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Welcome to

The Adeyfield Academy


Curriculum Lead

Mrs M Forni - Curriculum Lead Performing Arts

Curriculum Principles & Intent

The Music curriculum is designed to promote the enjoyment and knowledge of, and ability in the performance and composition of music.

We aim to develop students who can communicate musically with fluency, accuracy and control of the musical resources used.  They will develop knowledge of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing whilst also developing their theoretical understanding; being effective and independent learners with enquiring minds.

They are required to develop knowledge of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music. They are to learn to recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music and to appreciate the diverse cultures of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology.

Students will have the experience of being creative learners, and encouraged to broaden their musical experience and interests, developing imagination and fostering creativity, forming their own opinions through self-expression and discussion, but also by listening and considering the thoughts and feelings of others. They will develop a knowledge of an appropriate musical language to reflect upon and evaluate musical performances.

Units of work include: popular music through the ages, rhythms of the world, film and gaming music, classical music, song writing, music technology, musical elements and superheroes and tonality.

GCSE Specifications

At the end of Key Stage 3, Year 9 students can select to take GCSE Music at Key Stage 4. This will be the  OCR GCSE Music Qualification.

Exam Board: OCR

Specification Number: J536

Entrance Criteria

Students wishing to study GCSE Music must either be currently taking lessons on an instrument of their choice, willing to start learning an instrument or be a keen and enthusiastic singer. They must also have a keen interest in listening to music, performing music, and exploring music through composition in a wide variety of classical and popular styles.

Course Content

The GCSE Music course builds on skills learnt in Years 7, 8 and 9 concentrating on the practical skills of performing, composing and listening. Students will study, perform and compose a wide range of music from the following 4 areas of study. They will need to complete two performances and two compositions.

Areas of Study

  • Western classical music (baroque, classical, romantic music)
  • World Music (reggae, bhangra, African drumming, calypso, samba) 
  • Film and gaming music
  • Conventions of pop (rock and roll, rock anthems, pop ballads, solo artists

Mode of Assessment

GCSE Music is a combination of 2 non-examined assessments (60%) and 1 written exam (40%).

  • Component 1 Performing 30% NEA - Perform as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble
  • Component 2 Composing 30% NEA 2 - Create 2 compositions to set brief
  • Component 3 Appraising 40% - 1 hour 30 minute listening and appraising exam based on the 4 Areas of Study

The GCSE Music course is extremely practical and creative and would suit any student who has an interest or flair for creating and performing music. Students will learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music, developing critical and creative thinking, cultural, aesthetic and emotional awareness, and the ability to make music individually and as part of a group.

A Level Specification

A Level Music

Level of Course: 3

Entry Requirements

  • Students will need to perform a recital on their chosen instrument in March of the second year, therefore students must be at least a Grade 5 standard by the end of the first year of study. 
  • Under some circumstances, students who have not followed a GCSE course will be accepted depending on a demonstration of proficiency in music theory (e.g. Grade V Theory or higher) and performing on an instrument or voice.

Area of study

Unit 1: Performance

  • A recital of two (25% of final grade) or three (35% of final grade) pieces on their chosen instruments. One of the pieces in the 25% option, and two of the pieces in the 35% option must link to an Area of Study. The recital should be of between 6 and 8 minutes for the 25% option, and 10 and 12 minutes for the 35% option at a minimum standard of Grade VI.

Unit 2: Composition

  • A choice of two (25% of final mark) or three compositions (35% of final mark). Depending on the option, one or two of these will be in relation to a brief set by the board, and the second or third will be a free choice.
  • Total time for the 25% option would be 4-6 minutes, and for the 35% option, 8-10 minutes.

Unit 3: Students sit a 2 hour written appraising paper

  • Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language will be explored through the study of set works that fall into the following categories; The Western Classical Tradition, one of Rock & Pop, Musical Theatre or Jazz and one of Twentieth Century Music, or Music into the Twenty-First Century.
  • Students will also be required to apply this knowledge to unfamiliar works.

Expectations of students

To regularly attend instrumental or vocal music lessons and to participate in at least one extra-curricular Music club, set preparation to be completed as well as background reading and listening around the historical context of set works. Regular instrumental practice must be undertaken.

Learning methods

A combination of learning methods will be employed - ranging from research lessons, teacher and student led score analysis, practical performance, individual composition time and listening and harmonic exercises.

Careers implications

As Music combines well with both Arts and Sciences, a range of careers are possible. However, directly musical careers may be in performance, composition, workshop leading education, publishing, arts administration and management, music law, computer technology, journalism, theatre and music therapy.

Instrumental lessons

For information on music tuition please click here.

Get in touch

Miss Sam Rogers, School Business Manager

Hemel Hempstead

(To request a paper copy, please contact our Administration Department on the contact details below)

(01442) 406020