The aim of this course is to give you practical ideas and strategies for teaching outstanding music lessons that are engaging, challenging and motivational for all students. The course will particularly focus on how able Music students can secure A and A* grades at A Level.


  • Discuss in detail the elements that make outstanding A Level Music lessons
  • Develop engaging and challenging strategies for teaching at A Level
  • Discover the difference between B, A and A* in performance, composition and appraising
  • Learn how best to support students as they prepare for university interviews
  • Find out how to help an already musical student develop their potential


COURSE DATES London Wednesday 21 November 2018
London Friday 01 February 2019
  • Teachers of A Level Music
  • Teachers of able Music students
  • Teachers who want their students to gain top grades
  • Teachers who are preparing Music students for top university/conservatoire courses
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
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues



10.00 – 10.30am: Overview, principles and practicalities of outstanding teaching

  • Identifying the essentials of outstanding A Level Music teaching and learning
  • Effective differentiation to challenge the very able students in the group
  • Planning for success – how to structure your course to maximise the chances for top grades

10.30 – 11.10am: Performance – getting the best out of students

  • Gaining top marks in A level performance
  • Taking students beyond A level – preparation for auditions and ensemble experience
  • It’s not just about playing an instrument – the all-round performer

11.10 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break


11.30 – 12.45pm: Developing High Level Composition Skills

  • Deconstructing the high scoring composition
  • Balancing originality with exam board criteria
  • Challenging and engaging composition ideas to extend the more able students to attain top marks
  • Outstanding lessons in A Level composition – top tips

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch and informal discussion


1.45 – 3.00pm: Developing High Level Listening and Appraising Skills

  • Teaching inspiring lessons that integrate core musical skills and get students to think for themselves
  • Balancing clarity with challenge – embedding challenge for the able learner
  • Strategies to extend students’ listening experience – challenging their boundaries
  • Teaching set works with rigour and student engagement

3.00 – 3.10pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.10 – 3.45pm: Preparing Students for Examinations and Beyond

  • Preparing for exam questions – the art of prediction!
  • Developing exam technique and making revision more effective
  • Is your able student Oxbridge or Conservatoire material?
  • Supporting students in their university applications

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.

View all courses led by Simon Rushby >