Achieving Excellence Beyond Belief
Sandy Upper School


Course Title: GCSE Music
Syllabus Code: 1MU0
Exam Board: Edexcel Web link

Year 1 Term1

  • An introduction to Key Music skills. Students will learn basic keyboard and singing skills.
  • There will be a focus on listening, performing and composing with particular attention on chords, musical notes, symbols, pitch, tempo and dynamics.
  • Students will be introduced to the time periods and key areas of the specification.

Year 1 Term2

  • This terms focus will be on performance skills. Each student will be given a piece to practice and perform as a group. The groups will be assessed three times and given help and guidance on how to improve together.
  • One lesson a week will be dedicated to instrumental music, the first area of set works. We will be exploring the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, movement III by J.S. Bach and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, No 8, movement 1. We will look the structure, texture, melody, harmony, and tonality and performing forces.
  • Finally in this term students will compose to a brief, this will be in ternary form. A free composition makes up 15% of the overall music grade and this will be the student’s first attempt at composition.

Year 1 Term3

  • This term will focus on vocal music and music for stage and screen in preparation for the appraising paper worth 40% of the overall GCSE grade. The pieces that will be explored are: Purcell’s ‘Music for a While’, Queen’s ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked and ‘Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner’ from Star Wars Episode I. Students will learn the key themes, melody, harmony, tonality, texture, structure and performing forces of each piece.
  • Each student will complete a composition for both vocal music and music for stage and screen.
  • Students will also have one lesson fortnight dedicated to solo performance skills. They will be assessed using GCSE criteria and given specific areas to work on.

Year 2 Term1

  • The composition set by the exam board will be available in this term. Students will be introduced to their briefs and complete their set composition.
  • The overall focus for this term is finishing all coursework. Students will be expected to have completed their: solo performance, ensemble performance, free composition and set composition by Christmas. This will ensure that 60% of the course is complete.

Year 2 Term2

  • The focus for this term will be completing the final key area: fusions. The pieces ‘Sama Em Prelúdio’ from the album Esperanza by Esperanza Spalding and ‘Release’ from the album Volume 2: Release by Afro Celt System will be explored.
  • The remainder of time will focus on listening and exam skills in preparation for the final GCSE exam. Students will have plenty of revision lessons, revision material, past paper questions and opportunities to ensure that they can reach their potential on the listening paper.

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