A Level

Exam Board: Edexcel

2 years


Course Content:

Studying Music A level at Alton College enables you to pursue your own musical interests whilst developing skills in performing, composing and appraising. The course has the flexibility for you to specialise in either performing or composing. During lessons you will study three components:

Component 1: Performing You will have the chance to perform throughout the year at concerts in our ensembles and as a soloist as well as smaller recitals.

Component 2: Composing You will learn composition techniques in lessons including structure, genre, orchestration and harmony.

Component 3: Appraising Students will learn about 3 areas of study through listening and analysing:

        • The Western Classical Tradition – The development of the Symphony
        • A choice between Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre and Jazz
        • A choice between 20th and 21st Century Music


Component 1: Performing (25-35%) Externally Assessed
You will be required to perform for 6-12 minutes on your main instrument as a soloist or ensemble or a mixture of both.  This is examined by a visiting examiner at the end of the 2nd year.

Component 2: Composing (25-35%) Externally Assessed
You will be required to compose two-three compositions which last a total of 4-10 minutes.  One composition is set to a brief from the exam board, the others are free composition.

Component 3: Appraising  (40%) Externally Assessed exam

Studying at Alton College:

You will compose in our dedicated Apple Mac suite using Sibelius or Logic. Every week you will have a lesson session with our college accompanist to work through solo repertoire in preparation for your performance exam at the end of year 2.
We are an official “Education Partner” to Leeds College of Music, you will have workshops and a guaranteed audition at LCM.

Click here to find out about what some of our current and recent Music students have been up to lately...

Entry requirements:

Students should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4. 

We would normally expect you to have gained at least grade 5 in GCSE Music and/or Grade V Theory plus Grade V on an instrument. 

Course costs:

A good pair of headphones and an external hard drive/ USB Stick. 

£30 for books.

Music works well with:

Music Technology
BTEC Jazz or
Rock & Pop