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Course description 

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to provide a high quality music education that engages and inspires students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Students will develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to perform, compose and listen with discrimination.

Key Stage 3 

Students will:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians.
  • Learn to sing and use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use music technology and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence.
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

This enables students to develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history.

Key Stage 4 

Eduqas GCSE in Music.

This course allows students 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.
  • Develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing.
  • Develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music.
  • Recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music and develop some awareness of musical chronology.
  • Develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds.
  • Reflect upon and evaluate their own and others' music
  • Engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

All students will study three main components:

Component 1: Performing 30% of the total GCSE mark (coursework)

This unit gives the students the opportunities to produce a performance lasting 4-6 minutes in total. Students must include a minimum of two pieces, one of which 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 (see component 3).


Non exam assessment (coursework) - the music is performed and recorded in school, assessed by the teacher and moderated by Eduqas.

Component 2: Composing 30% of the total GCSE mark (coursework)

Composing music emphasises the creative aspect of music and allows students to appreciate the process of creating music.

The student must write 2 compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by Eduqas. Students 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 and will be completed during lesson and homework time.


Non exam assessment (coursework) - compositions written and recorded in school, assessed by the teacher and moderated by Eduqas.

Component 3: Appraising 40% of the total GCSE mark (final exam)

In this unit students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The final examination, taken in the summer term of Year 11 consists of 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 4: Popular Music


1 hour 15 minute listening exam paper - externally assessed by Eduqas.

Extra-Curricular Activities / Independent Learning Opportunities:

The music department is a very busy, exciting place to study and students will be expected to:

  • Take part in regular extra curricular school activities as directed by the music department.
  • Show a high level of independence.
  • Participate in arranged visits to concert halls, theatres and local music events.


In order to prepare for classroom learning and the wider practical nature of music, students will be expected to:

  • Listen to a wide range of music, not only music from the set works.
  • Regularly practice and take part in ensemble playing in school and in their own time.
  • Use independent study time to practice and compose.

Opportunities for Study beyond key Stage 4

We are pleased to announce that from September 2016, we will be offering RSL's level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners.

This is a unique course that will allow students to choose their own 'pathway' in music and create a personalised qualification which is worth the equivalent of one and a half A levels, attracting eqiuvalent UCAS points, and being recognised by both Higher Education Institutions and The Music industry.

Career pathways:

Studying music can lead to the following careers in the Music Industry:

  • A Professional musician
  • Working in Music Education
  • Creating and marketing music
  • Working in Music technology