Music students at Charters School will be creative in the way they make, listen to, explore, and appreciate music. They will be capable of critical, and analytical listening, which will in turn help them understand the processes of performance and composition. They will be inspired to discover new styles of music, both as listeners and performers. They will have opportunities to make music that play to their existing strengths and challenge them to develop new skills. They will explore the cultural significance of music and its influence on society today and gain an understanding of how the development of music through history sits within the wider cultural and political stories of societies.

This means:

  • They will be able to identify, analyse and evaluate a variety of musical elements from a range of different styles and be able to evaluate constructively the work of others
  • They will work creatively, adopting a range of musical techniques. They will perform confidently with the ability to assess and improve the accuracy and musicality of their own work
  • They will appreciate musical diversity and be able to apply their knowledge of musical elements to a range of historical and social context


A Level Music: A Level Music students study the OCR syllabus. The A Level requires students to develop their skills of performance, composition, listening, analysis and appraisal. Through the areas of study, students study a range of styles of music, and they have the opportunity to explore these through composition tasks. Students will be able to see and participate in a range of live performances, including that of their own compositions. The course enables them to develop an in-depth theoretical and historical understanding of Western Classical Music, which will be demonstrated in a written exam at the end of the course. This course is essential for those wishing to pursue music in Higher Education, but also provides a fantastic addition to an A Level portfolio as it enables students to develop a range of transferrable skills valued by universities and employers such as analysis, essay writing, evaluation, creativity, communication, historical awareness, and self-confidence.


A Level Music:
• Component 1 – Performing: This component requires students to plan, prepare and perform a solo recital on an instrument of their choice, lasting a minimum of 10 minutes.
• Component 2 – Composing: Learners are required to create two compositions with a combined duration of at least 4 minutes. One is written to a brief set by the examination board and the other is a free choice composition. Students are required to notate and organise a performance of their works.
• Component 3 – Listening and appraising: This component culminates in a written examination in which four Areas of Study will be tested:
o AoS1: Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
o AoS2: Popular Song: Blues, Jazz, Swing and Big Band
o AoS5: Programme Music 1820-1900
o AoS6: Innovations in Music 1900 to the present day
Students will study a range of set works and pieces chosen to exemplify the genres covered.


The minimum entry requirements for Charters Sixth Form can be viewed here

In addition to these the subject specific entry requirements for Music are:

GCSE grade 6 in Music.
GCSE grade 5 in English Language or Literature.
A minimum of grade 5 standard in one instrument or voice.




Take a look around the links below to find our where this exciting subject could lead.

Complementary Subjects

Music is an academic subject which works well alongside all other A Levels. Music is very mathematical in nature, and so Music and Maths complement each other well, as do Music and Languages. However, it can work well with any combination of subjects and is highly regarded by top academic universities, including Oxbridge, as well as for a third subject for those applying for Medicine.

Future Opportunities

The varied nature of the course enables students to develop highly desirable skills in areas such as self-management, creativity, data analysis, performance, team-work, problem-solving, and communication, all of which makes them an attractive prospect for employers. Choosing to study Music at university can lead to a huge variety of career paths, including broadcasting, publishing, law, politics, and the Civil Service. An A Level in Music can open doors into areas such as being a sound technician, music therapist or teacher, or to work in television, radio, or arts administration. It is highly regarded as an academic subject and so could complement future studies leading to a professional career. Music does not stop you getting into professions such as Law and Medicine.

Be Inspired by Exploring Further


Music: A Very Short Introduction by Nicholas Cook

This book invites us to really think about music and the values and qualities we ascribe to it.


A Level Music Seminars and Revision from LSO Discovery

Revision on a number of musical topics 


Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise

Books, articles, and a blog by the music critic of The New Yorker