Why study Music?

If you already like Music, enjoy composing and performing in class, like listening to Music of different styles and influences, and perhaps (though not necessarily) have developed extra skills as a player or singer in School, in a local band or group, or just on your own or would like to develop these skills further, then GCSE Music is for you. In a world where increasing leisure time is so important you would like to channel and
develop your skills and interest so that you can enjoy music for life.  Music in Media is one of the largest growth areas today.

GCSE subjects are chosen to further your education, to give you greater experience and satisfaction in your interests and to develop personal qualities that will be attractive to future employers and colleges.  A GCSE in Music is very highly respected in a wide variety of careers.  Employers know that those who study Music are likely to be hard working, reliable, patient, resourceful, creative and able to work with others and take responsibility as well as being able to work on their own.

"But I don't intend to be a professional musician". This isn't important. Few students study History at GCSE because they wish to be professional historians or archaeologists, or Drama because they wish to become professional actors. Music can give you vital skills in self discipline and excellent skills in communication both on a music and social level.


What skills are developed in GCSE Music?

The GCSE Music course is tailor-made to the needs of each individual, whether humble but enthusiastic beginner or experienced musician.  You will be able to develop instrumental skills under your own steam. You will especially have the chance to work with other musicians in your group, as well as on your own.  Composing (experimenting with sounds to create pleasing and complete pieces) is a fascinating and fulfilling activity and as a GCSE Musician you can enjoy using modern technology to record and edit your ideas but composing is done with sounds rather than dots on music paper.  You have the opportunity to hear a wide variety of music, developing skills so that you can listen more deeply.  You will begin to study the classics, rock music, ethnic music, folk music, and find out what elements are similar in all music, and what elements change.

It is also beneficial to participate in extra-curricular ensemble activities to develop your skills in this area and to develop your listening skills.

Content, Coursework and Examinations

Unit 1: Performing Music (30%)

Students produce both a solo and an ensemble performance recorded at any time during the course.

Unit 2: Composing Music (30%)

Students produce:

a) two compositions, or

b) two arrangements, or

c) one arrangement and one composition

Unit 3: Music – Listening and Appraising (40%)

1.5 hour examination externally set and marked by Edexcel.  Students respond to questions based around the set works for the unit.

In conclusion

GCSE music allows you to express yourself, work with others and is also relaxing and rewarding. It can lead to a range of different professions.

For more information please see Mr Wass.