Music GCSE

Music is taught to all pupils in Year 9. The syllabus builds on work already done in previous years and provides an excellent basis for those who wish to continue to GCSE; it provides, in any case, a wide-ranging foundation of musical knowledge and practical expertise. The syllabus provides opportunities for furthering skills in reading, performing and composing, as well as exploring aspects of listening, including the role of music in films and advertising. Some time is also devoted to the realms of IT in music, with opportunities of using a computer with specific music programmes – Cubase and Sibelius.

Music at GCSE follows the AQA syllabus and is divided into three sections. These are performing, composing and listening. During the course, regular opportunities are given for pupils to perform in order to work towards the highest standards possible, ready for the recorded performances (a solo and an ensemble piece) which take place in the final term. Pupils are introduced to a wide variety of styles and forms, with guidance about appropriate instrumental and vocal combinations, in order that they can decide how they wish their own compositions to appear. Time is devoted to composition, with advice always available. The final section – listening – is an examined component. Questions range from those concerned with music from the classical repertoire to those involving music from jazz and pop idioms, as well as music from different ethnic origins. All these areas are studied regularly during the two-year course.