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James (Music)


One of the main reasons that I chose to study Music at A level was the wide variety of areas studied and examined. Only 40% of the final grade is based on the final exam, with the other 60% comprising of composition and performance. This mixture of assessment was something I enjoyed at GCSE, and at A level it has continued to allow me to explore different aspects of music, leading to a deeper understanding of the subject.

Playing an instrument in the school bands, especially Big Band and Trad Jazz Band, has also helped with the exam section of the course.  I most enjoy the composition aspect of A level music, which is taught periodically throughout the two years. Usually, a composition task will be set either as an introduction to a new topic, or at the end as a knowledge test of the style. For example, in Year 12 we spent a few weeks creating big band arrangements to finish the jazz section of the course. Because this part of the A level interested me so much, I am now looking at university courses that focus on composition both in English and Music.