Music is an excellent choice for students who wish to extend their knowledge of performance, composition and the history of music. All styles of music from Baroque, Rock, Dance, Musical theatre and World Music are studied during this two-year course, as well as learning to analyse familiar and unfamiliar music.
Music is an excellent qualification to have as it shows motivation, dedication to rehearsals and practice as well as organisation, teamwork, independent study and the confidence to perform or speak in public as well as developing creativity. Even if you do not take up a career in the music industry these skills are transferable to any type of employment and are valuable to employers.
Students cover set works of music given by the exam board and will have an hour and 45-minute exam based on these works which is worth 40% of the course. They will also have to analyse unfamiliar music which is in a similar style to the music they have studied. Students have a performing exam where they must perform a solo and an ensemble, this is worth 30%. They also must write two compositions one is a free composition and can be for any style of music and any instrument. The second is based on the areas of study and the exam board will send out a paper with four ‘briefs’. Students must choose one and compose a piece of music which fits with the brief. (30%).
Students have access to computer software called Sibelius 8 and Garage Band which notate and plays back your compositions. Students are expected to regularly take part in the concerts for GCSE students and involve themselves in enrichment activities. As part of their weekly homework students are expected to attend at least one extra-curricular music activity. This could be Orchestra, Concert Band, Senior Choir, Vocal Harmony, The Crescendudes or they may wish to form a band with other students and join Oxted Rocks (this runs after school, all others are at lunchtime). They can also be part of the school show which would count – providing they attend their allocated rehearsals and performances. Students are expected to be part of the termly Music Department concerts as part of their extra-curricular activity; there are of course considerations for involvement in extra commitments in the summer term. They will have one class concert in October of Year 11 where they are expected to perform a solo and ensemble which will go towards their mock grade and their final class concert in March. This will usually be around two weeks before their performance exam and they are to perform the pieces they have chosen for their exam so students can receive feedback in time for their final recorded performances.
Students should be able to play an instrument or sing. It would be beneficial for students to be at least Grade 3-5 standard in Year 11 in time for their final performance. They do not have to have taken the formal exams in these grades. Marks are capped if students perform below a grade 3 standard, and extra marks awarded for grade 4 and above. Students will be at different levels so overall it is best for the student to perform a piece they find challenging yet can perform well, rather than focus on the grade of the piece. Reading music is beneficial but can be taught. Students are expected to embrace all styles of music, even those they do not choose to listen to or perform as they will need to have knowledge of classical music styles as well as popular.
- Performing: students will perform their final pieces – solo and ensemble, in March of Year 11. They will have concerts before hand to perform their pieces and receive feedback. Performances can be recorded more than once, giving students the opportunity to use their best work
- Free composition brief given at start of Summer term of Year 10
- Research and preparation undertaken during first half of Summer term
- Writing of score and recording during second half of Summer term
- Students will have finished their free composition by the end of Autumn term
- Composition two: composing to a brief will be assigned at the start of the Spring Term
- Composition two will be completed at the end of March
Controlled Assessments for Performing Unit (30%)
- Students must perform a solo lasting for at least 1.5 minutes (students may perform more than one if under the time limit as marks will be taken off by the exam board during moderation)
- Students must perform an ensemble lasting for at least 1.5 minutes (students may perform more than one if under the time limit as marks will be taken off by the exam board during moderation)
- Students must perform for at least 4 minutes in total
- Performances do not have to be all on the same instrument/voice
- Internally assessed and then moderated by exam board
Controlled Assessments for Composition Unit (30%)
Two Controlled Assessments in two tasks to complete two final compositions:
- Composition 1 to be completed by end of Autumn term of Year 11
- Composition 2 to be completed by the end of March of Year 11
- Internally assessed and then moderated by exam board
- Unit 3 Listening and Appraising exam June Year 11 (40%)
- Students will hear the eight set works they have been studying throughout Year 10 and Year 11. They will be expected to answer questions identifying features of the music they are being played and describe/explain the impact that particular musical devices have on the music
- Students will hear unfamiliar music which relates to their set work and be expected to answer questions on the music – a skeleton score is provided
- Extended answer – students will hear a set work and an unfamiliar but related piece. They are expected to compare the two pieces using the scores provided
- Externally marked
Mrs S Homewood - firstname.lastname@example.org