The A Level Music course at CSG is challenging and rewarding. The students who choose it are committed to their musical studies and with our excellent facilities, our partnerships, and the numerous high-level performing ensembles, students often say that it is one of their most enjoyable A Levels.
The aim of this course is to develop your abilities as an intelligent musician. It is structured around 3 units each year which are linked together by four Areas of Study.
Performing (externally assessed via recording) option A 25%/option B 35%
This takes the form of a recital, either as a soloist, ensemble player, or accompanist. You will present at least two contrasting pieces on your instrument.
For option B you will need to perform an additional third piece that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the repertoire for your instrument.
Composing (externally assessed coursework) option A 35%/option B 25%
This takes the form of two compositions. Composition 1 is written to a brief set by the exam board. Composition 2 is written to a brief set by the teacher in discussion with the student.
For option A you will also need to compose some short additional technical exercises that demonstrate your ability to develop musical ideas within a specific musical tradition.
Listening & Appraising (exam paper) 40%
Section A (30 marks)
Aural analysis of unfamiliar music taken from:
This section consists of short answer questions, multiple choice, and melodic/rhythmic dictation
Section B (40 marks)
These set works are from Areas of Study 1 & 2 and for the exam in 2026 will be:
Section C (50 marks)
Essay questions based upon two additional areas of study. The two additional areas of study are chosen from these options:
Entry Requirements: As stated in the Admission Policy
Special Requirements: In terms of performing, students should be at least Associated Board Grade 5 standard or equivalent at the start of the course. They should also have a grade 6 or above in GCSE Music (or grade 5 music theory) and be fluent in reading staff notation.
Exam Board: OCR