Music A Level

three male students performing in a band
Getting Ahead

Music A Level at Alton Campus

In order to help prepare you for the different elements of the Eduqas A Level Music course, we have compiled a checklist of tasks we would like you to complete before you start. Alongside this, we have created a list of great musical resources for you to get stuck into and explore.

Did you know? Research has shown that music can improve mood and prompt creative flow, which helps with anxiety and self-doubt. It can also help to regulate emotion. Studying music really does support you in every aspect of college life: some studies even show that it can enhance your grades in other subjects too! 

smiley male student playing a drum kit

Keep practising your instrument. Regular, short practises are the best for keeping to an effective practise schedule.

Set yourself the task of learning one new piece ready to perform in September.

A solid foundation in music theory is essential for A Level Music. Make sure that your theory knowledge is up to Grade 5 level. You should be able to answer yes to the following statements:

Music Theory Checklist Yes/No
I can confidently read music in both treble and bass clef  


I know all the major and minor key signatures  


I know the names of the degrees of the scale  


I can work out the notes of primary triads in any key (tonic, dominant, subdominant)  


I know the difference between common and simple time signatures  


I can identify the principal note values (crotchet, quaver, etc)  


Music and provide great support for practising music theory online!

Knowing your composers/genres/periods of music is a great start for studying music at college level. Classic FM is a good place to start. You can listen to various programmes on their website. provides a comprehensive overview of the genres/periods explored in the Eduqas A Level Music course.

The set works/genres we study are listed below:

Areas of Study Set Works
The Development of the Symphony from 1750-1900 Joseph Haydn – London Symphony,  no.104 (1795)  

Felix Mendelssohn – Italian Symphony,  no.4 (1833/4)

Into the 20th Century Claude Debussy – Nuages from  

Nocturnes (1899) 

Francis Poulenc – Trio for Oboe Bassoon and Piano (1926), Movement 2.

Musical Theatre No set works, but listen to (and watch) musicals by:
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Leonard Bernstein
Stephen Sondheim
Claude-Michel Shönberg
Andrew Lloyd Webber

The most important part of studying music at any level is listening. And not just listening, but listening actively: thinking critically about the music you are experiencing. The main task we would like you to undertake is to fill out a ‘Listening Log’, to be completed anytime you actively listen to a piece of music. You can use our template below or you can create your own.


Date (of listening) Piece Composer Context Musical Observations (Think structure/ harmony/ melody/ instrumentation etc)


Leonard  Bernstein’s lecture series at Harvard is a landmark in Music education and will  provide you with a wonderful foundation of understanding how to talk and think  critically about music (it is fairly long – so don’t worry if you don’t make it all the way through every lecture, we just wanted to make sure you had enough to be getting on with!). 

Howard Goodall’s Story of Music provides a brilliant overview of music through the ages!

*This is a representation of your learning space and may not be the exact room you will be using

You’re here to learn and you want to learn, and the lecturers make it fun. You don’t have to come to college but you want to come to college.

Natalie Thorpe, A Level student

My experience at the college has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student

My experience at the college was enjoyable and productive, with thoroughly helpful people surrounding you, an excellent experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, with the work shop time and experience I had, it was a great two years preparing me for the next stage.

Edward Smith, BTEC student