Acting Director of Music:  Beverley Steensma

Exam board: Edexcel

A-level music enables pupils to develop three main aspects of their musicianship: appraising, composing and performing.
Appraising music (40% of the final mark) covers six areas of study: instrumental music, vocal music, popular music and jazz, film music, new directions and fusions. By studying set works and a wide range of related listening, students develop analytical skills, and are able to place music in context both socially and historically. Students are exposed to a wide palette of music and are encouraged to think independently about how to evaluate music critically.

Composition (30%) is split into two sections. Techniques’ (15% of the paper) is the theoretical aspect where pupils learn about chords and their function in detail. Students learn to harmonise a chorale (hymn tune) in the style of Bach and this knowledge helps to inform their analysis of scores and their composition. They also submit one composition (15 % of the paper) where they are encouraged to develop their creativity and originality whilst learning about a range of musical styles and structures.

Performing (30%) is where students give a recital of a minimum of eight minutes (Grade 7 minimum). In order to prepare for this, students are encouraged to perform in a variety of contexts both in and out
of school.

Exam Results

Average of the A Level results in Music achieved by Ipswich School students over the most recent three year period (2017, 2018 and 2019) A* 28%, A*-A 37%, A*-B 82%, A*-C 100%