GCSE Music


The GCSE course in Music should:

■ encourage students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent,

satisfying and worthwhile course of study

■ develop broader life skills and attributes, including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic

sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and


■ enable students to engage actively in the study of music

■ develop musical skills and interests, including the ability to make music individually and in


■ enable students to understand and appreciate a range of different kinds of music.

Course Outline

This is a two year GCSE course which consists of 3 units.

Unit 1: Performing Music

  • 30% of the total GCSE
    • One solo performance
    • One ensemble performance

Overview of assessment

  • Recordings of both solo and ensemble performances (on CD/MD/MP3)
  • Scores, professional recordings or written commentary (for Realisation) for both performances

Unit 2: Composing Music

  • 30% of the total GCSE
  • Two compositions, or
  • Two arrangements, or
  • One composition and one arrangement

Overview of assessment

  • Recordings of both compositions/arrangements (on CD/MD/MP3)
  • Notated scores or written commentaries for both ompositions/arrangements

Examining Board


Special Entry Requirements

Good standard of performance in year 9 music or other relevant experience (at the discretion of the Head of Music)

Teaching Methods

Lessons will be varied throughout the year from composition practical sessions to sessions of intense academic analysis of set works.

You will have two teachers each of which will work on different set works with you throughout the year. Teaching will be altered to your individual needs and teachers are happy to arrange extra sessions where they are needed.

There are GCSE revision sessions on Tuesday and Thursday 3:20 – 4:20

Other information

To view the specification please click below

How is the course graded


How to succeed in GCSE Art

Successful students need be imaginative, creative and positive. Students must be organised and prepared to work hard in their own time. Patience and peristence are key virtues, as is the ability to take criticism positively. Successful students need to be open, expressive and committed.

Skill Requirements

GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into easily understood targets by the Art teacher and requires a mature and independent approach from the student in order to be successful.

Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task lists in their sketchbook.

How can you help?

Ask your son/daughter about their artwork and their ideas. Take them to galleries and to places where they can gather photographs for their work. Provide them with materials and tools, and try to sort out a space in the house for them to study. Finally, ask to see their Progress Logs – it’s all there!

Extra-curricular Support

The Art Department opens its doors daily to students to come and work at break, lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We regularly arrange Saturday Workshops, sometimes inviting specialist artists to deliver a master class. There are many other opportunities to be involved more in Art such as mural painting, Rock Challenge set design and Saatchi Online (