IMG_4973Students who enjoy music and want to consider taking it on as a GCSE subject will find the following information helpful.

Is this the right subject for me?

  •  If you enjoy performing music in your own time and are learning an instrument, having singing lessons or enjoy creating music on computers or in a recording studio, then this is a good subject to choose.
  • If you would like to create music of your own, then composing will give you the opportunity.
  • If you want to broaden your knowledge of all types of music, including classical, popular and world, then this exciting course will give you an appreciation of the diversity of musical styles that exist today.

What will I learn?

  • You will learn how to improve your performing skills and, through your work in composing, you will gain an insight into how music is constructed from initial ideas through to the finished product.
  • You will also learn how to analyse music in a variety of styles and discover the social and historical context in which music has been composed over.

How will I be assessed?

Performance – 30% – two coursework recordings; one solo, one ensemble.

Composition – 30% – two coursework compositions.

Listening and Analysing – 40% – exam paper about the 12 set works.

Time scales (when will each element be taken?):

Performance – 4 recording opportunities throughout Year 11

Composition – 2 sets of 10 hour controlled assessment time during lessons, one during the Christmas term and one during the Easter term.

Listening and Analysing – during May in Year 11.

The final exam will be taken at the end of year 11 in the summer term.


Will I be ready to take the course?

You have already gained many of the basic skills needed for this course in your music lessons over the last three years at secondary school.

  • You have been introduced to creating music of your own in class and this is developed on the GCSE course as you choose two topics for composition. For example, this could be a popular song and a dance track, a classical piece or some world music. There is a wide choice and it can be tailored to your own musical interests and strengths.
  • You have already listened to a variety of music in class and these skills are developed as you study some set pieces taken from the classical, 20th century, popular and world music Areas of Study.
  • You enjoy making music, either as a soloist or in a group.


The GCSE course encourages you to perform music of your own choosing and in any style, as a soloist and also in a group.

To take this course, you must be able to offer just one instrument/or voice.


What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

If you enjoyed the GCSE Music course then you can consider pursuing this subject at AS and A2 Level.

  • Your listening skills will enhance the aural perception needed in language examinations.
  • Your performing skills will give you confidence in playing to an audience – useful if you intend to pursue, for example, drama or law. In addition, you might wish to study A Level Performing Arts or Music Technology.