You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that:
  • Involves performing (singing or playing an instrument)
  • Includes listening to and learning about many different styles of music
  • Helps you to write and arrange your own music
  • Allows you to play and perform music with others in rock groups, bands and singing ensembles
  • Supports you in learning more about how to use a recording studio and music software
What will I be expected to do?
The course is made up of three elements: Performing, Composing and Listening.

A large number of your music lessons will involve performing on instruments. Singing is also an option which you may choose instead of, or in addition to learning and instrument. Although it is not entirely necessary to be able to play an instrument at the start of the course, you will be expected to take instrumental lessons during this GCSE. It is advisable to start lessons as soon as possible. It is also recommended that you attend one band or choir rehearsal per week, during the lunch hour or after school, to develop your skills performing with others. Students and parents who may be concerned about the financial implications of instrumental lessons are advised to contact the school as help may be available in a number of circumstances with this cost. By the end of the course, you will choose your two best instrumental or vocal recordings and submit them as coursework. This is worth 30% of your final mark.

You will compose many pieces of music during the course in a range of styles including pop and dance music, modern and world music. These will be written using the Mac computers and the best two will also contribute to 30% of your final grade.

Finally, you will learn about a variety of different styles of music and your knowledge will be tested in a listening and written examination of 1 hour 15 minutes which will take place at the end of the course. The exam will cover many styles and genres of music, from traditional western classical music, to pop and rock, film music and music from other cultures around the world. The examination will test your knowledge of a selection of pieces you will have studied in these areas and other similar pieces. This is worth 40% of your overall grade.
Progression after GCSE Music:
  • GCSE Music is a good preparation for further musical study and a solid foundation for courses such as A Level Music and Music Technology.
  • BTEC National Diplomas in Music, Popular Music, Music Technology, Performing Arts and Musical Theatre.
  • In addition to this, GCSE Music helps develop a wide variety of skills and is useful in pursuing careers in the music industry, publishing, the Armed Forces, entertainment, teaching and generally any job which involves communication and expressive skills.