GCSE Music

GCSE Music is a very rewarding course for students who want to combine their practical skills of playing and composing, together with the study of specific pieces of music.

During Year 9 you will develop your skills and understanding of music, focusing on performance, composition and analysis.  By March you will have given a concert as part of an ensemble, learnt how to use the notation software Sibelius, have a good understanding of the elements of music, and be ready to start work on the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Music syllabus. 

In Years 10 and 11, you will develop skills in composition and performance, as well as gain a deep understanding of music from four areas of study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.  In Year 11, you will write up two compositions and record a solo and an ensemble performance.  Although 60% of GCSE Music is coursework, there is a written examination at the end of Year 11.  This is a listening examination with shorter listening questions and musical dictation, alongside a detailed analysis of an unfamiliar piece of work.   


Performance Coursework – 30%

Two pieces are recorded during the course: one solo (15%) and one group performance (15%), with a total minimum playing time of 4 minutes.

Composition Coursework – 30%

Two compositions are completed during the course: one to a set brief and one a free composition, together with total minimum time of 3 minutes.

Listening Examination - 40%

Taken in May/June of Year 11, this examination tests your musical knowledge and understanding of the set works alongside unseen pieces.

Why study Music?

This is an excellent course if you really enjoy performing music and want to understand music in a greater depth.  You can use it as an excellent academic qualification in its own right, or to progress with your studies in A Level Music or Music Technology, perhaps leading to a career in the Music industry.

How to do well in Music

  • Listen to lots of different types of music
  • Practise performing
  • Play in a band, sing in a choir, take part in an orchestra
  • Keep up with the learning in class
  • Be creative!
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