefer to chat to someone please call our admissions team. For Senior School call 0113 228 5121 and for Primary School call 0113 228 5113.