Music – KS4
Course name: GCSE Music
Examination Board and specification number:
EDEXCEL – 2MU01
The focus of the course is on four main areas of study-
- Western classical music between 1600-1899
- Music in the 20th century
- Popular music in context
- World music
The examination is divided into three parts:
- Unit 1- Performing Music (worth 30%)
By the end of April of the assessment year, students will have a folio of performances that they have completed through the year, assessed by the teacher. From this, two (one solo and one ensemble) are put forward for final moderation by the examination board.
Preparation for this will include a number of (public and class-based) performances that will take place over the duration of the course.
- Unit 2- Composing Music (worth 30%)
By the end of April of the assessment year, students will have completed two compositions from contrasting areas of study which have been assessed by the teacher. These will be put forward for final moderation by the examination board.
Preparation for this will include regular ongoing work in and out of class, on set composition briefs given by the teacher and improving the work using feedback given by the teacher.
- Unit 3- Listening and Understanding (worth 40%)
In May of the assessment year, students will take a 90 minute paper set and marked by the examination board. Questions are accompanied by recorded examples and are taken from 12 set works covering the four areas of study that have been studied throughout the course
Preparation for this will include opportunities to witness live performances of the set works and related pieces, discussion work and assessment tasks.
Homework relates directly to the three assessment areas:
- Performing- in addition to class time, students are expected to practice for their assessments on a daily basis, as is good practice for any credible musician. This is seen as a set homework expectation that will be assessed via the final performances. This time is outside of the controlled assessment allocation.
- Composing- in addition to class time, students are expected to dedicate at least one after school opportunity to additional time to complete improvements on composition projects. This time is outside of the controlled assessment allocation.
- Listening and Understanding- regular homework assignments on the content of the listening/theory classes will be set. These may include research, answering exemplar questions, completion of class work or exercises designed to improve understanding.
- Sheet music as appropriate to the performance work being undertaken
- Headphones are recommended (for hygiene purposes)
- The department has a range of guitars, amps and keyboards for performance and rehearsal purposes, but instruments should be brought in as appropriate. Other instrumentalists should bring in appropriate consumables to their instrument (for example, drumsticks and guitar picks).
- A 1 KB USB memory stick is strongly advised to backup coursework
All relevant materials including study guides are given to students at the start of the course, but the following are useful sources of information:
- GCSE bitesize
- Youtube (for the comparison of performances of set works and own recital pieces)
- Various instrument-specific magazines that include sheet music and/or backing tracks for possible performances e.g. ‘the pianist’, ‘total guitar’
- A reputable dictionary of music (available in the school library as well as online).
Supporting your child’s progress
As per key stage three, but in addition…
- to encourage regular (preferably daily) use of own time for personal instrumental/vocal practice to prepare for performance assessment deadlines
- to encourage weekly attendance at after school sessions for completion of composition work to meet assessment deadlines
- if possible to fund peripatetic lessons on instrument/voice as to develop specific technique more