“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” – Plato

Musicians are always highly desirable in the workplace in all global careers/industries because of their transferable skills such as performance, creativity, self-motivation, initiative, innovation, teamwork and commitment.

We ensure that students develop all of these skills to grow into confident performers. We aim to culturally enrich all of our students so that they attend a wide range of local and national musical concerts and events. Ultimately, students find music rewarding because they develop their musicianship and a wealth of transferable skills and consequently this opens doors to a range of opportunities.


A level music

Awarding body Eduqas

Course content

There are three components in both Year 12 and Year 13: Performing, Composing and Appraising.

Performing - the development of instrumental/vocal skills, in preparation for final performance recitals. At least one piece must be a solo, while the other pieces may be as a soloist, as part of an ensemble or a combination of both.

Composing - the development of composition skills and the production of a portfolio of compositions. One is a free choice whereas the other is in response to an exam board brief.

Appraising - the exploration of music from three areas of study to develop detailed knowledge of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language. The areas of study include western classical music, musical theatre and styles from the 20th century.

Detailed analysis of the following set works is included:

Symphony No.104 in D major, ‘London’, movements 1 and 2: Haydn

Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II: Poulenc

Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages: Debussy


Two options are available giving a 25%/35% weighting to performance and composition. These two components are externally assessed and the performance is assessed by a visiting examiner. The remaining 40% of the course takes the form of a listening and appraising exam. Exam questions will cover set work analysis questions, extended responses around a wider context, unprepared listening/appraising work and comparison questions.

Studying at Hermitage Academy not only made me a good musician but also helped my passion for music thrive. I can happily and confidently move on into the world with everything I learned there.

Why study music?

Music is a pre-requisite for those wishing to pursue a professional music career as a teacher, performer or composer. It also creates a practical and creative balance for those studying all classroom/lab-based subjects. It can lead to careers in teaching, music therapy, music technology, media, theatre, arts administration, human resources and the entertainment industry.