Why study Music at GCSE? • Explore your creative side in composition • Get academic credit for your existing performing skills • Develop your listening awareness • This course will make you listen to music in a completely different way and enhance your appreciation of all styles • Prepare to have your existing musical tastes challenged and converted as you are introduced to a huge variety of musical styles and cultures • Broaden your horizons!

This GCSE will be graded and Certified on a nine grade scale from 9 to 1, where 9 is the highest grade. The two-year course with Edexcel aims to develop an understanding and appreciation of music through performing, composing and appraising. Such is the breadth of the course that pupils of differing musical experiences and abilities can enjoy the practical and theoretical aspects of the course.

Performance accounts for 30% of the GCSE. Therefore candidates will need to study at least one instrument/voice and will be required to perform one voice solo piece and one ensemble piece. These performances can take place at any stage during the GCSE year.

Composition also accounts for 30% of the GCSE and two compositions are presented for assessment at the end of the course. Candidates must write one composition to a brief set by the board and one free composition. The brief accommodates all tastes from classical through to pop and ethnic music.

Listening and appraising accounts for 40% of the GCSE and is assessed through a 13/4 hour written paper which involves listening and responding to extracts from eight set works in addition to questions on unfamiliar pieces of music. The set works fall into four areas of study.

  • Instrumental Music 1700-1820
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions