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St Thomas More

Catholic School


Course outline

There are 3 components to the GCSE Music course:

Component 1- Performing

  • 2 performances: One solo and one ensemble performance
  • Each performance must be a minimum of 2 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Internally assessed.

Component 2- Composing

  • 2 compositions using Music Technology software: 1 to a set brief; 1 free composition
  • Each composition must be a minimum of 1 minute and both together must total 3 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Internally assessed.

Component 3- Appraising

  • 4 Areas of Study
  • 2 Set Works within each Area of Study
  • 40% of final grade. Externally assessed through an examination.

Teaching Outline

  • Year 9 – Introduction to GCSE Music; Performing; Composing; Instrumental Music 1700-1820; Vocal Music
  • Year 10 – Performing; Composing; Vocal Music; Music for Stage and Screen
  • Year 11 – Performing; Composing; Fusions

What type of student succeeds at GCSE Music?

GCSE Music is both a practical and theoretical course. Students who are learning to play an instrument will be able to do well on this course. Students who listen to a wide variety of music will be able to understand the theoretical side of the course. Students who succeed at GCSE Music are creative and well disciplined. They work hard and complete extra work in order to help improve their understanding.

Subject requirements

All GCSE Music students should be able to play a musical instrument and should have been receiving instrumental lessons for at least 1 year.

Complementary subjects

Music is well paired with other creative subjects such as Media, Art and Drama.


Students receive 1 piece of homework a week, usually related to component 3. They also receive an extension piece each week which they should aim to complete in order to improve their chances of success.