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Subject Leader: Mr A Painter
Email: paintera@lytchett.org.uk

What are the aims of the course?
This course is designed to develop your musicianship through performing, composing and listening.  It is a stimulating and enjoyable course which is largely practically based.  Students at Lytchett Minster have enjoyed considerable success in Music in recent years, and the number of students taking the course at GCSE has historically been above the national average.  If you learn an instrument you will also find that Music GCSE enhances your skills and provides a foundation for further study.  However, it is not essential to have additional instrumental lessons in order to take Music GCSE.

What is the content of the course?
During this course you will develop your performance skills, both in groups and by yourself.  You will compose music in a range of styles.  You will listen to extracts drawn from European music of the past 300 years, contemporary rock, musicals and fusions.  For much of the course you can choose to focus on the styles of music that you are particularly interested in.

How will the course be assessed?
You will be assessed by:

  1. one solo performance and one group performance recorded during the final year of the course. You may choose to perform on any instruments and in any style (30%)
  2. two compositions: one of which is a free choice and may be completed at any stage during the course; the other must be completed during year 11 to a brief set by the Exam Board (30%)
  3. a 90-minute listening exam (40%) based on set works which include pieces by Bach and Beethoven, songs from ‘Wicked’ and by Queen, extracts from the soundtrack to ‘Star Wars’ and fusion music.

What will the course be like?
During the course you will spend two- thirds of your time performing and composing.  For some of this time you will be expected to work in groups developing your ensemble skills.  However, you will also need to compose and perform by yourself.  You will listen to a wide range of musical extracts, discuss these with the rest of the class and practise answering exam questions.  As part of the course you will use the fantastic resources that are available in the Music Block.  In particular your practical work will benefit from access to two suites of Music rooms equipped with Cubase 7 and Sibelius 7 and a full recording studio with Protools software.

Are there any special requirements?
You will be expected to complete a weekly homework.  Like all subjects the new Music GCSE is designed to be more challenging, and students who find time to practise regularly in addition to timetabled Music lessons will enjoy a distinct advantage. You will also find it beneficial if you are able to bring your own instrument to lessons.

What will I be able to do by the end of the course?
By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • demonstrate technical control and expression in performing a solo piece
  • demonstrate technical control and a sense of ensemble by performing with others
  • create and develop musical ideas by composing music
  • identify and compare the distinctive characteristics of music from a variety of styles and traditions.
  • express and justify views by making critical judgements about music.

Sixth Form Progression
After GCSE students can progress to take Music A Level at school.