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 DATE In-school only
  • 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 >