This NEW conference for 2020 will provide students with a motivational, informative and valuable revision day.  Specially designed by current examiners for students studying with all of the examination boards, the day will give your students expert guidance and examples on how to improve their performance in all their examinations including the Listening exam, Composition and Performance, and will assist them in producing examination answers of the highest levels. The conference isn’t board specific and is relevant for all of the awarding bodies.


  • A NEW A Level Music conference for 2020, with new speakers and LIVE student performances
  • Reinforce and expand students’ understanding and knowledge of the key areas to focus on in Appraising work
  • Take away a range of approaches for writing convincing, musical, compositions and refining them to maximize your composition marks
  • Increase your students’ understanding of what the examiners are actually looking for
  • Find out how to access the top marks in all the components
  • Interactive sessions, examples, the specification brought to life in engaging sessions
  • Take away a new set of notes which give good revision advice and demonstrates the levels required for success
DATE & LOCATION London | Thursday 28 January 2021
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference

*Venues are subject to change dependent on student numbers


10.25 – 10.30am
Welcome and introductions

10.30 – 11.10 am
Achieving in the Listening Exam

  • Applying technical vocabulary concisely
  • Important tips for recognizing usual and less usual progressions, steps, how to identify and recognize  the difference
  • Aiming for full marks on the dictation question – developing listening skills to achieve well in this question
  • Identifying and fostering aural chord and cadence recognition, including chromatic chords
  • Identifying cadences and spotting modulations as preparation for listening examinations
  • Understanding the flow of harmonic progressions to confidently analyse harmonic progressions
  • Answering questions about pitch intervals
  • Examples of good and less good responses

11.10 – 11.40pm
Analysis: Unfamiliar Music

  • Concise and precise – the importance of using musical vocabulary accurately – examples, key pointers, significant points
  • Effective ways to structure your answers
  • What does it sound like? What to listen out for in harmonic progressions
  • How to discuss specifically harmony, tonality and texture in music extracts
  • Common sources of confusion
  • Grade A/A* answers/examples
  • Writing short listening questions
  • Maximising marks on the longer, high mark, questions

11.40 – 12.00pm

12.00– 12.40pm
Essays & Extended Responses

  • Deciphering essay questions – adapting knowledge to the question – demonstration of extracts gone though in detail
  • Scaffolding and planning essays to access the highest marks –what really works
  • Examples to review of mid and high quality writing
  • How to write about music well and with authority – examples to make
  • Making perceptive and mark awarding music comparisons – examples to mark, review

12.40  – 1.20pm

1.20 – 12.35pm
LIVE Student Performance

If you would like your students to perform in the conference, please call Keynote on 01625 532974

1.25 – 2.10pm
Composition: Chorales

  • Musicality, musicianship, the flow of the lines – what the Chorale is all about and how to write a successful one
  • Demonstrations and examples worked through in detail of showing a secure command of harmony in both major and minor keys
  • Examples of using chromatic chords in chorales with ease and for good musical effect
  • Designing a successful tonal strategy, with appropriate modulations
  • Successful part-writing with good choice of harmony
  • What counts as an outstanding, ‘singable’ bass line?
  • Examples of an A/A* , C and E grade chorale composition

2.10 – 2.50
Compositions: Writing to a Brief Successfully

  • What counts as a good composition to a brief? Examples of good structure, conveying the character of the brief, flow – how to response successfully
  • Exploring examples of creating imaginative melodies, with strong shape and direction
  • Exploring how to create atmosphere, moods and characters
  • Exploring how to achieve real musical development
  • Examples of High quality responses which take hold of the original idea and create a musically intelligent, convincing and flowing work

2.50 – 3.20pm

  • What makes a successful A/A* performance at A level?
  • Where students can slip down from an A.A* to a B
  • Explorations of Musical/Expressive Control, at grades E, C and A/A*
  • Explorations of Technical Control at grades E, C and A/A*

3.20 – 3.25
Final Top Tips and LIVE Student Performance

  • Top tips in preparation for the exams
  • Live student performance as the conference closes

Rachel Tustain

Rachel is an experienced Senior Examiner and Subject Adviser for a major awarding body and Leader of Music. Rachel has experience of leading outstanding Music Departments in a range of contexts as well as leadership across the Performing Arts. Her students achieve impressive examination results, including 100% gaining Grade C and above in summer 2018.

Chris Fish

Chris is an Experienced Senior Examiner and A level Adviser with a leading examination board. He is Head of Academic Music at a leading London day school with 95% of A Level  students gaining grades A/A* and B over the past five years. He is the author of textbooks including AQA AS and A level Music Listening Tests (Rhinegold, 2018) and AQA AS & A level Anthology of Music (Faber, 2016). Chris is the founder of Passing Notes Education, a provider of resources to Music teachers and his compositions and arrangements have been performed on national television and radio. He leads his acclaimed barbershop quartet, www.barbershopogram.co.uk.

Students £25+VAT

One free teacher place for every 10 student places
Additional teachers £35+VAT
Individual teachers £80+VAT