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Writing with Pen


The goal of the Academic Music Department at St. Columb’s School of Music is to assist pupils in becoming informed, imaginative and enquiring musicians. It aims to give them a wide range of musical skills and to enable them to use these skills creatively. 


Our aim is to continue academic music tuition as much as possible, giving students the chance to explore music further and offer them opportunities in the music sector in the future. As a school, we offer GCSE and A-Level to students who otherwise would not be able to partake in a music qualification, whether that be a timetable clash, or if the school does not currently offer music as a subject. 


Essential criteria for enrolment:

  • GCSE Music result (or be able to demonstrate a high level of musical awareness if you haven’t completed GCSE music)

  • Access to a laptop

  • To be able to pass an example listening and theory paper as well as play one solo performance piece, all to grade 5 standard (organised before enrolment)

  • Permission from your current school 


A minimum of 2 students and a maximum of 8 students is required for the AS Level course consisting of 3hrs a week for 26 weeks on Thursday evenings, 6.00pm-9.00pm.


Term 1: 14/9, 21/9, 28/9, 5/10, 12/10, 19/10, 26/10

Term 2: 9/11, 16/11, 23/11, 30/11, 7/12, 14/12, 21/12

Term 3: 4/1, 11/1, 18/1, 25/1, 1/2, 8/2, 22/2, 1/3, 8/3, 15/3, 22/3, 29/3


The cost of the AS Level course is £870 per student and can be paid in full, or in 3 termly installments of £290. 


To enquire further and to enroll, please get in contact with the school either by phone (07366602407) or email (


AS Level Course

The GCE Music qualification is made up of two parts: AS and A2. The AS can be taken as a stand-alone qualification without progression to A2. However, to gain a full GCE, students must complete both parts of the course. After completing their AS course this year, enrolled students will have the option to continue to A2. 


The AS Level course continues the core skills of listening, composing and performing encountered at GCSE. Pupils are free to perform and compose in any style of their choice and on any instrument. GCSE music is not essential but generally, pupils without GCSE music are already competent performers and composers.


The minimum standard for performance is Grade 4 at AS and Grade 5 at A2, though there are additional marks available if more demanding pieces are performed well.


The AS Level Music course builds on the foundation set at GCSE, particularly in the areas of listening, composing and performing. 

AS Music – standalone or 40% of the full A-level in Music

  • AS1  Performance – solo and viva voce (32.5% of AS/13% of A level)

  • AS2  Composition/Composition with Technology and written commentary (32.5% of AS/13% of A level )

  • AS3 Responding to Music – Listening and Written Papers (35% of AS/14% of A level)

    • Music for Orchestra 1700–1900

    • Sacred Vocal Music (Anthems)

    • Secular Vocal Music (Musicals)


The listening and essay writing components are taught as a whole class. Composition is also taught as a class but will be individually supervised by the class teacher and special workshops with composition experts. Much of the practical/performance work is studied with EA peripatetic teachers or private teachers, however, performance workshops and accompanying sessions will take place during the allotted time. 


Class tasks/tests are taken as each topic progresses or is completed and homework is given regularly and pupils are provided with written feedback. The practical component will take place around April/May with the listening and written papers taking place in May/June. Composition is developed as coursework and externally moderated by CCEA. 

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