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Time Allocation
Music is a GCSE option choice; therefore, during KS4, 2 hours per week are allocated to its study. Students who choose Music as a GCSE are also encouraged to attend at least one extra-curricular session per week. It is recommended only to choose Music as a GCSE subject if you are already performing at a Gr 3 level, or are prepared to undertake private instrumental tuition. 

Exam Board: EdExcel 

Course Content
A summary outline of the course is as follows: 


Year 9 

Year 10 

Year 11 


Solo Performance in class October (Component 1) Musicianship & Keyboard skills

  •  Musical Elements – MAD TSHIRTS
  •  Notation – Treble and Bass
  • Key signatures – circle of 5ths
  • Cadences
  • Time Signatures
  •  Chords – Play 2 x 4 chord songs (Let it Be and Someone You Loved)

Time Periods of Music History – October half term timeline project

Introduction to Film Music Class band performance – Game of Thrones

Vocal Music

  • H Purcell: Music for a While
  • Queen: Killer Queen AND Wider Listening (Component 3)

Music for Stage and Screen

S Schwartz: Defying Gravity AND Wider Listening

Instrumental Music 1700–1820

L van Beethoven: 1st (Component 3)

Brief Composition (Component 2)



Solo Performance Evening with A Level  (Component 1)

Music for Stage and Screen

J Williams: Main title/rebel blockade runner AND Wider Listening (Component 3)

Introduction to composition Workshops and Haunted House Assessment (Component 2)

Solo Performance Evening with Year 9 and/or Y 12 (Component 1)

Free Composition

  • Inspiration
  • Research
  • Planning

(Component 2)

Free Composition

  • Writing

(Component 2)

FINAL Solo Performance Evening

Appraisal Revision (Component 3)


Solo Performance Evening – with A Level  (Component 1)

Instrumental Music 1700–1820

 J S Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D major (Component 3)

Ensemble Performance Recording (Component 1)

Ensemble Performance (Component 1)


 Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio AND Wider Listening (Component 3)

FINAL Ensemble Performance Recorded (Component 1)


Afro Celt Sound System: Release AND Wider Listening (Component 3)

Revision for Exam (Component 3)

  • 12 mark responses
  •  Melodic dictation
  •  All Areas of Study 

Formative Assessment
A variety of assessment types are used including listening tests, topic-specific composition tasks, interim solo and ensemble performances. Homework is set weekly in accordance with the homework timetable. 

Summative Assessment

Component 1: Performing (30%) 
2 Performances – 1 Solo and 1 Ensemble. Total of 4 minutes across solo and ensemble pieces 

Component 2: Composing (30%) 
2 Compositions – 1 set to a brief, 1 free choice. Minimum of 3 minutes across both compositions 

Component 3: Appraising (40% Exam) 
4 Areas of Study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen, Fusions. 1hr 45min exam 


Why you should consider studying Music
It will help you to develop broader life-skills including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation. As well as introducing you to a number of exciting new music styles from different cultures. 

What skills profile a GCSE Music student should have
An ability to play an instrument or sing, a readiness to be involved in extra-curricular activities, concerts and productions and an interest in music of all cultures and times in history. 

What opportunities a GCSE in Music will lead to
A creative subject looks impressive on any CV! It provides students with the opportunity to gain self-confidence through performance, develops team-working skills through ensemble playing, extends creative skills through writing music, provides a solid foundation for progression to music related courses, including A-level Music  and a career in music professions. 

Famous Musicians include: Bach to Beethoven to the Beatles to Black Sabbath to Bob Marley to Bruno Mars. 

For more information, contact Ms Turner - Curriculum Leader for Music.