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A Level

three male students performing in a band

Availability & Details

Music, A-Level AF-MUSCAL-D(0000)000

Alton Campus

Type of study
A Levels, Full Time

Academic Year 2023-24 (2 years)

Examination board

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How to apply

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Do you enjoy singing or playing an instrument? Perhaps you are a composer and want to create an amazing piece for orchestra, a theme for a musical theatre show, or try song-writing? A Level Music is a truly exciting subject, which enables you to discover a large range of musical genres through creative work and collaboration with others.

Our facilities are outstanding, and so is the expertise of our staff – all of them are active as professional musicians. Our students go on to further study at prestigious conservatoires across the UK.

Be a part of our enrichment activities as part of our Be Involved programme including Choir, Chamber Orchestra, String Ensemble, Jazz Band and Live Music Performance (Rock and Pop) workshops. Collaborations with external organisations have brought a number of high-profile musicians to the College, leading various workshops. We also organise visits to first-class venues and events, in order to see top-class musicians in action, and broaden the understanding of possible music-related careers in today’s world.

You 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.

Studying Music A Level at HSDC Alton 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 three 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

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.

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 second year.

Component 2: Composing (25-35%) Externally Assessed
You will be required to compose two to 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

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

Textbooks: £30.

The teaching and support was absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have done anything more or anything better, if I had any questions my lecturers would always stay behind to help me if I needed it and their emails were always open, it was second to none. This college is the best by far.

Amber Searle, BTEC student

I’m really happy and pleased with my grades. I really loved my time at the college, I have also made lots of friends, it’s a really nice place to be, I don’t want to leave.

Lauren Piper, A Level student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student