Composition Pathway

The Composition pathway allows learners to develop a comprehensive portfolio of work that is informed by a wide range of musical styles. Learners are equipped with a grounding in specific arranging and orchestration techniques for media, and have options to focus on lyrics, general musicianship, and using DAWs to foster creative independence.

Learners will demonstrate:

  • Compose and arrange music
  • Initiate and develop repertoire
  • Develop musicianship skills through use of a harmony-based instrument
  • Use recording and sequencing software/hardware
  • Understand contextual issues relating to music style, audience and the music industry

Unit example: Solo Music Composition
The aim of this unit is to develop a learner’s own compositional style and identity through the creation of a cohesive body of work. The purpose of this unit is to facilitate the development of a coherent set of original material for performance or recording, reflective of a profound, analytical understanding of the learner’s own musical context.

Unit Example: Arranging Music (Orchestration)
This unit aims to develop a sound understanding of the technical and musical aspects of arranging music for large ensembles in a defined musical style, focusing on the use of instrumentation. The unit will provide learners with an opportunity to identify, explore and arrange music through developing their knowledge of instrumentation in arranging music for large ensembles, and combining elements to one single reduction. This will facilitate an awareness of convention and of the potential for creative treatment of the orchestra and instrumentation more broadly.

Skill Unit Example: Composing Music for Media Destinations
Music has been a necessary part of multimedia for many years, from advert hooks to TV themes, to films, games and ringtones. The skills to compose music for these applications is a key factor in employment, which is growing as adverts become more ubiquitous and the proliferation of new TV and social media channels and programming increases. Learners can assess and develop the skills needed to create music for media while also learning other skills that relate to the use of technology, editing, sound design, arranging and orchestration.

Unit Example: Using a Keyboard with a DAW
This unit aims to develop the student’s knowledge of music theory and application in relation to working with a digital audio workstation (DAW), facilitating the development of music and technology skills needed to increase the efficiency of a learner’s workflow, while developing their ability to construct different musical parts. The purpose of the unit is to help the learner seamlessly be able to create and edit music with a DAW. The learner will benefit from increased music theory and music technology knowledge and good hands-on experience of using them side by side with a DAW.

Digital Files

For the RSL shop we’ve chosen the most widely used media for ease of use and flexibility when transferring across different devices.

Every complete digital book (e.g. Electric Guitar Grade 1) includes:

  • PDF sheet music
  • MP3 audio
  • Supporting tests

Download Limits

We know downloading digital content can be frustrating at times which is why we’ve given you multiple chances to download your audio and sheet music.

Each complete digital book purchased includes:

  • 5 audio downloads
  • 3 sheet music downloadsThis means if you misplace your content, or if your download times-out, you’ll still have plenty of attempts to download your content.

Purchase Options

1. Hard Copy

The hard copy or paperback version can be purchased from our shop for shipping to the UK. Orders for shipping to other countries can be placed via The paperback version includes everything you need for your exam in one essential book, including sheet music, a code for access to MP3 audio and complete supporting tests.

2. Digital Download (where applicable)

Digital downloads is the most popular way of purchasing and downloading a Rockschool book, track or supporting test. Rockschool digital book downloads come complete with PDF sheet music, MP3 audio and supporting tests for instant accessibility on all your favourite devices.

Note: Digital sheet music is stamped with your email address and order number.

3. Digital Download + E-Book Access

The RSL e-books, utilising Learning Platform technology powered by MatchMySound, are the ultimate practise tool, giving you the ability to master your instrument like never before.

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