Why study this course?

Music is a creative yet challenging and academic A Level which will develop many skills that are directly transferable to a variety of further education courses. It is taught by a team of highly experienced teachers who endeavour to deliver lessons in an engaging, accessible and even fun manner! ICT resources in the department are excellent for the completion of composition coursework and the fact that we have a fully kitted out recording studio means all performance coursework is recorded to a professional standard.

How is the course structured

We offer a choice of two courses at Key Stage 5.

AQA A Level Music

A Level Music is an ideal course of study for anyone who has been playing an instrument or singing for some years and wants to study all areas of music at a more advanced and detailed level. The music A level covers a broad range of styles of music, and students will undertake a detailed analysis of the set pieces. There are also composition and performance elements to the course. A Level music covers a wide range of skills, and is an ideal stepping stone for those wanting to study music at degree level. 





Solo and ensemble performing as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or music production (50 marks).



A minimum of six minutes of performance in total is required.




Composition 1:

Composition to a brief

(25 marks)


Composition 2:

Free composition (25 marks)





1 compulsory area of study, then choose any 2 of the remaining areas.

AOS1 (compulsory)


Western Classical Music (1650 - 1910)


Study Pieces

Purcell - Sonta for Trumpet & Strings

Vivaldi - Flute Concerto in D

Bach - Violin Concerto

Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro



Pop Music


Named composers

Stevie Wonder

Joni Mitchell



Daft Punk




Music for Media


Named composers

Bernard Hermann

Hans Zimmer

Michael Giacchino

Nobuo Uematsu



Music for Theatre


Named composers

Kurt Weill

Richard Rodgers

Stephen Sondheim

Claude Michel Schonberg







Named composer

Louis Armstrong

Duke Ellington

Charlie Parker

Miles Davis

Pat Metheny



Contemporary Traditional Music


Named composers

Astor Piazzolla

Toumani Diabete

Anoushka Shankar



Btec Music Level 3

Btec Music Level 3 is ideal for those who are more interested in the music industry. The course covers a wide range of skills including performance recitals, compositions of original songs in a set style, pop & rock music history and it's development, planning a music product or event, and community music projects. Students are required to keep a detailed portfolio of their work as evidence for their final assessment.

Choose from a range of units including:

Music Performance Techniques 

Pop Music in Practice

Solo Music Performance Skills 

Music in the Community

Music Project

Special Subject Investigation

What are the entry requirements?

It is recommended that students have studied Music at GCSE Level and gained at least a C in this subject. As a guide, students should be comfortable with playing pieces around the Grade 5 level on entering into Year 12.

Which other subjects link well with this subject?

AS Music develops both academic and practical skills all subject areas work well: from Science and Maths to English, MFL and Humanities.

What career paths would this course lead to?

Taking music does not limit you to a career in music but can be used as a stepping stone to a wide variety of higher education courses and careers. Music is seen as an academic subject by universities and, as such, can be used in applications for any higher education studies. Performer - solo/band/session/orchestra. Instrument/voice teacher, researcher, music journalism, concert promotion, music therapy, music production.

What specific skills will I learn?

Performance and presentation

Composition and theoretical knowledge

Literacy -essay writing

Research and analysis of music

Team working and social skills

What Extra Opportunities are available?

The Music Department at Malbank is very busy - be prepared to join in! We have a range of ensembles available, including Malbank Voices, D'Uke Box Ukulele Band and The Malbank Big Band. We run a yearly musical production as well as Winter and Summer showcases performances, St Mary's Carol Service and other performances in the community. Students are also encouraged to be involved in the running of ensembles to develop musicianship and leadership skills.

"With a fantastic music and performing arts department, I was well set up for my place at University"

Kallarny Stanyard-McNair - Studying Music at Anglia Ruskin University