Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy

Key Stage 4 Music

Why take GCSE Music?

A passion for music can take you far – into the worlds of performance, composition, education and media. In addition, the study of music is highly regarded by universities and further education establishments because it relies on the mastery of many different disciplines and skills.

What do I need to do before taking the course?

  • Have an interest in performing, composing and listening to music and a desire to learn more and to discover new styles of music.
  • Level 5 or above at key stage three.
  • Be able to play an instrument or sing or be willing to learn an instrument
  • Enthusiasm and commitment

What will I learn?/How will I be assessed?

We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus which is split up into 4 units. The Music GCSE course is an exciting opportunity for students wishing to further their composition, listening and performance skills. Over 2 years, students learn about music from many different styles and genres such as ‘Popular Music’ and ‘World Music’, and are given the chance to perform and compose in these styles as well. Overleaf is how the GCSE is split up.

Component 1: Understanding music

Component  1           

Understanding Music

How it's assessed?

Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.



• Section A: Listening – unfamiliar music (68 marks)

• Section B: Study pieces (28 marks)

The exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks (96 marks). 


Component 2: Performing music

Component 3


How it's assessed?

• Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)

• Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks).

A minimum of three minutes of music in total is required.

This component is 30% of GCSE marks (72 marks).

This will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA


Music Homework

Key Stage 4 will use the following programme for their homework. They will be given an account to log in by their music teacher.