Edexcel A Level Music

Sandbach College

Why study this course?

If you are considering A Level Music, you will have already dedicated countless hours to studying an instrument and will be passionate about music. You will be keen to develop your existing knowledge of how music works, its place in history and the world and how you can implement your knowledge practically into your own musical compositions and performances.

Sandbach College at Sandbach High School Entry Requirements

We ask that all students achieve grade 4 or equivalent (a Level 2 pass) in at least 4 subjects, alongside the following subject specific entry requirements:

  • Must have achieved a minimum of Grade 5 in your chosen instrument.  
  • Must be having instrumental or voice lessons.

What will I learn on this course?

You will study a range of music from across a wide spectrum of history, styles and genres, from Bach to Kate Bush, from Batman to Berlioz. You will learn how composers utilise various stylistic techniques to create their sound, as well as their music’s contextual place in history and the world. You will also appreciate the variety of purposes music is written for. As well as learning to analyse music both aurally and from a score, you will also learn how to use compositional techniques found in these pieces to enhance your existing compositional practice. Alongside this, you will learn the fundamentals of formal harmony and their impact on all the other music you will study. Finally, you will continue to refine and develop your practical skills on your chosen instrument or voice.

Examinations & Coursework

40% listening and written exam based on the set works you have studied; 30% performance coursework (8 minute recital); 30% composition coursework (compositional techniques exercise and one composition).

Potential career paths

Practically, musicians can be employed in a variety of contexts – as orchestral musicians for orchestra, ballets, musicals etc., as session musicians for recording, as gigging musicians for function bands or the production and promotion of your own music. Studying Music at university can broaden your knowledge further in the three areas of composition, performance and analysis and can lead to careers in music composition and musicology as well as performance. Music can also be used for careers in therapy and teaching, as well as providing transferable skills in communication, independent study and analysis.

Enrichment opportunities

The Music department offers a wide variety of extra-curricular ensembles to participate in, as well as cross-curricular opportunities within the Performing Arts. Outside of school, Sandbach is well-placed for enrichment opportunities with local bands and orchestras.