This course is being held Online, over two sessions, 4.00 – 6.00pm on the dates advertised below.

£229.00 for both Sessions

This is an advanced course offering in-depth opportunity for teachers to enrich and enhance their approaches to engaging students effectively and imaginatively in the detail of the music. A course with a different, broader, perspective, the day will also provide opportunity for teachers to take away ideas which will help their students achieve at the highest level.

Sessions will target the analytical and essay skills and knowledge needed for the different Areas of study questions and offer practical advice as to how to implement these within the classroom progressively during the two year linear A Level course. The day includes workshop sessions, designed to help turn theory into practice, in-depth analysis of recent papers, and a Q&A session in order to trouble-shoot explanations for the trickiest areas of set work analysis, unfamiliar music from the areas of study and extended essay writing.

This course offers music teachers the chance to deepen their knowledge of the new set works (AOS 1 Western Classical Music) while at the same time enrich and enhance their approaches to engaging students effectively and imaginatively in the detail of the music. This course will also look at applying these skills to the optional Areas of Study. A course with a different, broader perspective!

  • Strand A: Baroque – the solo concerto
  • Strand B: Classical – the operas of Mozart
  • Strand C: Romantic – the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg


  • Gain tactics for maximising student success and for growing their general musicianship
  • Take away new methods for exploring the areas of study
  • Understand how to engage pupils in the analysis of the AOS 1 Set Works
  • Explore strategies for bridging the knowledge gap between GCSE to AS
  • Gain effective exam techniques, including how to shape preparation and revision
DATE & LOCATION Online | Session 1: Monday 21 June 2021 – 4pm-6pm
Online | Session 2: Tuesday 22 June 2021 – 4pm-6pm
  • Music teachers of all levels of experience
  • Heads of Music looking to change boards
  • Anyone teaching the AQA A Level course
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


Session 1 
Overview of the Exam paper and what is needed to succeed

  • Reflection on the previous exam sessions
  • Structure of the AQA AL Music exam paper
  • Map of the two year teaching course: how to build analytical skills and musical knowledge throughout Y12 and Y13

Analysis Part 1: developing the skills to critically appraise music through analysis

  • Developing, shaping and practising analytical skills, building up technical terms for accurate usage, and discussing harmony, tonality, and texture in complex scores.
  • Contextual understanding – placing the set works in context and shaping transferable knowledge
  • Developing musical language, fluency in score reading and discussing music as a way to help students improve
  • The end game: how to target the likely difficulties in an exam question and score optimal marks

Analysis Part 2: a practical workshop on questions on AO1 set works study: Focussing on Tonality, Harmony and Texture

Examples to be drawn from Strands A, B and C – Baroque solo concerto, Mozart operas, Piano music of Chopin Brahms and Grieg

  • Identifying different ways to appraise a passage; how to vary the method to suit different needs as the AL course progresses
  • Feedback for learning: what to comment on and using key terminology
  • A focus on Section B questions and the key challenge areas – analysing and writing about tonality, harmony and texture
  • Moving forward from analysing one music passage to the next: skills and musical literacy more important than knowledge

Session 2
Analysing Unfamiliar Music: teaching students how to apply their knowledge and skills of particular genres to unfamiliar passages

  • Teaching students how to apply their knowledge and skills of particular genres to unfamiliar passages
  • A focus on Section A contextual questions – what skills and knowledge are required
  • Analysing exemplar responses – extended 10 marks questions

AOS 2 – 7: Practical workshop looking at examples of successful teaching of the optional areas of study, the correct terminology to use, and how to teach students how to apply it

Group workshop on the areas of study you deliver.

  • Examining a variety of approaches to choosing and delivering repertoire
  • Depth vs breadth – how much do students need to know to be successful in Sections A and C
  • Making the knowledge stick!

Preparing for Section C of the paper

  • How to help students apply the appropriate knowledge to the actual question
  • Common pitfalls and how to integrate these into your teaching to help students avoid them
  • Analysing exemplar responses. What does a top band answer look like?

Rachel Tustain

Rachel is an experienced examiner and Leader of Music, with seventeen years teaching and leadership experience in a range of different schools. Rachel has experience of leading outstanding Music Departments in a range of contexts as well as leadership across the Performing Arts. She has experience in teaching KS4 cohorts from 7 students to over 50, with exam results consistently excellent including 100% grade 4+ and 54% achieving grades 8 and 9 in Summer 2018. A level results are equally impressive; 100% grade C and above in 2018. Rachel is also a Principal Examiner and Subject Adviser for one of the main examining boards, and has been involved with CPD for teachers for several years.

View all courses led by Rachel Tustain >