At Ashbourne we see high standards of performance and practical music making as the means to
academic excellence both in college and beyond A levels.
A level Music at Ashbourne offers students a great opportunity to explore their cultural interests, to combine creativity with performance and to develop a strong grounding in musical history and analysis.
Music syllabus and examinations
Ashbourne follows to the AQA syllabus which tests music appraisal (40%), performance (35%),
and composition (25%).
Over the course of the A level students are expected to draw on musical repertoire that they are
already familiar with. This may be from their music GCSE or from their own playing. More information on the syllabus can be found here.
Ashbourne boasts a variety of musical ensembles, including a choir, regular chamber groups
and a House Band, as well as other ensembles set up by students amongst themselves. These
ensembles provide an opportunity for both music students and non-music students to perform together on a regular basis. We actively encourage students to play together in a manner that is teacher lead and student driven. Groups are given the opportunity to perform throughout the year in both formal and more informal settings.
Ashbourne puts on a variety of musical events and concerts throughout the year, most notably the Ashbourne Revue and the Creative Arts Event. Students also perform twice yearly in concerts at St. Mary Abbotts Church. These events provide an opportunity for students to showcase their hard work individually or as an ensemble.
Ashbourne music students
Ashbourne has welcomed many accomplished musicians through its door and has helped them move on to a variety of musical career pathways. These include studying music at Conservatoire level, music at degree level, music production, music with physics, and even taking time out from education to produce a crowdfunded musical. Find out what students have to say about studying Music at Ashbourne.