“Guitar is the best form of self-expression I know. Everything else, and I'm just sort of tripping around, trying to figure my way through life.” - Slash
The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments available. This musical instrument is simple, effective, and more affordable than others. You can use it to play modern music without having to attend a music school or conservatoire, like you may have to if you’re learning to play the violin, trombone, or even the trumpet. That said, if you do want to study music and playing the guitar, you could always study music at GCSE and A Level to learn more about the guitar.
The number of students taking music at GCSE has dropped by 22% since the start of the decade and by 6% since last year. At GCSE, the numbers have dropped 38% this decade and by 2% this year. That said, music at GCSE and A Level might be worth considering if you want to improve your guitar playing.
In our third article on learning to play the guitar for less, let’s have a look at how you can study music and guitar while you're still able to get an education for free at school by studying music at A Level.
Learning the Guitar: Studying Music at A Level
An A Level in music is the obvious choice for those wanting to learn at university. Of course, you may be tempted to study a foreign language, maths, the humanities, or the sciences instead. While studying A Level music won’t be a guitar tutorial each lesson, you’ll be able to regularly practise your musical instrument in group classes with teachers who can help you improve your understanding of music theory thanks to the instruction from your music teacher.
Additionally, this is more than just an introduction to music throughout the year. As its name indicates, studying A Level music can help you get that coveted A Level qualification in music. You’ll be tested and your grades will be determined by your understanding of music, how you can play your given instrument, and your ability to compose music. While it can be stressful, it’s a good way to improve your playing.
Whatever you study at A Level, it’ll usually be because you want to pursue a career in a similar field in the future. This means that learning music will be more usually for a career in the creative arts rather than in the sciences. You’ll need to decide if that’s something you’d like to do, of course. If you're set on a career in the sciences, you probably don't want to take on the extra work of studying music when you should be focusing on scientific subjects like maths, physics, biology, or chemistry, for example.
If you take A Level music, you’ll need to understand music and be able to perform it. For example, the AQA A Level music has three main components to it: Appraising music, performance, and composition. The appraising music component is an exam paper with a listening section, an analysis section, and an essay.
The second component includes 10 minutes of performance either as a soloist or a group. You can play an instrument, sing, or produce music via technology.
The final component is composition. This part includes composing music to a brief and a free composition.
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Why You Should Study Music at A Level
Let’s have a look at what the benefits are of studying A Level music. In fact, there are a lot of benefits, but let’s move away from the obvious benefits it'll have on your guitar playing as that’s not the only reason to learn music at A Level. There are also the following benefits of studying music at A Level:
- You could start learning a new musical instrument
- You can benefit from learning from talented teachers
- You can benefit from learning from professional musicians
- You can get music lessons focusing on getting a career in music
- You can improve your understanding of music
- You can play a variety of different musical styles from classical music to film scores
- You can meet other musicians wanting to learn more about music
- You can bring together singing and your instrument playing to become a more complete musician
- You can learn about the history of music
- And many more!
As you’ll have understood, studying music at A Level is a great way to improve your guitar playing (or any other instrument). The good thing about the guitar, however, is that you can take it anywhere and play it almost anywhere. Your musical education will also benefit from the fact that you play such an accessible instrument.
Mastering the Guitar with A Level Music
This is one of the biggest benefits of studying A Level music, you don’t have to be a master of the guitar when you start studying it. In fact, since you can play different instruments as part of A Level music, guitar players will study alongside students who play piano, accordion, percussion, drums, or violin, for example. That said, the guitar is one of the instruments that you can play while singing, something that brass and woodwind players can only dream of.
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What’s better than being a well-rounded musician who can sing and play guitar at the same time?
You’ll need to understand harmony, melody, and a variety of different musical concepts, which is why you may need to enlist the help of a private tutor. That said, this is also something that’ll you can benefit from if you study music at A Level, too.
The main difference between these two options is that during your A Level lessons, you’ll be in a group with other students and musicians. At these moments, anything is possible for a budding guitarist and they can express themselves with like-minded individuals.
Be it through classical music, jazz, chamber music, or rock, stringed instruments like the guitar are always welcome, especially when it comes to A Level music. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can benefit from it.
Did you know that there are also free guitar lessons available for those on a budget?
Studying Music at A Level: Guitar for Everyone
One of the biggest advantages of studying music at A Level is that it’ll open your mind. After all, schools are centres for learning. The very reason you attend school is to learn.
What's better than going to school to learn a musical instrument and getting tested on your abilities?
Unlike in maths, English, or science, guitar lessons for beginners and playing a musical instrument are a great way to improve your creativity and get you used to playing. It’s an enjoyable activity that will also help you improve and pass your exams!
It’s a fact that anyone can play guitar and, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, it’ll open the doors to creativity, improve your musical abilities, and help you pass your A Level music exams. You’ll be supported by your A Level teacher through both years of your study and their role is to ensure that their students improve their musical abilities and unleash their talent. In short, it’s great!
As you can see, you can learn a lot about music and playing the guitar by studying A Level music. With the right sheet music, a stimulating study environment, and a good teacher, you can bet that you’ll improve. Whether you play folk music, jazz, or rock ‘n’ roll, studying music at A Level will help you become a better musician in just two years of study.
If you don't want to attend a school of music or study music GCSE or A Level, you can always take your music education elsewhere. You can get private lessons and music tuition from a private tutor. In fact, this type of music instruction is available for music students of all ages, regardless of their experience with music or the instrument they play.
You can always get in touch with the private tutors on Superprof where you can get music classes, piano lessons, or learn to play the saxophone, clarinet, keyboard, cello, ukulele, flute, etc. With your own instructor to teach you music, any budding musician can become exactly the type of performer they want to become, broaden their repertoire, or prepare for an audition.
Tutors don't just offer private tutorials for beginners. There are also instrumental workshops, ear training sessions, and even online private tutorials where you're taught by a tutor over webcam.
If you want to learn more about playing the guitar and buying them, you should consider attending guitar shows.
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