Music at KS4

AQA GCSE Music 8271  (September 2018)

Students will undertake a variety of activities to develop their performance, composition and listening skills on this course.  Pupils focus on learning about 4 Areas of Study:

    1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910            3. Traditional music

    2. Popular music                                                  4. Western classical tradition since 1910

The areas of study provide an appropriate focus for students to appraise, develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical context and musical language.  Students must be able to listen attentively to unfamiliar music from all four areas of study to identify and accurately describe musical elements and use musical language (including staff notation).

This course has been structured to allow students to develop skills in;

  1. Solo and Ensemble performance                                        3. Composition
  2. Listening tasks, based around the 4 Areas of Study            4. Theory Skills

There is one level of entry.  The course will be assessed in the following areas;

  • Performance - 30%
  • Listening (and contextual understanding) exam - 40%
  • Composition to a brief AND a free composition - 30%


BTEC Level 2 First Award in Music (EDEXCEL)  (September 2018)

What will I do on this course?

Students will learn about the various music products, develop valuable skills and techniques in music creation, performance and production, and explore potential careers in the industry.

Component 1: Exploring the music industry (weighting: 30%)

The aim of this unit is to explore musical styles and techniques, and gain an understanding of roles in the industry. Assignments will be internally assessed. Students will:

  • explore different styles and genres of music.
  • take part in practical workshops to understand the music creation process.
  • learn about the different roles within the music industry.
  • investigate relationships between different areas of the music industry.

Component 2: Developing music skills (weighting: 30%)

The aim of this unit is to develop musical knowledge, skills, and techniques and apply them to a music product. Assignments will be internally assessed. Students will:

  • Reflect on their progress, and on areas for improvement.
  • Choose a job role and explore the skills needed to fulfil it.
  • Develop a range of skills.
  • Apply skills and techniques in a music performance, creation or production.

Component 3: Responding to a music brief (weighting: 40%)

The aim of this unit is to enable students to put skills into practice by responding to a brief as a composer, performer or producer. Assignments will be externally assessed. Students will:

  • Choose an area of the industry that excites them (composer, performer, or producer).
  • Explore the brief and come up with possible responses and ideas.
  • Use relevant resources, skills and techniques to develop and refine musical material.
  • Present their final response (solo or in a group).
  • Review and reflect their approach to the brief and their final outcome.

How will I be assessed?

Each unit will gain you points that culminate in a final grade; L1 Pass, L2 Pass, L2 Merit, L2 Distinction, L2 Distinction *.

What skills do I need?

  • An good level of musical knowledge with the ability to perform at around a grade 1 level or above on an instrument or voice.
  • The confidence to perform on your own, in groups and in front of other pupils.
  • Good basic composition skills, with a knowledge of score writing.
  • To be able to participate in a mixture of practical/written activity during lessons each week.
  • Good communication skills