Cardinal Heenan

Catholic High School



Curriculum Leader: Mrs M Keith

Music GCSE

Course Level: GCSE Exam Board: AQA Course code: 8271

The course aims to develop an appreciation and enjoyment of music through an active involvement in the three musical activities:
• Listening (40%)
• Performing (30%)
• Composing (30%)

It also aims to develop sensitivity towards music through personal experience by the exercise of imagination and the acquisition of skills and knowledge.

The main aims of the music course are to:
• promote an appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of a wide range of music
• show how and why music has developed from the earliest published music to the styles of today
• develop listening and performing skills and aural awareness
• provide a sound basis for further study and leisure.

What the course covers

There are three components:
Listening - Through listening to a wide range of styles students develop aural awareness, discrimination and analytical skills. They learn to distinguish between instruments and voices heard singly and in various combinations, and will be tested in a final, written examination based on recorded extracts of music.

Performing - Acquiring (or improving existing)
performance skills on the instrument(s) of the student's
choice, including voice, and preparing both solo and
ensemble performances.

Composing - Preparation of two compositions or
arrangements in the form of notation appropriate to the

Component 1: Understanding music 40% of GCSE 1 hour 30 minutes. Examination paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music
Component 2: Performing music 30% of GCSE
Solo and ensemble performances as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology
Component 3: Composing music 30% of GCSE
One composition to a brief plus one free composition

Where the course can lead
The course provides knowledge and skills which will help students to use their leisure time effectively and constructively. It can also lead to GCE A-level and higher education with a view to class teaching, peripatetic and private instrumental teaching and performing.