A-level Music is a diverse and engaging course where students really get to explore music in detail, developing their musical skills and understanding through performing and composing music and by studying set pieces by established composers and performers.
Adult students and sixth form age students are equally welcome and enjoy the varied experiences that each other bring to the group. The atmosphere is friendly and sociable and many past students have formed on-going friendships whilst studying together. Several students have also progressed to degree courses in music after completing A-level with us.
A-level music at the Conservatoire is part of the Saturday Music School. The regular timetable is currently 11am-3pm each week but this varies occasionally to accommodate other events such as concerts, recordings and workshops. For example, we have a composition class each term where professional players try out student ideas and then make a recording for the coursework portfolio. Over the past few years we have also welcomed visiting specialists to lead world music workshops including Indian and African music.
In addition to the classes, students have the benefit of individual tuition when required.
For most students this is a two year course but the modular nature of the assessments means that to a certain extent can be tailored to what works best for each student. In a few exceptional cases we have had students complete the whole A-level in one year, though this is only for those with plenty of time and a high level of experience! Quite a number of students choose to take the course over three years or more to fit in with other commitments. Sometimes students join us from other centres to complete the course or to retake units to improve their grade.
The Conservatoire is an Edexcel approved centre so all classes and assessments take place here. Since 2003 more than 80% of our A-level students have gained A* - B grades. Our guideline minimum standard for entry to the course is Grade 5 in theory and Grade 5 practical on instrument or voice. However, we have frequently catered for students whose experience ranges right up to diploma level and helped them broaden their musical experience. We also very often work with students who either need a refresher or who are not quite yet at Grade 5 level by providing some extra tuition to enable them to take the course – sometimes in the form of backup lessons during the course or as a pre-A-level course of anything up to a year.
If your ambition is to develop your musical understanding and skills then it’s always worth booking an appointment to speak to us so we can help you work out what is the best route for you. For more information or to arrange an interview with the course leader please contact the office.