St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level Music

If you want to experience music in a small friendly environment, be part of a dynamic and enthusiastic group and have a variety of musical experiences while in the sixth form, then perhaps music is for you.

For many years the Music Department at St Augustine’s has successfully delivered the OCR specification, allowing many students to go on to read music at Degree level at top Universities and conservatoires. This includes Royal college of Music in London, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Guildhall School of Music and drama in London, Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music. A past student graduated in Music from Christ Church Oxford and achieved the highest mark from the entire University. We also have a past student studying music in Austria. I am delighted to say that Music at A Level is recognised by Russell group Universities as an academic subject.

This specification is designed to give flexibility to enable the students to major in either performance or composition while still developing their listening and appraising skills. Students can opt to choose Performing A,01 (25%) with Composing A,03 (35%) or Performing B,02 (35%) with Composing B,04 (25%). Both performing options require the student to perform a recital which is recorded and is externally assessed. Both composition units will involve the students composing one piece set by OCR and another influence by one of the area of studies looked at throughout the course. In the case of Composing A the student will submit three short technical exercises.

The written exam, 05 is worth 40% of the specification and includes aural extracts, analysing and evaluating music both familiar and unfamiliar. This paper is 2 hours and 30 minutes in length.

There are 6 Areas of Study from which the students will study 1 and 2 and then choose at least two more areas from 3,4,5 and 6. By studying these areas students develop their musical language and ability to explore the key inter-related elements of tonality, interpretation and instrument/vocal techniques.

  • Area of Study 1: Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven

  • Area of Study 2: Popular Song: Blues, Swing and Big band

  • Area of Study 3: Developments in Instrumental Jazz 1910 to the present day

  • Area of Study 4: Religious Music of the Baroque Period

  • Area of Study 5: Programme Music 1820-1910

  • Area of Study 6: Innovations in Music 1900 to the present day

Music students are expected to take a lead role in the extra curricular life of the department and wherever possible attend workshops, master class and trips organised by the department.

Music demands an immense amount of self-discipline is time consuming and requires you to have a passion for the subject. However, the rewards of studying such a highly thought of subject is incredible. You will experience amazing camaraderie which no other department can offer and develop skills which you will probably use for the rest of your life!