This revised and updated course is designed for all A Level teachers of Music looking for advice and guidance on how to meet the demands of the listening examination and how to prepare your students to achieve the maximum marks they can.

The course includes some practical elements on how to set mock papers and their mark schemes and teachers will take away a range of effective approaches and strategies for working with their students in the preparation for their exam.

Although examples will be based on the Edexcel specifications, the course would be of benefit for teachers teaching other major exam boards.


  • Explore how to achieve excellent results in the examination
  • Embed the teaching of exam techniques to raise standards
  • Develop approaches to improve responses to unfamiliar listening questions
  • Gain new approaches to develop aural analytical skills
  • Learn how to set mock papers and their mark schemes
COURSE DATE In-school only
  • Heads of Music
  • A level Music teachers of all examination boards
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 – 10.45am
Lessons from the 2018 Listening Examinations and how to utilise them for effective teaching

  • An exploration of the key issues arising from the 2018 examinations and what they mean for achieving excellent results
  • Review of the mark schemes

10.45 – 11.05am
Discussion: coffee break

11.05 – 12.00pm
Short Answer Responses and Multiple Choice Questions

  • Practical approaches to appraising and teaching the set works
  • Meeting the demands of the new assessment objectives: justifying opinions to gain the higher marks
  • Teaching listening and writing skills
  • Preparing for the short answer and multiple choice questions

12.00 – 1.00pm
Teaching Dictation Effectively to Improve Aural Skills

  • Practical approaches to teaching dictation and staff notation questions
  • Developing dictation in weaker students
  • Strategies for completing dictation questions in the examination

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 3.10pm
Improving Essay Responses to Unfamiliar Works

  • Understanding the depth of critical response required for section B
  • Understanding the mark scheme and how examiners assess responses
  • Developing writing skills

3.00 – 3.15pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.15 – 3.45pm
Applying Listening Skills in the Examination

  • Embedding exam technique and understanding the questions
  • Improving students’ confidence in aural skills
  • Practical approaches to use when students struggle with listening

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.

View all courses led by Bruce Cole >