Ashbourne’s GCSE Music students have fantastic opportunities not only to explore a wide range of musical styles and contexts but also to share and develop their own ideas through composition and performance in the many and varied events we organise throughout the year. This provides our students with the chance to put their knowledge and skills into practice and gives them a taste of life as a profession musician.
Why study GCSE Music?
GCSE Music introduces students to an art form that spans all cultures across all walks of life. Students will examine a wide range of music and contexts, including their own, to develop their musical knowledge, creativity and technical skill. Importantly they will explore how music expresses identity.
Which syllabus do we follow?
Ashbourne follows the Edexcel specification for GCSE Music.
What is covered on the course?
The aim of this course is to develop students’ musical fluency and open a pathway to studying A level Music. It covers a wide range of music theory (melody, harmony and tonality, structure, tempo, metre and rhythm, dynamics and articulation, sonority, texture and notation), a variety of musical styles (18th century instrumental, vocal, film and stage music, fusion), as well as music technology (software, recording, decks and sampling). The course is divided into three core areas: Performing, Composing and Appraising.
Students are required to perform solo and ensemble for the qualification, both of which are assessed internally and externally moderated. This component comprises 30% of the overall qualification.
Students create two compositions for this component: one from a set brief and the other personally driven, both of which are assessed internally and externally moderated. This component comprises 30% of the overall qualification.
Students sit a written examination of 1 hour 45 minutes for this component, which comprises 40% of the overall qualification.
Who teaches this course?
MA Music Composition (Royal College of Music); BA Music Composition (Royal Northern College of Music)
Piers has been composing for many years and his work has been performed widely including by the Britten Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Composers’ Ensemble and London Children’s Ballet.
Piers runs Ashbourne’s choir and music club and has been instrumental in the production of our popular annual Ashbourne Revue.
MA Music, Historical Musicology (King’s College, London); BA Music (King’s College, London); PGCE Harpiscord and Conducting (Guildhall School of Music and Drama); PCGE Secondary Music (Institute of Education, University of London)
Yat-Soon is a professional musician, conductor and musical director who has performed extensively as a solo harpsichordist and in ensembles at many prestigious and historic venues in the UK and Europe. He has also conduced widely acclaimed productions of baroque opera and vocal music including for the London Baroque Opera and is musical director with Opéra de Baugé in France.
Yat-Soon has been sharing his love of music and wealth of professional and educational experience for many years as teacher and director of music at schools, including St Paul’s Girls and Lady Eleanor Holles, and Birmingham University.