GCSE Music

Year 11 and year 12 GCSE classes both receive four periods per week. The GCSE class is team-taught and this allows for much flexibility of approach in that the group can be divided and taught in two halves or individual pupils can be withdrawn to rehearse or to be given individual attention as required.

The assessment weightings are as follows:

  • Performing and Appraising – 35%
  • Composing and Appraising – 30%
  • Listening and Appraising – 35%

Performing and Appraising

In Year 11, the pupils have preparatory workshop sessions on ensemble and solo playing followed by two practical examinations in January and June. They are encouraged to prepare different programmes for each so as to develop their skills as much as possible. Pupils who play more than one instrument are encouraged to play both so that the music teaching staff can advise them on their strengths.
Early in Year 12, the pupils finalise their programmes, prepare for their mock practical and refine their programme for the externally assessed examination in June.

NB. Students must base either their solo or ensemble piece on one of their three areas of study.

Composing and Appraising

In Year 11, pupils are guided through various shorter projects exploring each area of study in preparation for the completion of their folio in Year 12 which is marked and moderated by the two music staff.

Students must base ONE of their compositions on one of their three areas of study.

Listening and Appraising

The three areas of study are explored through class listening exercises and analysis of recommended works. These are covered initially in Year 11 and revised and expanded in Year 12 through further listening.

In the externally assessed listening paper, students are required to answer questions on the compulsory core area of study and the two chosen optional areas.

The areas of study are wide and incorporate a range of musical styles and genres from c.1650 to the present day.

The three areas of study are:

  • Repeated patterns in music (compulsory core)
  • Incidental music (selected option)
  • Vocal Music (selected option)

The set works chosen by CCEA for study throughout the course are:

Repeated Patterns in music………..

  • Pachelbel’s Canon in D
  • Beethoven Symphony No.7 ‘Andante’
  • Holst: the Planets – ‘Mars’
  • Jenkins: Requiem – ‘Dies Irae’

Incidental Music………

  • Mendelssohn: a Midsummer Night’s Dream – ‘Overture’
  • Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite – ‘Morning’, ‘In the Hall of the
  • Mountain King’
  • Hans Zimmer: Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Man’s
  • Chest)- ‘Davy Jone’s Theme
  • Ron Grainer: Dr Who Theme

Vocal Music……..

  • Handel: Messiah (excerpts)
  • Schubert: Die Erlkonig
  • Stephen Schwartz: Wicked, Chorus: