This course is designed for all teachers of A level Music, including those who have recently moved from GCSE to A level Music teaching. The course will explore a range of teaching approaches, techniques and strategies to improve attainment for successful outcomes in Listening and Appraising.

You will explore a range of teaching methods that emphasise the connections between listening, analysis and harmony work; allowing students to develop both the skills and knowledge required to respond successfully to exam questions on musical style, prescribed works and wider repertoire. Resources, alongside practical work on the day, will help you to quickly and effectively incorporate these methods into your own teaching.


  • Discover new teaching methods that will support student progress in listening, analysis and harmony
  • Develop strategies to improve student attainment and confidence in appraising papers
  • Learn new methods to support weaker students and to stretch the more able
  • Discover creative ways to incorporate wider repertoire into your Scheme of Work
  • Take away resources that you can use in your own teaching
COURSE DATES London | Monday 11 November 2019
  • Heads of Music
  • Teachers of A Level Music
  • Teachers of Post-16 Music courses
  • Teachers teaching A Level or Pre-U Music for the first time
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 – 11.15am
Listening, Harmony and Analysis: Exploring the Connections to Further Understanding

  • Reviewing the skills that our students need to demonstrate in the appraising exam
  • Identifying the key challenges of delivering outstanding appraising lessons: how can we overcome them?
  • Reviewing examiner feedback to inform our planning: which question types do students find most challenging?

10.30 – 11.10pm
Exploring Analytical Vocabulary and Musical Style

  • Reviewing the core technical vocabulary: what do our students need to know?
  • Exploring practical strategies that promote a musical understanding of the key terms
  • Using wider repertoire to explore musical devices and stylistic features
  • Preparing resources that promote effective engagement with the core styles, and provide opportunities to practise exam technique

11.10 – 11.30am
Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.15pm
Listening and Analysis: Approaches to Harmony 

  • Exploring longer-term teaching strategies that provide an understanding of harmonic function
  • Helping students to identify more complex progressions in the prescribed works
  • Approaches to the chromatic chords
  • Using listening and practical activities to support weaker students and to stretch the most able

12.15 – 1.00pm
Teaching the Prescribed Works 

  • Approaches to analysis: Ensure that your students fully engage with the prescribed works
  • Choosing wider repertoire that provides a good introduction to your prescribed works
  • What makes a strong A level set works essay response? How can we build up to this?

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 2.30pm
Developing High Level Listening Skills

  • Developing a cumulative approach to improve aural awareness and exam success
  • Exploring approaches to dictation questions
  • Getting the most out of class singing

2.30 – 3.10pm
Exploring Context

  • Reviewing how contextual knowledge is assessed – what do students need to know?
  • Exploring effective ways to integrate contextual study into your listening and analysis lessons
  • Reviewing the impact of specific historical events, and social and cultural movements, on composers, performers, and the core musical styles

3.10 – 3.15pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.15 – 3.45pm
Preparing for the Listening and Appraising Exam

  • Reviewing common question types in appraising papers
  • Planning effective extended responses
  • Practising comparison questions
  • Referring effectively to wider repertoire in Appraising exams

Andrew Williams

Andrew is currently Head of Aural and Musicianship at the RCM Junior Department, and he teaches Academic Music at the Purcell School. Previously Head of Music at a high-performing grammar school, Andrew has significant experience in preparing academically and musically gifted students for GCSE and A Level Music.

View all courses led by Andrew Williams >