A Level Music



Entry Requirements

College entry criteria plus ANY of the following:

  • GCSE Music (minimum grade 4)

  • Grade 5 in an instrument

  • Grade 5 in music theory

  • Related experience of music inside/outside of school

  • By audition

Music is a subject with many transferable skills and here at St John Rigby College, we have numerous links with other institutions such as the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester University, York University, Edge Hill University, Birmingham Conservatoire, Salford University, BIMM to name a few.

The course at SJR allows all students to achieve well and is part of an outstanding department in an outstanding College. Music at St John Rigby College will include studies of performance and composition alongside analytical studies of music from Western Classical Music, Music for Media and Contemporary Traditional Music.

All students are offered individual lessons on their primary instrument with outstanding peripatetic musicians employed in the department for the study of performance practice.

Within performance, students will create and perform a recital of eleven minutes of music on their chosen instrument(s). The recital will be at the end of the second year with weekly performances and free 1:1 instrumental lessons to help build towards this throughout your time at College.

Composition will include two pieces of music that you will write yourself. One of these will be a free composition where you can choose the style and the other is a composition to a brief set by the exam board. Work for this unit is supported by 1:1 tuition and composition masterclasses.

In music analysis, you will be asked to listen to, and analyse, a range of instrumental and vocal music from different genres and traditions. You will need to write stylistic analyses of musical works based on scores you have studied and unseen works.

Some student work:

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How will I be assessed?

Performance and composition are both practically assessed. Performance is 35% of your final mark and composition is 25% of your final mark. 40% of your grade is from your music analysis and an exam at the end of year two.

Where will this course lead me?

Due to the transferable skills that music offers, it is a highly regarded course for Higher Education institutions. Students progress to study Music and Music Technology at university and many are invited to apply for a conservatoire for further study of this specialist subject. Through our Maestro Programme, we work in partnership with many prestigious universities as well as the Royal Northern College of Music, Leeds College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire.

Other career pathways apart from studying music related courses have included:

History, Management, Digital Marketing, Cosmology, Engineering, Computing Forensics, Music Therapy, Veterinary Nursing and Pharmaceutical Science.

Students have gone on to study at Salford, Derby, Huddersfield, Edge Hill, Bath, York, London School of Music Theatre, Guildford and Birmingham.

What will I study?

Brass Composition
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Jazzy Composition
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How Things Were
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Brexit Don't Mean A Thing
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