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Music Performance – Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

Music is constantly evolving, inspiring creativity and expression in a way that no other subject can. The BTEC Subsidiary (A-level equivalent) in Music brings listening, performance and composition to life in new and engaging ways, and links to the world around us like never before.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: A Levels
School Leaver - Academic
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: N
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

This course is for students who love to perform and have a passion for music performance.

The qualification is non-linear, which means that students will submit performances and course work throughout the year.

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English Language at grade 5 (C/B).

You will be required to play an instrument or be able to deliver vocals at an intermediate level.

A recent school report will be required which demonstrates a committed attitude to learning.

It is assumed that students will enrol on a two-year A-level programme of study consisting of three or more subjects. However, students will be expected to demonstrate a committed attitude to learning and make positive progress in their first year of study.

The BTEC Subsidiary (A-level equivalent) in Music focuses on developing and applying musical knowledge, understanding and skills to enable you to form a personal and meaningful relationship with music. You will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.

The course aims to develop your own strengths and interests, encourage lifelong learning and provide access to higher education and university degree courses in music and music-related subjects as well as music-related and other careers.

The subject content is divided into five components:

Appraising music

Students will be assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate their development within rehearsal sessions and performances, and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of musical elements and musical language to make critical reflections.


Each student will have the opportunity to perform in multiple assessed scenarios which include solo performance, ensemble performance, studio and close microphone performance and workshops alongside industry professionals.


Students will be assessed through presentations and critical analysis of a variety of genres and settings. This will utilise skills in PowerPoint and presenting to an audience.

Articles and essays

Students will be asked to write or create articles and essays which analyse musical genres, ensembles and musical approaches. These written elements will directly relate to the performance aspects tied into the modules.

Major project

Students will participate in creating an event for the public which will involve performing a technical as well as a creative role in producing a successful event. Students will be taught about the various roles within the music industry and then apply, through research and analysis, the chosen roles for their creative musical project.

This course will be delivered on-site at the Joseph Wright Centre. You will study in rehearsal rooms where you will work as part of ensembles or as solo instrumentalists, in addition to seminar style lessons.

You will need a pair of headphones and earplugs plus your instrument of choice. A specialist list of resources will be supplied.

Each year is split into three modules, each weighted at 1/6 of your overall grade over the two-year course.

Component 1: Appraising music

What is assessed:

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding

How it is assessed:

  • Creative digital diary or journal

Component 2: Performance

What is assessed:

  • Music performance

How it is assessed:

  • Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist

Component 3: Presentation

What is assessed:

  • Description, explanation and analysis

How it is assessed:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentation

Component 4: Articles and essays

What is assessed:

  • Description, explanation and analysis

How it is assessed:

  • Article or essay created in Microsoft Word

Component 5: Major project

What is assessed:

  • Ability to perform a technical and musical role to a professional standard
  • Description, explanation and analysis of the project
  • Time management and ability to assign and stick to deadlines
  • Evaluation of the project

How it is assessed:

  • Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist
  • Performing a technical role
  • Creative digital diary or journal
  • Written evaluation in Microsoft Word

The BTEC Subsidiary (A-level equivalent) in Music supports progression to higher education in music and related subjects, as well as providing you with a platform to inspire a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of music.

For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or or contact the course leader


Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering the curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...




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Course Information Last Updated On: July 6, 2022 4:04 pm