DD's A level choices

(14 Posts)
ifonly4 Mon 17-Oct-16 10:31:13

DD wants to be a music performer, if this doesn't work giving individual music tuition or perhaps a secondary school teacher mainly teaching music.

If she stays at her current school, she was thinking of taking music (obviously), English Literature (she enjoys books), Geography which she loves, has a real interest in and is good at) and photography (she would this at AS - she enjoys art but doesn't feel she has a natural flair for it). However, she might considered philosophy whichs she finds easy or possibly biology. If she stays at this school, what are others thoughts on choices?

However, we are considering another school option and she would need to choose three A levels in December. She would choose music, geography and english lit. However, school have pointed out that philosophy is a good one to take alongside English Lit. Has anyone got any comments on this?

Either way, she plans to taking a diploma in her main instrument alongside A levels, which the second school are totally able to support.

Just wondering if anyone has any comments on choices for either school and what she'd like to do in the future.

LIZS Mon 17-Oct-16 10:39:23

I would have thought biology might be useful for a music teacher. Having said this dd is considering speech therapy as one of her longer term options but we didn't feel the syllabus really added much to gcse biology/human biology and most postgrad qualifications don't require it.

OutDamnedWind Mon 17-Oct-16 10:59:00

They all sound like a good set of options - music being a natural choice. English Lit and Geography are both 'strong' choices and fairly broad if she did change her mind in pursuing music.

The only thing she wouldn't have is any Maths/Sciences. I could be talking out of my backside, but I was under the impression that maths could be really quite helpful to pursuing music at degree level? (Trying to remember what my music friends did!)

TranquilityofSolitude Mon 17-Oct-16 11:09:42

I think they're all good options. It's worth remembering that if you have an A level in a subject and qualify as a teacher you can teach that subject up to GCSE. In that sense Philosophy might be a better option than Photography in that it gives her more options if one of the other subjects doesn't work out and she needs to continue with than one after Yr12.

DD1 did English Lit, Philosophy, Geography & Sociology at AS. She always intended to drop Sociology but ended up dropping English as she really didn't enjoy the books they'd chosen to study.

Enidblyton1 Mon 17-Oct-16 11:30:48

Music, Geog and Eng lit sounds like a great combination.
Philosophy would go nicely with Eng lit. However, Geog or Biology would give her a broader base of experience and might leave more options open for other careers should she move away from music.
Ultimately though, they are all good solid subjects, so perhaps she should just pick what she loves the most.

bojorojo Tue 18-Oct-16 04:39:27

If she opts for a conventional music degree there are usually modules which include the history of music, musical analysis and essay writing. Therefore any A level that includes research and writing essays would be helpful. Not sure what Conservatoires want!

SuperPug Mon 24-Oct-16 22:36:35

Do you mean Philosophy A Level or Religious A Level which has a Philosophy module? Both have undergone significant changes due to the reform. There is a huge jump from G.C.S.E. and it challenges the brightest students- despite a misconception that it will be easy.
Combined with A Level R.S. or Philosophy, this is a great combination of A Levels. It also offers her other choices, if she changes her degree choice.
I would be inclined to recommend Music Technology if it was possible to take it? I'm not sure how the universities she may consider will view this?

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 24-Oct-16 22:39:04

From the point of view of a parent of a Y12 student, I would suggest she does the subjects that she finds most enjoyable / interesting.

Creatureofthenight Mon 24-Oct-16 22:40:20

If she's going to either uni or conservatoire to do music it doesn't matter too much what she does alongside her music A level, so she should pick what she enjoys.
Out I did music at uni and have A level maths, don't recall the maths ever coming in handy!

Shadowboy Mon 24-Oct-16 22:44:43

What's her GCSE profile? The linear biology A level is very taxing and really requires a student with a sound interest in the subject and good maths. Geography is a good choice (but then I'm biased) and will sit well with English Lit. Geography requires a lot more essay writing than many realise!

I would recommend that her 4th subject is something she enjoys as well as is capable of.

HardcoreLadyType Mon 24-Oct-16 22:47:37

I know someone who is currently studying music at Cambridge.

He did Music, English Lit, Art, and Drama, and dropped Drama at A2. He got a comparatively low offer (AAA or maybe A*AA) so I would guess those subjects weren't a problem for him.

If she wants to study Music, then really just make sure that one other is a facilitating subject. So, either English or geography would be fine. Or both, if she likes them both.

Frazzled2207 Mon 24-Oct-16 22:55:16

Music grad here. Really don't think it matters too much she should just do what she'd enjoy most.

OutDamnedWind Tue 25-Oct-16 08:10:44

Creature Good to know grin I am unmusical in the extreme.

INeedNewShoes Tue 25-Oct-16 08:23:04

I would agree with pp who said that an essay-based A level is useful preparation for a music degree where essay writing will feature.

Physics is useful from an acoustics point of view but absolutely not necessary.

I'm a portfolio musician (make a living doing a combination of music editing, piano teaching, music typesetting, and a little playing). My music degree was obviously hugely useful and my French A level happened to come in handy as I've fallen into editing French music. My other A level was Psychology and there happened to be cross over with a performance psychology module in my degree which stood me in good stead.
I chose my A levels based purely on what I thought I'd enjoy. My hunch is that the process and discipline of taking any A level subject is useful preparation for any degree or career.

If there's any chance at all your DD might want to study music technology then Physics and Maths A level are often prerequisites.

On her career choice, obviously it's not a financially secure path to take but I know lots of musicians who are making a living from music. Flexibility, hard work and determination and she should be fine.

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