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Music GCSE

Mr. R. Gallo

Head of Department

If you truly enjoy music and like to sing, play a musical instrument, or make music using technology, Music GCSE might be the course for you! 

In this course you will embark on a journey to develop your performance ability, learn to compose a piece of music, as well as improve your listening and thinking skills. This is a rewarding qualification which empowers you with a range of transferable skills such as ability to plan ahead, work as a team, think and understand patterns, manage time and handle several projects at once. 

Why Choose Music? 

Music is an academic subject in its own right and brings a wide range of transferable skills, which will better equip you for your future endeavors, independently from whatever career path you decide to choose 

Employers, colleges and universities see creative subjects as assets, and they look for young people with capabilities that music will help you develop, such as: 

  • creative thinking 
  • artistic expression 
  • communication 
  • tenacity and resilience 
  • self-confidence 
  • emotional intelligence 
  • adaptability 

GCSE Music helps form a wellrounded and educated individual, and gives students a wonderful and healthy practical activity, which they might carry on for the rest of your life as a hobby.  

But if you are more ambitious and would like to work in the music and performing arts industry, this course is the very first step you need to take to develop that career. 

What do I have to do take the course? 

Easy! While in year 9, start learning a musical instrument with a teacher or take on voice lessons. By the time you get to year 11 you should be playing or singing a piece of music equivalent to a grade 3 standard. 

Alternatively, you can start exploring ways of making music with a computer or tablet. Try Soundtrap ( or Bandlab ( They are internet based virtual studios, a fun way to make music using technology without playing a musical instrument. 

A summary of Eduqas GCSE Music Qualification    

Component 1: Performing 

Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes.  

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 

30% of qualification 


minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble.One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.  

Performance standard: Grade 3 


Component 2: Composing 

Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes.  

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated. 

30% of qualification 


Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief. 



Component 3: Appraising 

Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately). 

40% of qualification 

This component is assessed via a listening examination. It is a paper with eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study: 

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  

Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC 

The exam will focus on three main topics:  

Elements of Music – melody, harmony, tonality, form and structure, dynamics, sonority, texture, tempo, rhythm, metre.  

The context – the time, place and purpose of the music  

Musical Language – the list of musical terms, notes in the treble and bass clef and any specific vocabulary associated with the set works. 



Set works from WJEC 


Area of study 1: Badinerie – Suite N.2 in B minor BWV1067 


J. S. Bach (1685-1750) 

Area of study 4: Africa 


Toto (Paich/Porcaro) 


Careers in Music

Music is a fantastic activity to pursue, either as a hobby or as a career.

With the dynamic changes in our society, the market for creative professionals in the digital and recording world is ever increasing. Furthermore, the demand for creative and expressive young professionals across all areas is higher than ever.

Studying Music will help you develop a collection of direct skills and transferable skills that are highly desired by employers and universities. These are outlined in the main page of the Music Department website.

There are a wide variety of job roles a music student can access. These job roles range from practical roles in music to administrative and leadership roles. Some are for technology inclined, some are completely practical, others are more academic or administrative roles. The range of pay varies significantly, some can even reach 6 figures per year. But above all, they are mostly rewarding and engaging.

Places of work range from Studios, Theatres, Music Labels, Technology Companies, Schools, to working from your home office/studio, and amongst the main professions a music student can develop, there are:
  • Performing Musician (orchestras, bands, solo performer, musical theatre companies)
  • Recording Musician (session musician)
  • Singer
  • Military musician (career in the military as musician, director or teacher)
  • Conductor
  • Music Director
  • Composer (for film, video-game and television)
  • Songwriter
  • Arranger and Orchestrator
  • Sound Engineer (recordings, internet streaming and live concerts)
  • Sound Designer (for film, games and websites)
  • Audio Engineer (for sound treatment in buildings)
  • Music Software Developer
  • Disc Jockey (DJ)
  • Roadie / Stage Hand
  • Stage Manager
  • Tour manager
  • Technician (for instruments and sound equipment)
  • Piano tuner
  • Radio and TV Presenter Producer
  • Producer in the record industry
  • Music Publisher
  • Music Agent
  • Music Editor
  • Retailer (sales, import/export)
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Critic

The list above is not exhaustive as the industry expands with the development of technology and the necessity of more musical content to be created. Often a music professional can perform different types of work according to the demand of the market and flexibility is not found in many professions.

The pathway to developing a career can vary. Achieve a university degree can lead to better job placements. But other pathways can also lead to great job opportunities as well.

The pathways to develop a career in music are:

Music GCSE -> A Level Music -> University or Conservatory Degree -> Work


Music GCSE -> A Level Music -> Work


Music GCSE -> College -> Work