Music A-Level at The Swan

At The Swan, students will benefit from a rigorous learning environment which will equip them with a detailed understanding of music. Students will consistently be challenged to ensure they are well-prepared for the A-Level exams.

In addition to lesson time, students will have the opportunity to regularly perform their work in a low-pressure environment, to ensure students are confident performers in preparation for the A-Level recital.

Students will also have the opportunity to showcase their composition work at regular concerts throughout the year and enter composition competitions.

The Swan School will also be launching the Music Leadership Programme open to Sixth Form musicians, which will enable students to mentor younger musicians and lead on ensembles. This will be an excellent experience if applying to study any subject at university level.

5 in GCSE Music

OR Merit/Distinction in Grade 5 Music Theory (ABRSM), and Grade 5 (ABRSM or Trinity) or equivalent on any instrument.

Edexcel A-Level Music


Music A-Level is a challenging course designed to deepen a student’s musicianship and their understanding of the musical canon. Students should begin this course with a competent understanding of music theory and a love for exploring various genres of music.

This course has three modules:

Performance – 30%

Composition – 30%

Appraisal – 40%


Students will complete a solo recital in March of Year 13 on their study instrument. This recital will last for a minimum of 8 minutes and be a minimum of Grade 6 (ABRSM or Trinity) standard.

Staff will support students to improve their instrumental fluency and encourage students to regularly perform in preparation for their recital.


Students will complete two compositions during the course: one as a “free composition” (meaning that students can compose in any style), and one in response to a brief set by the exam board.

The minimum time across both compositions is 6 minutes.


This section of the course involves studying a wide range of musical works from six areas of study: instrumental music, vocal music, music for stage & screen, popular music & jazz, fusion music, and new directions.

Students will learn how the musical canon has developed over the last 500 years, whilst studying different musical cultures, developing their musical literacy.