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Music at The Grange School is focused primarilImage24y on practical music-making.

Once this has been established, we then combine the knowledge of how to play and compose with an understanding of listening and appraising, with the aim of creating well-rounded students that understand the key areas of music education.

We also aim to give our students a musical experience that they can develop both in and outside of theImage33 classroom.

Through this, students gain important skills that equip them with the necessary tools for success across all curriculum subjects.

We also run a range of extra-curricular activities that complement progress made in the classroom.


Curriculum Information

Music Curriculum

Key Stage 4 Options Information

Exam board: AQA
Qualification: GCSE in Music
Specification: AQA GCSE Music


The three pillars of music making 20170316 214131(Composing, Performing and Listening) will form the basis of the assessment process:

  1. Coursework -  Performance: 30% of final marks

You will have considerable preparation time for this task to create a solo and ensemble performance. This is recorded in year 11 for final submission to an examiner.

  1. Composition: 30% of final marks

You will have considerable preparation time for this task to create two original compositions. One set to a brief, the other as a free composition. Each one will be written up for final submission to an examiner.

  1. Examinations: Listening and Appraising: 40% of final marks.

Completed as an exam at the end of the course, it is in two parts. The first section is an hour of general listening questions across the four areas of study across the course. The second part focuses on two set pieces where students are to answer extended questions within an essay format.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students who want to develop both practically and theoretically in the study of music. Students will be expected to study solo performance and ensemble performance techniques, alongside creating their own compositions and engaging in the listening and appraising of music over the last 400 years. Genres studied come under four areas of study:

  • Western classical music tradition 1650-1910
  • Popular music
  • Traditional music
  • Western classical tradition since 1910

At the same time, music GCSE provides you with the musical grammar and syntax that might previously have been alien to you and ultimately, you will finish your course with greater knowledge and skills as a musician.

Students who want to study music should:Finn Guitar Playing

  • Have an interest in both the practical and theoretical side of music
  • Already play an instrument, or be willing to learn one
  • Be able to develop their musical ability independently at home as well as in lessons
  • Be successful in group work
  • Be able to reflect on their own work, and the work of others and of the professional repertoire, in detail and with a critical awareness
  • Be open-minded about different genres of music
  • Have an interest in creating their own music as well as performing others’
  • Be prepared to learn how to use new software to create music

Involvement in active music making on your instrument or with your voice is essential. You should be willing to work hard at your skills as a performer and commit to peripatetic music lessons and extra-curricular activities where possible. There will be opportunities for trips to perform and watch concerts and shows to gain a greater understanding of live performances.

What will I do on the course?

Over the course you will develop your skills within the three main areas of music study; performing, composition and listening and appraising.

IMG 2779Performing: As a traditional performer, you will learn to become better as both a soloist and as an ensemble musician. GCSE music allows development in all styles of music, and there are no restrictions or prejudice against any individual musical genres. Ultimately, you will become better at expressing yourself as a performing musician. There is also a Music Technology option where you will be able to act as a producer in recording other people's performances or perform a DJ set.

Composition: As a composer, you will learn to utilise all your musical skills to express yourself in a methodical and organised manner. You will learn to use software on the Mac or iPads to help you with this process. You will also get to experiment with new techniques and new sound worlds to broaden your musical horizons. Whether you are interested in producing dance tracks or writing Symphonic Variations, you will learn new skills to make your compositions original.

Listening and Appraising: As a listener, you will learn to enjoy music critically with historical and theoretical understanding.  You will be equipped with the skills to analyse music and get to the core of what you are listening to.  In time, your musical tastes will widen and you will have a greater understanding of different musical styles and genres.


Music is a subject that can enrich our students within everyday life for enjoyment. Therefore, this course enables students to gain a greater insight into how to understand music in greater depth. The course is split into three areas – performing, composing and listening and appraising. This covers all aspects of music as a subject, both practically and theoretically, to enhance the musical knowledge of our students and make them better musicians. Many employers and academic institutes value music highly as it teaches and develops a number of skills that can benefit and enrich you as a person. Therefore, the study of music at GCSE will impact upon your future aspirations.