Key Stage 5 Music

‘Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.’


Music A Level

Music focuses on the more traditional musical components of performance, composing, listening and appraising, working as a direct continuation of the skills developed at GCSE level. As with the GCSE, the externally assessed A Level qualification is comprised of performance and composing (60% in total) and a written examination (40% of the qualification). The course covers a wide-range of musical styles and genres, including instrumental and vocal music, music for film, popular music, jazz and fusions. The written examination gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the set works they will have studied in depth over the two-year course, as well as asking questions related to unfamiliar pieces.

The composing element of the qualification is very similar to that of the GCSE, with one piece being chosen from a brief set by the exam board, and a second “free” composition of the individual student’s choosing. These compositions allow students to truly explore their creativity across both new and familiar genres, and may be completed at any time.

Students demonstrate their performing talents by giving a public recital towards the end of their two-year course, lasting at least eight minutes. Again, as with the GCSE, this may be either sung or instrumental and may be from any music genre or style.

Music Technology A Level

Music technology allows musicians to gain knowledge and understanding of music technologies throughout musical history and the use, development and impact of music technology across a wide range of musical styles and genres.

Throughout the course, students complete a variety of composing and recording tasks allowing them to expand their knowledge of recording equipment and software, whilst furthering their listening and production skills.

Students complete a multitrack recording in a studio domain which includes recording drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and live vocals (20%) as well as a creative technology-based composition (20%). As well as these coursework elements, students sit two exams; one being a listening paper (25%) and the other being a production paper completed with the use of a DAW (35%).

Outside of the classroom setting, all sixth form students are welcome to pre-book and use any one of our practise spaces, including our designated sixth form rehearsal and recording area, regardless of whether or not they study Music or Music Technology formally at MGS. Sixth formers are encouraged to take part in our annual school production and various musical ensembles within the school, as well as having the opportunity to become a “Music Mentor” to one of our KS3 students wishing to receive instrumental or vocal tuition.