Over the last year, we’ve been reviewing our A level Music qualification to make sure we provide the right support for you during an unprecedented time of learning. 

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We reached out to hundreds of A level Music teachers and asked them to share their views on our qualification via our surveys, in addition to a wide number of interviews, and research with stakeholders representing Higher Education, music education, and the wider music industry.

Thank you to all of you who took part.

To address the feedback we received, we’re pleased to share our following next steps in ensuring that we provide the best support for you and your students.

1. Returning Courtney Pine

We announced in Autumn 2020 that we were reviewing the volume of work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and that to do this, we initially reduced the number of set works in our specification. This included the removal of British Jazz artist, Courtney Pine. We recognise that this was the wrong decision to make.

As already communicated in the September update, we will be returning Courtney Pine to the set works for 2022 assessment.

Read the September 2021 update

This means there are 3 set works in the Popular Music and Jazz area of study (AoS). It also returns the genre of Jazz to the AoS (currently just called Popular music).

2. No further changes to the set works
 
We know from our conversations with teachers that more changes to the qualification, specifically to the set works in the short-term, will be challenging to manage.
 
We are not intending to make further changes for 2022. We’ll work with the DfE, Ofqual and other stakeholders on the arrangements for 2022, and share any further updates and information as it becomes available.
 
3. New support for wider listening and set works
 
We’re pleased to announce that the following new support will be available this year:
  • New Teacher Course Planner: demonstrating how to deliver our A Level Music qualification with time to teach all components, and recommendations for the broader study of music.
  •  Free online support events:
    • On Demand training focused on Wider Listening available from the 19 April 
    • On Demand training events focused on Component 3 Question 5 (19 May) and Component 3 Question 6 (19 June), to help all teachers prepare for assessment in 2022 and beyond.

We're fully committed to continually reviewing the support we provide, and ensuring pupils are supported to study music by composers from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

We know there is plenty still to do here, and are committed to listening, learning and working with teachers, learners and the wider music community to get things right.

Join the conversation

To join the conversation and share your feedback and suggestions, please get in touch with our subject advisor, Jeffrey Hole, or complete our short online form.

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