Music (GCSE)


Examination Board


Overview of the course:

This GCSE qualification concentrates on Performing, Composing and Listening/Appraising and continues the type of work begun in KS3 to a higher level.

This course will enable you to:

·         develop an appreciation of music through an active involvement in music making, both as an individual and as a team player;

·         increase your knowledge of music technology;

·         extend instrumental skills such as playing in an ensemble;

·         provide evidence to employers about your commitment, dedication and your ability to work in a team;

·         provide a firm foundation for students wishing to go on to A-Level Music and/or Performing Arts.

Course content

You will be required to:

·         produce compositions using instruments/voices and computer software such as Sibelius/Sequel;

·         demonstrate an ability to create and develop musical ideas;

·         perform on an instrument or sing with control, expression and appropriate interpretation;

·         show technical control and a sense of ensemble when performing with others;

·         identify music from different styles and traditions;

·         evaluate music using appropriate musical vocabulary;

·         participate in at least 1 school ensemble.

How you will be assessed


Percentage of overall result

Performing: here you will be taught and encouraged to produce playing of the highest standards possible.  You will be required to perform as an individual as well as within an ensemble.  We provide ensembles within school to cater for everyone’s instrument or voice.  You will be required to perform in concerts and school ensembles.


Composing: although structured carefully, you are free to compose in any style you wish for your free choice composition, using whatever combinations of instruments/voices you prefer.  One brief will be set by the exam board. Use can be made of your own instruments, group compositions with your friends and the computer software in A2.


Listening: for this element as wide a range of music as possible is included (classical, pop, jazz, musicals, folk and music of other cultures) in order to develop greater skill and concentration in listening and appraising, enhancing your understanding and enjoyment of music.  You will also cover skills associated with reading music.


You will be assessed on your musical perception at regular intervals.  Performances to each other will be held once or twice per term and assessed.  Compositions will be marked when completed, although deadlines must be met.

Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Special notes

If you study GCSE Music you are entitled to a free 15 minute music lesson per week.  This could be with your present teacher or if you wish you could take up a second instrument.  Alternatively, you could add this to your present instrumental scheme and have a half hour lesson to improve your standards.  We do strongly recommend that you are taking at least 30mins of instrumental tuition a week.  At the beginning of the course in year 10 you will be expected to be around grade 2 standard (or above), with a view to being of a grade 4 standard at the culmination of the course. Trips to concerts and shows are also planned.  It is important that you are willing to attend rehearsals for school ensembles weekly and take part in concerts as this is assessed as part of the GCSE.

Post-16 courses available to you

Music A Level is currently available in The Sandon Sixth Form