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KS4 Music

EDEXCEL GCSE Music

Unit 1 – Performing Music

  • One solo performance
  • One ensemble performance

Overview of assessment

Recordings of both solo and ensemble performances (on CD/MD/MP3)

Scores, professional recordings or written commentary (for Realisation) for both performances

In lessons students have the opportunity to refine their solo and ensemble skills and also to learn by watching others perform.  They showcase their talents in a wide variety of concerts and performances, (both in the Academy and outside throughout the course), visiting peripatetic staff, along with the MFG staff, provide specialised expert tuition on all instruments, in the form of one to one sessions and group interventions. Students also get 10 hours to record each of their performances and this is done in or outside the Academy during year 11.

Unit 2 – Composing Music

  • Two compositions, or
  • Two arrangements, or
  • One composition and one arrangement

Composition assessment criteria

  • Teachers must mark students’ compositions using the three assessment criteria grids on the following pages to give a mark out of 30.
  • These criteria have been developed to assess students’ skills in developing musical ideas, demonstrating technical control and composing with musical coherence. They are to be used to assess both the Pearson set brief and free composition.
  • Where the word ‘instrument’ is mentioned this includes voice.
  • For the composition being assessed, teachers should use their professional judgement to establish in which level of quality the music composed is.
  • The compositions are equally weighted and will be marked equally, even if the two compositions are of significantly different lengths.
  • Teachers should mark the performance against each grid in order to get a total mark out of 30 for each composition (Pearson set brief and free composition). The totals from each composition piece should be added together to give the total marks for this component out of 60.

Composing is taught in a practical way and students learn about the skill of composing in a variety of styles before starting on their actual compositions.  They have the opportunity to use music technology and a variety of software to compose with. They have 10 hours to complete the writing of each piece, record it and produce appropriate notation.

Unit 3 – Music – Listening and Appraising

Knowledge and study of set works in the Areas of Study

Assessment information

  • This is an externally set and assessed examination
  • First assessment: May/June 2018.
  • This component consists of 80 marks.
  • The assessment is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • The assessment consists of nine questions.
  • Students must answer all questions.
  • The paper will include multiple-choice, short open, and extended writing questions.
  • There are two sections in the examination:

Section A: 68 marks

Section B: 12 marks

  • The extracts of the pieces of music will be played on CD to all students taking the examination paper.

In this unit students study 12 set works ranging from Baroque music to club dance music to African music.  We approach the various styles from a practical angle using authentic instruments where possible, thus acquiring the necessary knowledge and understanding whilst building performance skills.  We also teach revision skills and examination technique to give our students the best possible chance in the examination.

Throughout the two years we aim to provide a broad understanding of music to allow our students to go on to study music at a higher level; either A-Level Music or Music Technology or A-Level 3 BTEC in Music.

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