AS Music


Entry Guidance
This course is offered to committed students who have learned their instrument, including voice, up to at least ABRSM Grade 5 level, or its equivalent. It is essential that students are familiar with western notation. It is highly recommended that students choosing this course have achieved at least a B grade at IGCSE Music or a course of similar rigour. Students who have not had the opportunity to study IGCSE Music will have their application to study AS Music carefully considered.

What the course leads to
The course provides a suitable foundation for the study of Music in higher education.  It is highly recommended for students intending to take Music, or other music-related subjects at university, such as Music Production, Composition or Music Business.  However, students who choose A level music can also successfully move on to do non-music related courses at university as many institutions of higher education accept Music as a sound academic A-Level.  The course is thus equally for students intending to pursue related careers or further study or as part of a course of general education. Upon successful completion of the AS course, students can move on to study A2 Music and choose two areas of interest from composing, performing and investigating music.

Course Aims
Through participation in the course, students will:

  • Gain greater depth, as well as a breadth of subject knowledge
  • Learn to develop a personal response to various types of music in order to better understand the processes of composition and performance
  • Communicate understanding, and support individual judgment with an argument based on evidence
  • Learn to use appropriate language and terminology when discussing music
  • Create and appreciate music from a range of cultures and genres

Course Content
The course aims to develop holistic musicians by focusing on the following components:

  • Practical musicianship: students will be expected to have performances on their instrument, or voice. They will also compose music from different genres, for different purposes.
  • Listening and analysing: students will review the history of Western music. Within each period there will be a number of Set Works that will be studied in detail
  • A2 students will also develop their musical knowledge, skills and understanding and to communicate these through two of the following: performing, composing and academic writing

Course Assessment
The AS course is assessed by:

  • Teacher assessed coursework, consisting of recordings of student performances and two contrasting compositions; these are submitted to Cambridge for moderation and assessment in April (40%)
  • A two-hour listening exam in May (60%)

Opportunities for Enrichment
Students can apply to become Music ambassadors and also have the opportunity to participate in events, such as the annual International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS) music festival. ISCMS allows Music students from all over the world to sing in a large chorus, or play in a full-sized symphony orchestra and to learn from internationally renowned guest artists and practitioners. In-school opportunities include recitals and informal performances. Students may also participate in the Music Mentoring Scheme and become a mentor to a younger Music student.