Music at GCSE level includes modules in performance, composition and listening skills. It is a creative, practical and academic subject. Students will explore a range of musical genres through the set works and wider listening, we also provide students with opportunities to attend live music events to support them with their learning. Students will develop skills in creativity through free composition, a module in which they can compose in any style of music. We provide pupils with performance experiences to ensure that they can tackle the performance module effectively and with confidence.

Course Contents

You will be required to analyse 8 set works from four areas of study. These will include:
• J S Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D major
• L van Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor ‘Pathétique’
• H Purcell: Music for a While
• Queen: Killer Queen (from the album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’)
• S Schwartz: Defying Gravity (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)
• J Williams: Main title/rebel blockade runner (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)
• Afro Celt Sound System: Release (from the album ‘Volume 2: Release’)
• Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio (from the album ‘Esperanza’)

In addition, you will have to compose your own music based on a chosen style, and perform on your chosen instrument.

Exam and Assessments

Performance: Students will need to perform a solo and ensemble piece on your chosen instrument. This should last no less than 4 minutes. Composition: Students are required to compose one piece in any style that they choose and another that will be set to a brief. Listening: Students will take a listening exam at the end of year 11 which will require them to answer questions on the set works learned and compare them to other unseen works.

Why choose Music?

Music is a very interesting subject that helps to strengthen your creative abilities, teaches you to listen analytically and improves your performance skills.  It will challenge and stimulate you, and teach you a deeper appreciation of a broad range of musical styles. You will have the opportunity to progress as a musician and a composer and unleash your own creativity.