Queen Anne’s School Director of Music John Padley on why Music A level is a sound choice for building transferable skills and diverse career pathways

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the value of A-level Music should not be underestimated, offering students a unique and enriching path, not only to academic success but also a fulfilling career. The skills acquired during A-level Music studies span a wide spectrum, making it an exceptional preparation for life’s challenges and further education.

Music at this level is a gateway to honing analytical skills that are essential across various domains of life. In-depth analysis of the intricate world of complex musical compositions, learning to dissect scores and extract pertinent details. This skill becomes a valuable tool for problem-solving and effective data management. In an increasingly data-driven world, this ability is an asset in any career path.

Universities worldwide recognise the value of this subject when reviewing applications. Even in seemingly unrelated fields such as medicine it is recognised. It gives students good ‘soft’ skills, including empathy, teamwork and discipline, that are indispensable in healthcare and many other professions. It also challenges students to delve deep into their studies, fostering a love for learning and discovery.

A recent study has ranked A-level Music as the sixth most challenging subject, underscoring its intellectual rigour. Engaging with such demanding coursework prepares students for the requirements of higher education and the professional world. It cultivates resilience and determination – qualities that are vital in any career.

“The UK’s music industry, contributing £4 billion to the economy in 2021, is one of our biggest export industries”

Music scholarships for Sixth Form not only celebrate outstanding musical talent but also dedication to learning and a commitment to contribute to the musical community. Schools such as Queen Anne’s recognise this dedication and offer an array of performance opportunities, support, and a nurturing environment. With more than 45 concerts and events throughout the year, including at prestigious locations such as Westminster Abbey – and with opportunities on international tours – scholarship students receive a well-rounded musical education.

Beyond musical proficiency, A-level Music equips students with the essential skill of managing performance anxiety and tension. This skill is not confined to the stage; it is a transferable asset in the professional world, enabling individuals to handle high-pressure situations with grace and confidence. The qualification does not just lead to a career as a performer or teacher, it opens doors to a whole range of careers in business, events management, studio production, television, film and gaming industries. The UK’s music industry, contributing £4 billion to the economy in 2021, is one of our biggest export industries.

Recent graduates from Queen Anne’s School have secured scholarships at esteemed institutions – including Berklee College of Music in the USA – and gained admission to prestigious universities such as Oxford, Durham, Southampton, Trinity College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Music A level is a path to a harmonious and promising future. Its importance should never be underestimated.

Queen Anne’s School qas.org.uk

Further reading: Gordon’s School on the co-curricular advantage