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The course at SJR allows all students to achieve well and is part of an outstanding department in an outstanding College. Music at St John Rigby College will include studies of performance and composition alongside analytical studies of music from Western Classical Music, Music for Media and Contemporary Traditional Music.

All students are offered individual lessons on their primary instrument with outstanding peripatetic musicians employed in the department for the study of performance practice.

Specific course entry requirements

College entry plus either:

  • GCSE Music (minimum grade 4)
  • Grade 5 in an instrument
  • Grade 5 in music theory
  • Related experience of music inside/outside of school
  • By audition

How will I be assessed?

Performance and composition are both practical assessments. Performance is 35% of your final mark and composition is 25% of your final grade. 40% of your grade is from a two-and-a-half-hour examination at the end of year 2.

What will I study?

Within performance, students will create and perform a recital of eleven minutes of music on their chosen instrument(s). The recital will be at the end of the second year with weekly performances and instrumental lessons to help build towards this throughout your time at College.

Composition will include two pieces of music that you will write yourself. One of these will be a free composition where you can choose the style and the other is a composition to a brief set by the exam board. Work for this unit is supported by 1:1 tuition and composition master classes.

In music analysis, you will be asked to listen to, and analyse, a range of instrumental and vocal music from different genres and traditions. You will need to write stylistic analyses of musical works based on scores you have studied and unseen works.

Where will this course lead me?

Due to the transferable skills that music offers, it is a highly regarded course for Higher Education institutions. Students progress to study Music and Music Technology at university and many are invited to apply for a conservatoire for further study of this specialist subject. Through our Maestro Programme, we work in partnership with many prestigious universities as well as the Royal Northern College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire.

Other career pathways from studying music related course have included:

History, Management, Digital Marketing, Cosmology, Engineering, Computing Forensics, Music Therapy, Veterinary Nursing and Pharmaceutical Science.

Students have gone on to study at Salford, Derby, Huddlesfield,Edge Hill, Bath, York, London School of Music Theatre, Guildford and Birmingham.

Music, Acting, English Literature
Student learning

Nurturing rising talent

Our Elective Programme is designed to help you develop your gifts and interests as part of an enhanced level 3 programme. We will help you realise your potential by nurturing your talent and preparing you for study at the most prestigious universities or for progression to competitive higher-level apprenticeships. Your options range from our Honours Programme, which might include following a fourth A level, to specialist Futures Programmes that will support your career goals.

Level 2 entry requirements

If you’re not quite ready to start on a Level 3 Technical course (T Levels) or a Vocational Level 3 course (BTEC) but want to begin on the path to your chosen career, the Transition Programme could be for you.  

Transition Programmes are tailored to prepare students to move onto Technical or Vocational Level 3 study. They will give you the opportunity to improve your English and Maths, your work readiness skills and introduce you to the technical skills and concepts that you will need for future study and employment. 

As part of the Transition Programme you will study a BTEC Level 2 Award in your chosen subject area as well as the BTEC Level 2 Extended Award in Work Skills. You will also have the opportunity to resit GCSE English and/or Maths if you have not yet achieved a grade 4. 

Entry criteria for Transition Programmes is four grade 3s including grade 3s in English Language and Maths GCSE.

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