Music GCSE - St Wilfrids Catholic High School and Sixth Form College

Music GCSE

Music GCSE

The aims of the course

GCSE Music is designed to develop a thorough understanding of Music and is divided into three sections: composing, performing and listening skills. Students will gain an appreciation of different styles of music, and approach this through a range of performing, composing and listening activities. Students will be encouraged to develop their own musical interests and talents, to enable them to succeed.

 

Subjects/Units studied

Students will compose two pieces of music, lasting a total of at least three minutes. The first piece can be written in any style, for any combination of instruments. The second piece will be in response to a brief set by the exam board, given at the beginning of Year 11. Throughout KS4 students will compose in a range of styles to build their portfolio.

Units studied

Component 1—Understanding Music (40%)

  • Students will study a range of different styles of music across four areas of study; Western Classical Tradition 1650—1910, Popular Music, Traditional Music and Western Classical since 1910. They will be trained to recognise these in examples and complete a listening exam. In addition, they will study two set works from the following: Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, musical ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’, Orchestral Music of Zoltan Kodaly, and Paul Symon’s ‘Graceland’.

Component 2—Performing Music (30%)

  • Students will record a portfolio of performances, lasting at least four minutes long. They may perform any pieces of their choice, on any instrument including voice. Students are required to provide two performances for their GCSE coursework: solo (with or without accompaniment) and  as a member of an ensemble. Students will be required to perform in class and have the opportunity to be Music ambassadors for their school. Final pieces for coursework is recorded in Year 11. Students are actively encouraged to take instrument lessons, currently we have specialist teachers for Strings, Piano, Drums, Brass and Guitar.

Component 3—Composing Music (30%)

  • Students will compose two pieces of music, lasting a total of at least three minutes. The first piece can be written in any style, for any combination of instruments. The second piece will be in response to a brief set by the exam board, given at the beginning of Year 11. Throughout KS4 students will compose in a range of styles to build their portfolio.                                                                                                                           

How the course is assessed

Component 1 is assessed through an external exam, including a listening test and questions in response to the set works, this is worth 40% of the final grade. Components 2 and 3 are Non-Exam Assessment (coursework) which will be marked by teachers and moderated externally; each of these components are worth 30%.  There will be plenty of opportunities to develop skills and prepare for assessments.

Resources and additional information 

Students must have access to a musical instrument and be having instrumental and vocal tuition, either in or out of school. They will be encouraged to take full advantage of extra-curricular activities, in which they can develop and utilise their skills. Addition study for theory and skills will be available, when and where necessary. Music has an open-door policy and students can practise freely and safely.

Head of Subject Presentation – Amanda Chapman