GCSE Music

(Optional)

Examination Subject Music
Examination Qualification GCSE
Examination Board AQA
Tiers of Entry Single


Outline of course

Four Units.

Unit 1.             Performing Music                               - 40% of total marks

Unit 2.             Composing Music                               - 20% of total marks

Unit 3.             Listening Exam                                    - 20% of total marks

Unit 4.             Composing and appraising Music      - 20% of total marks

Performing Music. 40% of total marks.

Perform 2 fantastic pieces.

The school pays for the lessons. You have a 20 minute lesson per week.

You are required to perform two pieces; one solo and one group performance. Your solo performance will be on the instrument of your choice. The school pays for the lessons. This solo performance could be singing, Keyboard, Guitar, Drum Kit or any instrument and is worth 20% of the overall mark. Your group performance could be singing, Keyboard, Guitar, Drum Kit, or any instrument of your choice. This group performance is worth 20% of the overall grade. The school will pay for you to have a 20 minute individual music lesson with the school’s visiting music teachers once per week to prepare your performances.  These performances will be done in the music practice room or to a wider audience, whichever suits you. For example you could sing for your solo performance and perform a piece on keyboard for your ensemble performance in the music room or at a school concert.

Composing Music. 20% of total marks.

Compose a fantastic piece.

Using the computer with state of the art software, produce a free, fantastic imaginative composition inspired by your favourite music.

Listening Exam. 20% of total marks.

A very small percentage of the total Grade

Answer questions from a range of recorded excerpts using a variety of exam answering techniques. Recorded extracts are from 3 strands: Popular music of the 20th & 21st Centuries; The western classical tradition; World Music. A specially devised series of worksheets for use in class will help you focus on how to answer questions about recorded extracts and hence develop examination technique.

Composing and appraising music. 20% of total marks.

Compose another separate fantastic piece with the help of the teacher in your own style

(Separate from the previous composing unit)  Composing – with the help of the teacher and using the computer, compose another entertaining piece of music. You will need to do a brief description of this piece. The teacher helps with the description. You get credit for this description.

Coursework Details

Performing Music - 40%

Performances will be prepared by having weekly 20 minute instrumental music lessons over the next two years with your instrumental music teacher. The school pays for the cost of instrumental tuition. Any instrument (including singing) may be offered for performance. Performances may be done in the privacy of the practice room, or in front of audiences.

Composing Music - 20%

One composition based on inspiration or a special event. The composition may be done using the computer and its music technology which can produce a fantastic overall composition made up with up to 16 different instruments.

Composing and appraising Music - 20%

This is a special composition set by the board. It requires a composition to be completed gradually throughout that final term. This will involve working on the computer and its music technology with individual help from the teacher. Appraising simply means that a simple description of the piece is made with the help of the teacher.

Listening and Appraising Test -  20%

This will be a written exam testing extracts from five areas of study within 3 strands: Popular music of the 20th & 21st Centuries; The western classical tradition; World Music.

Coursework & Module test schedule

Various composing assignments will be set throughout the course at various times. Successful assignments will develop towards final submissions of coursework.

Important information about the course

The whole course is 80% coursework with 20% examination. The overall 40% composing coursework gives candidates the opportunity to manage the whole of their compositions through ICT. The 40% Performing coursework gives the student the opportunity to excel in the instrument of their choice. (including singing)  The areas of study will give candidates the opportunity to show knowledge about the way composers achieve appropriately dramatic effects through their deployment of musical elements and resources in a particular context eg. popular music of the 20th & 21st centuries.

Progression from this course

Many students who are successful go on to study music technology at A level and are successful in setting up their own music studio for leisure.

Further Information:             See Mr Addison

You can also download a PDF of this information from this page