What are the benefits of A-level music?
You develop both practical and theoretical knowledge and skills that enable you to create music that you never believed you could create.
Through analysis of set works and unfamiliar listening you become fluent at recognising and using a substantial musical vocabulary, not just in terms of the music that you create but the lexicon that you command.
What sort of things does the course cover?
We study three areas, composition, performance and listening/appraising. All areas feed into each other.
For example we spend time, within the first year particularly using listening and appraising study as a springboard to exploring improvisation and composition through exercises, template work, modelling and so on.
What sort of other skills do they gain from the course?
Through preparation for composition, performance and analysis, they plan and develop constantly.
They also explore multiple modes of communication, different IT skills of application using recording and notating software and utilise their mathematical knowledge in increasingly varied ways.
I’m a big advocate of multidisciplinary study and music promotes that as a subject.
How much success have you had from A-level pupils in recent years?
Previous A-level pupils have utilised their knowledge and skills in varied genres with some studying jazz, others pop and rock music and others classical music at higher level.
Other pupils have studied different subjects at University but have utilised their musical experience by exploring performance outside of their studies.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing Music at A-level?
I would say be open-minded and ready to fully commit to the study.
It’s a subject that uses both the meaning and sound of language, many factors intrinsic to mathematics are represented and can be explored, the presence and manipulation of music can be explored and described using a considerable lexicon of scientific language.
If you are looking to pursue music as a career, or simply continue exploring music as a lifelong interest, then A-level music is for you.