Music A Level (EDUQAS)

Course Overview

The course gives you a holistic understanding of music, allowing you to investigate, analyse and evaluate music and its features. It helps you learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music, develop critical thinking and creative thinking, cultural, aesthetic and emotional awareness, and the ability to make music individually and as part of a group.

Course requirements

5 GCSEs graded 9 – 5 including English and Maths at grade 5. Grade 6 in Music GCSE or Grade 5 in any instrument or theory from ABRSM or Trinity Guildhall Music.

Year 1

Students will develop their performance, compositional and appraising skills in their first year of study.

Students  will develop their solo performance and ensemble performance skills through working towards a 6 minute performance recital in front of a live audience. They will also develop performing skills to demonstrate an understanding of musical elements, style, sense of continuity, interpretation and expression.

Students will also develop their composing skills to demonstrate the manipulation of musical ideas and the use of melodic devices and conventions. Students will be taught how to use music technology to enhance their compositional skills and will use Logic Pro X and Sibelius software.

Students will develop their appraising skills through appraising contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and developing understanding of musical contexts and a coherent awareness of musical chronology.

Year 2

Students will continue to develop their performance, compositional and appraising skills in their second year, building towards their final assessments for A Level.

Students will learn and develop key instrumental/vocal techniques, with an emphasis on the interpretation of musical ideas and technical control.

Students will also study a range of compositional techniques and how to compose for differing groups of instruments. They will also learn how to compose to a brief assessing compositional techniques such as harmonising a Bach chorale, completing a two part counterpoint, composing an arrangement or composing a remix.

Students will continue to develop their appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. This unit will focus on preparation for their exam and will focus on reflecting on, analysing and evaluating music in aural or written form.


Students will be assessed over 3 key musical areas: Performing (35%), Composing (25%) and Appraising (40%). Students can perform either as a soloist, as part of an ensemble, by improvising, or realising music using music technology. Students will take part in a recital in front of a live audience and will have to perform for a minimum of 8 minutes. Students may perform music in any musical genre/style.

Composing (25%)

Students will compose a total of 2 compositions, one set to a brief by WJEC and one either free composition or also to a brief. One composition must be either a free composition or from a list of briefs set by WJEC relating to the areas of study. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration and is worth 40 marks. The other composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique and is worth 20 marks. This must be at least 1 minute in length. The total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Appraising (40%)

Students will sit a written paper of 2 hours, with a total of 100 marks. The paper comprises 2 sections:

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (50 marks)

Section B: Extended response essay questions (50 marks)

Independent Study

Students will have to work independently by practicing on their chosen instruments, attending instrumental lessons and performing in recitals. Students will also need to develop their independent learning skills through listening to a wide variety of unfamiliar music and analysing this music.

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