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For keen musicians, the GCSE course is a natural progression from Year 9 and seeks to develop musicianship through focus on the key areas of performing, composing and understanding music.

You ‘ll develop the skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources, broadening your musical experience and interests in a way that develops imagination and fosters creativity.

At the beginning of the course, you will be taught the fundamentals of composition through short tasks. The best composers develop their ideas through experimentation and refinement of ideas played on their instrument. These are then transferred onto specialist notation software for easy editing and playback, giving you an immediate realisation of your creative ideas. Listening and appraising skills are taught via study of set works and these form the basis of the examination.

Your lessons will take place in the Mountgarret Music school, which houses our 9-foot Grotian Steinweg concert grand piano, composition-focused computer suite and a recording studio. Most students also attend our Music Department foreign tours and day trips.

This subject is for you

If you have an aptitude for developing thoughts independently and musical ideas linger in your mind. You’ll enjoy a wide range of musical styles and will be excited by learning to recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music.


  • 60% coursework (30% Performance, 30% Composition)
  • 40% examination

Exam Board

  • Pearson