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“Music GCSE is different: you get to choose what you feel you want to do and  there’s a lot of diversity. There’s always something which you can do well, whether performing or composing.”  

“I like GCSE Music because it is really enjoyable to learn about different styles and genres of music. I also enjoy composing as it gives me the chance to be creative and learn new techniques in a relaxed environment.” 

“GCSE Music challenges and inspires me to develop my skills to their full extent through exploring music from different eras and cultures; composing allows me to explore and develop my ideas creatively.”  

The Course  

The course is in three parts: Performance, Composition, and Appraising of set works.  You will develop your performance and composition skills as you work towards controlled assessments. 

In preparation for the listening and appraising module, you will also focus on a great variety of musical styles and traditions, such as Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage & Screen and Fusions.    

How are you Assessed? 

Component 1: Performing (coursework) [30%]

  • A solo performance of one piece of music
  • An ensemble performance of one piece of music  

It is expected that you will be receiving regular tuition on a performance instrument/voice. At the start of the course in Year 10 you should be approaching ABRSM (or equivalent) Grade 3 as a minimum standard.  

Component 2: Composing (coursework) [30%]  

  • One free piece chosen by you at least 1 minute long  
  • One piece in response to a brief at least 1 minute long  

Component 3: Appraising (written examination) [40%]  

  • You will be asked to listen and respond to questions on music from a variety of styles and traditions, which you study through the course. 

Trips, Opportunities, Progression  

Music is a popular option for students who wish to include a subject that is creative, practical and academic. GCSE Music students develop a range of skills which are transferable to both the world of work and leisure. Universities and future employers understand that musicians are often inspirational, creative, excellent leaders and good team players.  They develop their skills to become more confident, versatile, critical and analytical thinkers, good communicators, risk-takers, committed, self-motivated, dedicated and focused individuals. 

GCSE musicians are involved in the many music making opportunities that College offers and may perform both in and outside of College at a wide range of events including concerts, fundraising and charitable events, in College services; they may also take part in workshops and attend master classes with visiting world-class musicians.   


Mr J Bowley M.A (Cantab,) ARCM [email protected]