This NEW conference, is designed in the light of the 2018 examinations. The revamped conference will focus on challenging areas, how to boost grades and how to meet the demands of the questions for examination success in 2019.

This conference will provide students with practical, engaging and motivational revision ideas and techniques, as well as important lessons learned about examination technique and what the examiners are looking for in A Level Music. Throughout the day, students will work with examiners and expert practitioners with a focus on improving their grades. The conference will be of benefit to students of all the major A Level Music examining boards, as it will help students develop further their performing, composing, listening and exam writing skills.


  • Find out examiners and expert practitioners how to maximise marks in all areas of the A Level Music assessments
  • Take away excellent ideas on how to write about music and improve your responses to different types of exam questions
  • Benefit from lively presentations and an interactive day with LIVE performances
  • Enjoy the opportunity to ask questions of leading composers and experts
  • Take away a full set of revision notes, with example answers
CONFERENCE DATE In school only
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference


10.30 – 10.35am
Introduction and Welcome

10.35 – 11.15am
Feedback from 2018 – what were the examiners looking for in the written papers?

  • The examiner’s perspective: what examiners are looking for in each component – an overview
  • How to answer longer answer questions well: ideas for good structure and what differentiates across the ability range
  • Marking exercise for the students with a focus on key areas in which students lost marks in 2018

11.15 – 12.00pm
Linking your listening to your composing

  • Why listening is crucial to being a successful composer
  • Expert strategies and ideas for improving the quality of compositions
  • Applying classical composition techniques to pop and jazz – and vice versa

12.00 – 12.15pm

12.15 – 1.00pm
Achieving in the listening exam

  • Listening questions on familiar and unfamiliar music – what is the best way to prepare?
  • How to develop aural skills in melody and harmony
  • Expert advice on how to improve your listening skills for A Level Music
  • Widening your experience – how to become better at hearing the right things

1.00 – 1.30pm

1.30 – 1.45pm
Live student performance

(if you wish your students to be involved in this, please contact Keynote on 01625 532 974)

1.45 – 2.30pm
Developing Outstanding compositions

  • Getting started and dealing with problems when composing
  • How to keep a composition developing – expert advice and guidance
  • The key tips and tricks for developing musical ideas
  • How to get the best marks for composition

2.30 – 3.15pm
Performance – what gets the best marks

  • Examples of grade A/A*, grade C and grade E performances to demonstrate what differentiates between the levels
  • What are the examiners looking for and how to meet it
  • Producing a convincing sense of style
  • What is an excellent technical command of a voice/instrument – how to meet the criteria

3.15 – 3.35pm
Final preparation for assessment

  • How to be as informed as possible about a wide range of music and how that helps improve performance across the assessments
  • Top tips in preparation for the exams
  • Live student performance as the conference closes

Bruce Cole

Bruce is Fellow in Community Music at the University of York, where he is responsible for programmes of student of work in schools and other community settings. He has also been external examiner and consultant in music education to institutions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Middle East, Japan and Africa. A composer, who has worked in the music industry, concert hall, theatre and film and with the education departments of many orchestras, he has taught at most levels from preschool to postgraduate including teacher training, special education and prison education. He has held two residencies in London schools, authored and co–authored six books on school music and has eighteen years examining experience at a senior level.

Simon Rushby

Simon has been Director of Music in two independent schools for fifteen years and has helped many students gain places at Oxbridge and in major conservatoires worldwide. Simon is also an ABRSM examiner and writes books and online resources for major publishers; he is also a composer and performer and has been an Assistant Head and a Principal Examiner for A Level Music.

Students £25+VAT

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