A-level Music

Edexcel
Edexcel A-level Music explores musical heritage and enhances your confidence in both composing and performing various styles.
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A-level Music Edexcel online course

Where words fail, music speaks. With our online A-level music course, you will develop key skills in performing, composing, and appraising music from across various genres and broaden your understanding of individual musical styles.

You will also hone critical reflection skills, delving into the diverse heritage of music and use this knowledge in your own musical style and performance.

Guided by expert tutors, you gain confidence in composing and performing, either as a group or ensemble, or as a solo artist. With this unique online course, you can go on to study at university or progress into other career opportunities.

What you will learn

  1. Unit 1 - Performing

    • Solo performance
    • Ensemble performance
    • Improvisation
    • Realisation using music technology
    • Approaches to performing
    • Musical elements
    • Musical contexts
    • Musical language
  2. Unit 2 - Composing

    • Compositional briefs
    • Vocal music
    • Instrumental music
    • Music for film
    • Fusions
    • Popular music and jazz
    • New directions
    • Free composition
    • Composition recording
  3. Unit 3 – Appraising

    • Analyse and evaluate music in aural and written form, using knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements
    • Formulate critical judgements, achieved through attentive listening and aural perception
    • Comment on music, showing critical understanding through the genres, styles and traditions studied
    • Use acute aural perception skills
    • Use appropriate technical musical vocabulary to communicate sophisticated judgements
    • Show an understanding of the complex interdependencies between musical elements

Awarding Body

Pearson Edexcel

Edexcel offers academic and vocational qualifications in schools, colleges and workplaces in the UK and abroad. Edexcel is a multinational education and examination body covering A-level courses and GCSE courses.

Recognised through UCAS

ucas registered centre

This course carries UCAS points. This means that it can be used to gain direct access to University courses and other Higher Education, through the UCAS system.

Course Outcome

As a student of this qualification, you will benefit from a wealth of A-level teaching experience from a range of academic tutors who are or have been Heads of Music in schools and colleges and examiners for A-level examination boards.

Our music A-level course follows the Edexcel syllabus and develops practical skills in performing and composing as well as a deeper understanding of music history, theory and analysis. Through listening to and studying a wide variety of music, both classical and popular, you will develop a more informed appreciation of how, and why, it was written.

This course is for musicians who wish to attain an advanced internationally recognised qualification and for those who wish to study music at university. Don’t worry if you don’t get the grades you want though; take a look at our guide to getting to university through UCAS Clearing here.

How do you study A-level Music online?

This unique A-level music course blends practical and theoretical study, with an expert tutor on hand to support you all the way. Working from home or wherever you feel most comfortable, you have the freedom to express your talent and broaden your knowledge of critical music theories.

Studying A-level music online means you can learn at the pace that gives you the best chance of success. You can access your course materials from any compatible device using our MyOxbridge learning portal, meaning you can fit learning and musical practice around other commitments, without the fear of falling behind.

How is this course assessed or examined?

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, you must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

Component 1: Appraising music

What is assessed? 

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding

How is it assessed?

This component is 40% of your total A-level marks (120 marks). It is assessed through an exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music, answering the following questions:

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks)

Component 2: Performance

What is assessed?

  • Music performance

How is it assessed?

This component is 35% of your total A-level marks (50 marks). You will also need to complete a solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology). A minimum of 10 minutes of performance in total is required.

A non-exam assessment (NEA) will be externally marked by Edexcel examiners. Work must be completed between 1 March and the specified date given by Edexcel. Work must be sent by post/uploaded to Edexcel by the specified date given.

Component 3: Composition

What is assessed? 

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

How is it assessed?

This component is worth 25% of your total A-level marks (50 marks). A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

An NEA will be externally marked by Edexcel examiners. Work must be completed and sent by post or uploaded to Edexcel by the specified date. The NEA deadline is 20th October each year; therefore, students will next be able to take their A-Level Music Exams in Summer 2025.

Entry requirements

It is strongly recommended that you have studied GCSE Music or achieved Grade 5 minimum standard on performance instrument/voice before starting this course.

Past Papers

You can access past papers for this course. They are free to access and cover a range of exam boards.

Courses Taught by Experts

Laura

Health care

For 10+ years, my passion for helping learners develop and grow has driven my career as a teacher. To help me progress even further, I am currently studying to achieve the IQA award. I love reading and I’m a self-professed Harry Potter fan. Talk to me about all things history, rock music, tattoos and true crime podcasts. 

Laura, tutor

Faye

Early Years

Beginning my career as an early years practitioner inspired me to step into the world of teaching. I have since elevated my skillset through a range of qualifications including L3 in Assessing Vocational Achievement, L3 in Education & Training and L4 in Internal Quality Assurance. I’m a big kid at heart; I love Disney movies and also dabble in photography.  

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Kelly

Counselling and Psychology

I always knew that a career focused around helping people achieve their goals was perfect for me. That’s why I became a tutor. I love to see my student’s confidence flourish as they progress through their courses. It’s important to help them fit their learning goals around their personal commitments so they have the best chance of success! 

Kelly, tutor

Sarah

Education and Childcare

My 30-year stride in education started with childminding, to working with pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I then tutored in a national reading programme and went on to become a Higher-Level TA. I’m elated to say I graduated with a First-Class BA Honours Degree when I was 50 – living proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams!

Sarah

Penny

STEM and History of Art

Marine biology, jellyfish conservationist, hairdresser, fitness instructor… I have an eclectic backstory! Art is my passion and one of my proudest moments was achieving my Masters in Fine Art. I then requalified as an Art teacher to share my knowledge with my students. For most of my career, I’ve supported vulnerable students with additional needs such as SEMH and SEN.

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