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Course overview

If you have a passion for music or singing then this course is for you! This course will provide you with an opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques essential for musical performance, including compositional and professional practice, all of which are essential if you want to work within the music industry.

Entry requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4 or above, or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5. This course may be taken alongside A Level courses and may be more suited to learners with a strong profile of prior attainment in vocational studies.

GCSE Music or BTEC Level 2 Music, a proficiency (Grade 4 or equivalent) on a musical instrument or the ability to sing at a similar grade will be an advantage. Rockschool qualifications will also be accepted. Some knowledge of music theory would be useful for the Practical Music Theory and Harmony unit. You will also be required to attend an audition.

Topics you will study

You will study 3 compulsory units and one optional unit over 2 years:

Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony (internally assessed)

Rhythm and pitch in traditional notation (treble clef etc)

Rhythm and pitch in alternative notation (guitar TAB etc)

Tempo and dynamics notation 

Composing melodies and chord progressions

Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry (external)

Venues and live performance

Production, record labels, film and television

Marketing and promotion, advertising and marketing, social media

Roles involved in live performance and recording

Skills for working in the music sector

Unit 3: Ensemble performance (external)

Ensemble skills and techniques


Rehearsals and final performance

Evaluation skills

Unit 6: Solo performance (internally assessed)

Solo performance skills

Technical instrumental skills 

Design an effective practice routine

Final performance

Key features

This is a very practical course with active, fun lessons where you will gain hands-on experience in the art of performance skills and performing techniques. You will have the chance to study different genres of music such as pop, classical and jazz and the sessions are designed for you to further develop your own instrumental or vocal skills with the opportunity to experience ensemble performance. You must also be prepared to learn some essential musical theory.


There are four units in total, three of which are compulsory. Two components are assessed internally and two are assessed externally. There are elements of both written and practical work. 

Component 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony (internally assessed)

Component 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry (completed under exam conditions) 

Component 3: Ensemble performance 

Component 6: Solo performance (internally assessed)

Exam Board: Pearson RQF

Enrichment and Work Experience

We have a fantastic enrichment programme you can get involved with in order to have some fun but also develop your skills and complement your studies. Enrichment opportunities include:

The Sixth Form rock and soul band                                  

Musical theatre productions

In-college performances

Brass ensemble


Music technology/creating music

Why choose B6?

You will be taught by a professional musician who plays for the renowned Black Dyke Band. He has won the European, National and British Open titles on numerous occasions and performed at Glastonbury twice.  

We have excellent facilities for you to learn and perform in, including state of the art sound and recording studios and a theatre for performances, which is also a live music venue. Music to us is more than just a subject; it’s our passion! If you share this passion, then we invite you to join us and be with like-minded people who are all striving to reach the same goal. We expect our students to be committed to The Sixth Form and our course and we promise to provide you with all the help and support you need to succeed.

Future career opportunities

Students go on to study traditional music and music technology degrees and can specialise in community, commercial and world music. Careers include popular and classical music, theatrical performance, film and television, computer gaming and advertising.

Additional information

Students will need to bring their instruments into The Sixth Form on a regular basis during the course as most units have practical and performance elements.

Jake Thornley

Jake Thornley

A Level English Literature, Film Studies and Single Vocational A Level Music

Previous school:
St James’s CE High School

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