Music GCSE

Music promotes confidence and self-discipline, allowing individuals  to develop as composers, performers and listeners.  GCSE Music is a challenging and highly disciplined course, building on existing musical skills and theory studied at Key Stage 3.  The course helps students to develop subject knowledge, understanding and skills by listening to a variety of music,  playing music and creating their own music.


Students should only consider taking Music GCSE if they play a musical instrument to a minimum standard of Grade 2 and are willing to take part in extra-curricular music performances.




  • Understanding music:  Students will appraise, develop and demonstrate an in-depth  knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical context  and musical language.

  • Performing music:  Students must be able to perform using either instrumental (including DJ/vocal) or production via technology or both.

  • Composing music:  Students must learn how to develop musical ideas including extending and manipulating musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions.




Listening & contextual understanding:  A written paper with listening exercises and questions music excerpts. (40% - 96 marks)

Music performance: Performance as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology.  A minimum of four minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be an ensemble performance. (30% - 72 marks)

Composition: A minimum of three minutes of composed music. (30% - 72 marks)




GCSE Music offers a solid foundation for progression to other music studies, including  A-Level Music, and often to a music-related career.  Our course provides the opportunity for students to develop valuable transferable skills such as self-confidence, concentration, creativity, evaluation and team-work.

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