Here are just a few quotes about the importance of music in our lives:

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.” Edward Elgar


“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” Leopold Stokowski


“Music in schools makes a contribution way beyond the straightforward exercise of learning an instrument. Children and young people can experience coming together in a creative environment which benefits them in other aspects of their school life.” Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers


Everyone listens to music everyday in some form or another and it is therefore important to understand a little about it. The skills involved in playing an instrument or studying the subject dramatically increase other skills and are proven to enhance both literacy and numeracy. Music is a creative subject and allows people to develop confidence when put on the spot.

GCSE Music

Course Leader:              Mr Ulph / Mr Reynolds

Contact Email:       or

Examination Board:       Edexcel

Assessment:                   60% coursework (30% performance, 30% composition), 40% examination


What does the course involve?

This is an excellent qualification for musicians who already play to a reasonable standard outside of classroom lessons, particularly if it is your hobby and you enjoy it. Knowledge of music theory is key to success with this course.

The course is divided into three parts:

  • Performing – you have to perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece.
  • Composing – you compose several pieces in different styles before choosing the two most successful compositions to develop further.
  • Listening and Appraising – you study different structures and conventions in music, Vocal Music, Music for Stage & Screen and Fusion music. You have to analyse set works and must therefore be willing to understand and learn about music theory.

It is strongly advisable that you are having instrument or singing lessons throughout the course as all work is centred around a basic knowledge of music. If you do not play an instrument or sing it is expected that you start instrumental or vocal tuition straight away and keep lessons going during the course.  Students will be expected to take part in extra-curricular activities and concert performances either through performance or backstage work.

Differences from Year 9

Music is a very academic subject with lots of new vocabulary to learn and use in musical theory analysis.  There are fewer practical lessons; the focus on performance involves your own personal study at home.

Skills developed

Within your study of GCSE Music, listening skills, confidence through performing, creativity through composing, literacy, numeracy and foreign languages are all skills that you develop.  Music is a subject where you are continually striving to improve through setting and evaluating your own targets – a skill that will always make you successful in life.

A Level

Examination Board:            Pearson Edexcel

Specification:                        9MU01

Course Leader:                     Mr M Ulph

Contact Email:           


What Will I Study?

  • Component 1: Performing Music
  • Component 2: Composing Music
  • Component 3: Appraising Music


Entry Requirements

Students require a BTEC Music (Merit) or GCSE Music (Grade B) or Associated Board Grade 5 Theory standard Proficiency on an instrument to Grade 5 standard.



  • Performing Music: 30% – 8-12 minute recital, either solo or ensemble. (Performance at end of Year 13)
  • Composing Music: 30% – two compositions, one free of at least 4 minutes and one technical study of at least one minute.
  • Appraising Music: 40% – 2 hour written examination centred around six areas of study – Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz; Fusions and New Directions.


Where Next?

Further study into music at University whether on an academic music degree or a practical performance course. A Level Music develops both your creative and analytical skills, these being transferable to any course or profession in the future. Please note it is advantageous to have or to be working towards the Associated Board Grade 5 Music Theory Qualification as this will support your learning on the A Level course.

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