Why should I study music?
This is a big question with lots of potential answers but here are just a few. Through music we can develop a whole range of complex skills considered highly valuable to universities, employers and for general life beyond school (e.g. creative thinking, adaptability, communication and confidently performing/presenting in front of audiences).
Being a subject with practical components, music can offer a nice change of pace on your timetable and it is a subject that allows you the time to develop and hone your talent for composition and/or performance. This is reflected in the fact that 60% of the assessment grade is coursework based, which can take some of the pressure off when it comes to your final exams in Year 11. Perhaps most importantly though, let us not forget that music is at its core an enjoyable, stimulating and intellectually challenging subject to study.
What will I study?
GCSE Music is divided into three main components:
What type of music will I study?
Most of our time will be spent looking at four key areas of music, including art music (classical), popular music (pop, rock, rap, electronic etc.), film music, and music for ensemble. However, there might also be some opportunities for others if there's a particular kind of music that you are interested in exploring
What are the entry requirements for GCSE Music?
Music is a specialised subject and students often ask whether they should already be in a band, good at playing an instrument or able to sing. The answer is not necessarily, although of course it helps. We have included detailed answers to this and a number of other frequently asked questions on the curriculum document, which is available to download above.
Is there much writing?
Whilst the performance aspect requires no writing, and the composition is generally completed on computer programmes, preparing for and completing the final exam will require a healthy amount of written work.
How will I be assessed?
We follow the Eduqas syllabus and this means that your final grade is decided by two practical components and a written examination at the end of the course.
Component 1: Performing
- We will record two examples of you performing music
- This will be one solo performance and one as part of a group/band/ensemble
- 30% of GCSE
Component 2: Composing
- You will compose two pieces of completely original music
- One piece will follow a brief set by the exam board each year (e.g. music for a horror film) and one is a free choice
- 30% of GCSE
Component 3: Appraising
- Written exam covering each area of study from the course as a whole
- Exam duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 40% of GCSE
What are the next steps?