Head of Department – Mr C.D. Sears
Examination Board: Edexcel
The GCSE Music Course is designed to allow the study of music through the integration of performing, listening and appraising with opportunities to use music technology. It is flexibly structured to allow students to capitalise on their different interests whilst experiencing a balanced range of music across time, culture and tradition.
All students are required to perform either vocally or instrumentally on any instrument with marks being adjusted according to the degree of difficulty of the pieces being performed. They will have the opportunity of taking part in both solo and ensemble performances.
It is not essential for students to have reached a particular grade before commencing the course. Help will be given in school for those who do not receive instrumental tuition although it can be an advantage if such lessons are being taken.
The performing component of the course can be undertaken at any time during Years 10 and 11. Constituting 30% of the total marks, assessment is carried out by the teacher subject to moderation by the Board.
Throughout the two years students will compose and arrange music in a style suited to themselves using either conventional or electronic instruments according to a chosen brief.
Towards the end of Year 11 they will select two of their pieces for assessment. This will be carried out by the teacher subject to moderation by the Board and constitutes 30% of the total marks. All students will have the opportunity of using the music technology facilities.
LISTENING AND APPRAISING
During years 10 and 11, students will listen to a wide range of music encompassing a variety of styles and traditions across four Areas of Study dating from 1600 to the present day.
They will study a selection of set works drawn from the Areas of Study. Assessment takes the form of a written paper where students will respond to questions based on recorded extracts taken from the set works and an in-depth question on a chosen set work. This component is marked externally and constitutes 40% of the total marks.
There are many obvious careers in music in the areas of teaching and performing. Less obvious, perhaps, are journalism, music therapy and work in the recording industry.
Music is universally accepted by universities and colleges as an entrance qualification and many employers recognise the degree of motivation, self-discipline and co-operation with others that the subject requires.