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An Introduction to GCSE Music for Year 9 Students

07 Jan 2014

What is GCSE Music? Download the details HERE
For a simple breakdown of the course click HERE

What is GCSE Music all about?
GCSE Music is about making and listening to music.  It covers performing, composing and listening in a wide variety of musical styles – popular music, world music and classical music.  There are opportunities to use music technology such as sequencing and recording.
 
Will I enjoy this course?
You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that:
  • Involves performing
  • Involves listening to all kinds of music
  • Involves composing and arranging music
  • Gives you the opportunity to play music with others in eg., rock groups, bands, orchestras or  choirs
  • Gives you the opportunity to learn more about and use music technology
 How does it follow on from what I have learned before?
GCSE Music follows on from work that you have done at Key Stage 3.  You will improve your skills in performing and composing different types of music.  You will listen to and analyse a wide variety of music and learn more about how and why it was written and/or performed.
 
What about exams?
There is one final exam.  You will listen to a CD and answer questions on pieces from the four Areas of Study which cover popular music, classical music and music from around the world.  This examination is worth 40% of the marks.
 
Is there any coursework?
You will perform (play or sing) two pieces altogether.  One of the pieces will be a solo in any style and on any instrument.  The other performance will be with other players.  These performances may take place in the classroom, in school music groups or outside school.  Music will be recorded and marked by your teacher.  This is worth 30% of the overall mark. 
 
You will also compose two pieces according to a brief written by the teacher or yourself.  These will be in a form or style that you have chosen from a list appropriate to the instrument that you play or for the voice.  This is also worth 30% of the overall mark.  If you are interested in music technology, you may use computer sequences, multitrack recorders, digital recording and sampling in the preparation and presentation of compositions.  You may also use technology to record work and to produce printed scores and extract parts.  Most of your composing will be done in the new music studio.
 
What other skills might I develop?
As well as covering Music at GCSE level, the course will enable you to develop Key Skills in Communication and Information Technology, which could be useful to you in whatever you do afterwards.  In particular, GCSE Music offers opportunities to develop the wider Key skill of Working with Others (eg. taking part in rehearsals, performing).
 
Are there any vocational links?
GCSE Music is a good preparation for further musical study and a solid foundation for the AS/A Levels in Music and Music Technology as well as BTEC National Diplomas (in Music, Popular Music and Music Technology) and the Vocational A- Level in Performing Arts.  You may wish to take a GCSE in Music for its own sake, perhaps to form the basis of a future interest.  Alternatively, you may wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of music or where you will need to use some of the skills developed during this course.  These might include careers in the music industry, publishing, entertainment and teaching or any job which involves communication and expressive skills.
 
 
 
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