Music (GCSE or RSL Music Practitioners)

Course Information

Literacy ****
Numeracy *****
Communications ***
Creativity ***
Practical ***
Group Work ***
Examination Assessment 100%
Non Examination Assessment 0%
EBacc x
Examination Board OCR
Course GCSE

GCSE Music

General Information

GCSE Music is an academic GCSE. This subject is appealing to universities because it shows you can persevere in your chosen instrument and learn a wide variety of skills.

It includes analysing music, the study of the history and context of a wide variety of musical styles, writing an essay, aural skills (identifying musical notes from listening), composing 2 pieces of music and performing on your chosen instrument. 

You may find GCSE music difficult if you do not play an instrument and have weekly lessons, either as a beginner or a more experienced player/singer. You will need to consider this if you wish to pursue GCSE music or go down the vocational route of Rock School Level 2.

What will I need to succeed?

  • To enjoy listening to and learning about many different styles of music.
  • To enjoy performing (singing or playing) in any style – it is crucial that you have instrumental lessons already or are willing to start them.
  • To enjoy creating and recording their own music.
  • To enjoy using music technology.
  • To enjoy working on your own and with others.

Expected Subject Content

The GCSE course follows WJEC (Welsh Board) Eduqas and focuses on the three main areas of listening, performing and composing.

The assessment for this course is weighted as follows:

Component 1: Performing – 30% of the final grade. Non-examined assessment (ie coursework marked internally)

  • Perform a minimum of two pieces on your instrument or voice. One of these must be as an ensemble (group). 
  • The total duration of the performance is 4-6 minutes.

 

Component 2:  Composing– 30% of the final grade. Non-examined assessment (ie coursework marked internally)

  • Compose 2 pieces of music, one of which must be to a brief.
  • The total duration must be 3-6 minutes.

 

Component 3: Appraising– 40%

A listening and writing examination at the end of Year 11 based upon specific pieces of music taken from a wide range of styles and musical concepts & skills gained during the course.

Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices 

Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble

Area of study 3: Film Music 

Area of study 4: Popular Music

What careers it can lead to after leaving Swanmore College

You could go on to study A Level music, music technology or switch over to a vocational course such as Rock School Level 3 or BTEC music technology, sound production or performance.

GCSE music has lots of transferable skills including analysis, creativity, essay writing and group work. It is highly regarded in my career paths.

You can study music at University; anything from an academic degree at Oxford or Cambridge, a performing degree at a music college, such as The Royal College of Music in London or Trinity College London, to more vocational courses in performing, sound production or music technology.

Rock School Level 2: Music Practitioners

General Information

Music Practitioners, Rock School Level 2 is a new vocational course run by Rock School. A Rock School Level 2 is an alternative pathway, but is equivalent to a GCSE. It is graded by pass, merit or distinction. A pass is the equivalent of a GCSE grade 4, a merit a 5, and a distinction is the equivalent of a GCSE grade 6.

If you play your instrument to a high level then you might be best doing GCSE, but if you are just starting out on your instrument or have not yet started playing one, then RSL Level 2 would suit you.

 

Do 6th Form Colleges accept it?

Many vocational courses at Fareham College, Havant & South Downs College accept Rock School Level 2 if you were interested in doing sound production or sound engineering, performing on any rock/pop instruments or voice at college.

If you wanted to study A Level Music or Music Technology at either Peter Symonds or Barton Peveril, then you would need to have GCSE music or grade 5 in your chosen instrument and theory.

What will I need to succeed?

  • To enjoy listening to and learning about many different styles of music.
  • To enjoy performing (singing or playing) in any style – it is not crucial that you have instrumental lessons already but you must have an interest in one specific instrument or voice.
  • To enjoy creating and recording their own music.
  • To enjoy using music technology.
  • To enjoy working on your own and with others.

Expected Subject Content

Rock School Level 2 has 2 core, and 1 optional component:

Core:

  • Musical knowledge
  • Live Musical Performance

 

Optional:

One of either:

  • Instrumental Study (learn an instrument in lessons)
  • Composing music (compose some music)
  • Sound recording (set up a recording and capture it)
  • Using a DAW (learn how to use a DAW)

 
Musical knowledge

Students study 2 contrasting musical styles and write about how they were born, who were the key musical contributors and then write about it, or record a vlog.

Students then analyse a chosen song of any genre and write about it, or record a vlog.

 

Live Musical Performance

Students plan their own performance either in groups or as individuals or as a combination of both. RSL gives us a brief, and we decide on what songs to perform. Students write their own practice plan and evidence their planning through a written task or a vlog. They also need to consider health and safety aspects of a performance. Students then perform something that is no more than 15 minutes to a live audience.

What careers it can lead to after leaving Swanmore College

You could go on to study another vocational course such as Rock School Level 3 or BTEC music technology, sound production or performance.

SIMS Parent

KEY DATES FOR OPTIONS CHOICES

The deadlines below are important to allow the school enough time to check each pupils’ Option choices and prepare timetables for September. 

Parents will need to use the SIMs Parent App or to logon to the SIMs Options Website to select the options for their children. The final deadline for submission of the subject choices is Friday 19 March 2021.

Thursday 11 March 2021 Year 9 Parents Evening 4 pm – 7 pm
Monday 15 March 2021 Year 9 Parents Evening 4 pm – 7 pm
Friday 19 March 2021 Deadline for submission of Options Forms

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