KS4 Music


Exam Board



Course Summary

Music is studied in three areas, performing (solo and ensemble), composing (music and creative ideas students come up with) and listening and understanding (analysing music through listening to music of many different styles and ages).

What will students learn?

Year 10

Students will study instrumental music, engage in performances and explore composing styles using Sibelius software, Cubase sequencing, recording using microphones and processors and using the voice or an instrument to make music.

Year 11

Students will be engaged in a more detailed analysis of musical styles across the ages and dictation of music, further performances of a more difficult nature and writing assessed compositions.

How will students be assessed?

Students will perform a solo on their chosen instrument or voice of no less than one minute followed by an ensemble task of no less than one minute. Overall performance time will be no less than 4 minutes. Overall weighted marks – 30%. Your performances will be marked by your teacher.

Compositions will make up another 30% of student coursework and will be marked by your teacher.

Students will sit an examination in the summer of Y11 where they will hear extracts from six of the eight set works they have studied. They will also have to write down melodies or rhythms that are played to them. (40%)


All students will have to be able to read music to be successful in this course. Starting points for performances and compositions will be matched to their skills and abilities and outcomes based on how they performed or composed using different elements of music. When listening to music they will need to understand basic staff notation and for this an understanding of at least grade 1 or 2 theory would help. To have no knowledge of music notation will mean they cannot access most of the course. It is also a requirement to have lessons on an instrument or voice.


Computer software – Sibelius, Cubase;

Anthology of music with set works across eras of music and different contemporary styles.

Go to the Edexcel New GCSEs website for courses starting in September 2016. Follow the links to GCSE music to have more information about this specification.

Wrenn Academy offers music lessons on all standard orchestral instruments, voice, guitar and keyboard.