Studying music helps students to increase their cognitive ability, improve their numeracy and literacy, and develop their social and emotional well-being. It involves problem solving, research, planning, using analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as developing creativity. In Years 7 and 8, music is studied by all students and gives them a chance to perform, compose and appraise different styles of music. At GCSE level, students deepen their understanding of music theory and develop their performing and composing techniques.
Students will be following a variety of projects designed to improve three major musical skills: Performing, Composing and Listening & Appraising. These skills will enable students to:
- Develop their understanding and appreciation of a wide range of music styles, extend their own interests and increase their ability to make judgments about the quality of music.
- Acquire the knowledge, understanding the skills needed to make music e.g. in community music making and where appropriate, to follow a music-related career.
- Develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subject areas that are needed for employment and life e.g. listening skills, concentration, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance and self-confidence.
Key assessment details:
Students will be assessed every half term at the completion of their musical project. The musical skills being assessed will be one of Performing, Composing and Appraising. Students will be encouraged to perform their assessments in front of the class to develop their confidence.
The GCSE in Music offers a broad and coherent course of study which amongst other things encourages learners to:
- Engage actively in the process of music study
- Develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
- Develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
- Recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
- Broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
- Develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
The Music course is split into three components. These are:
- Performing: A minimum of two pieces, lasting between 4 – 6 minutes. One of these pieces must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.
- Composing: Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.
- Appraising: This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study.
- Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices.
- Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble.
- Area of study 3: Film Music Area of study.
- Area of study 4: Popular Music.
- If students like the thought of exploring music at all levels, learning new ICT skills, listening to many styles of music and developing their instrumental and/or vocal abilities, then Music is a good choice of subject.
Key assessment details:
- Coursework – 60% of total marks: · 1 ensemble recording (instrument or voice) · 1 solo/ensemble recording (instrument or voice) · 2 compositions (one free, one to a brief)
- Listening exam – 40% of total marks: · Students will be required to answer eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study.