Subject Intent: Why Music?

Music pervades life and is all-encompassing. The music curriculum helps students develop, engages them creatively and challenges them in an intellectual sense. We intend to unlock our students’ potential through music and instil a genuine love of the subject through listening, composition, performing and analysing music from a wide range of styles and cultures, helping students develop a greater sense of appreciation of the power of music throughout the world. It supports the development of a range of transferable skills such as communication, memory skills, creativity, collaboration and problem solving that students can employ in their next steps whether that be Higher Education or employment.

What will I study?

The course also involves:
  • Performance (25% or 35%).You will give a solo performance of between eight to twelve minutes in front of a visiting examiner
  • Composition (25% or 35%). You are required to create two compositions. One is a piece in the Western Classical tradition and the other is a free choice in any style.
  • Listening and appraising exam is worth 40%. You will study the Classical and Romantic symphony, music of the early twentieth century and jazz. Your knowledge will be tested through listening exercises, a range of analytical questions and an essay.


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

A-Level Music lessons are centred around developing musical knowledge and skills by analysing and discussing a wide range of music from 1750 to 2000. Performance skills are very important as they can form 35% of this course so this is a regular feature, as is composition where skills are built quickly through focused exercises and individual teacher feedback. All in all, music lessons are very busy! We have 6 practice rooms which can be used for private practice and developing composition ideas. Sibelius 8 is used to notate compositions and a number of online packages are used to check learning. Student performances take place around college, particularly in the Drama Studio and Dance Studio. Trips to professional concerts, musicals, recording studios take place annually and contact with professional musicians take place in person or through Teams meetings.

What our


Studying music at NCB was a really great experience. The content was fun as well as being engaging. I feel a lot more confident in my musical abilities and many new opportunities have been opened for me by doing this course.

Cai Halligan, BBEC

APPLY NOW to study in 2022

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