Key Stage 3
Students throughout KS3 develop their performing, composition, and listening skills through the study of a wide range of genres and styles. We give students the opportunity to develop their vocal and instrumental skills looking at topics such as Band Skills, Songwriting, Popular Classical Music, Blues and Jazz, Musicals, Dance Music, Reggae, and The Beatles. We aim to teach students to:
– play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression.
– improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions.
– use staff and other relevant notations appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.
– identify and use the interrelated elements of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices.
– listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians.
– develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history.
Key Stage 4
Here at DCHS we study the AQA GCSE specification.
There are 3 parts to this qualification:
Understanding Music Exam
Exam – worth 40% of the GCSE
You will be assessed on your listening skills and contextual understanding. The paper is split into 2 sections:
Section A: Unfamiliar Music (68 marks)
Section B: Study Pieces (28 marks)
The set works studied are:
Haydn Clock Symphony Movement 2
Beatles – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album
Performing Music – worth 30% of the GCSE
Students will have to do two performances, one solo and one ensemble. Both of the combined pieces will have to equal 4 minutes or longer in length. It is highly encouraged that as a musician students should be playing regularly with groups and ensembles to build up a repertoire of music. Pupils should also have a regular practice routine, and be receiving tuition from an instrumental teacher to assist you in getting the most marks in this area of the course.
Composing Music – worth 30% of the GCSE
Pupils will have to do two compositions for GCSE which will have to amount to 3 minutes or more of music in total. One composition is set to a brief which is released in the September of Year 11, and free composition in an area/style/genre of the candidates own choosing. It is highly encouraged to listen to as much music as possible to assist in this area of the course.
Key Stage 5
Here at DCHS we study the AQA A Level specification.
There are 3 parts to this qualification:
Appraising Music Exam
Exam – worth 40% of the A Level
Students are assessed on listening skills, analysis skills, and contextual understanding. The paper is split into 3 sections:
Section A: Listening (56 marks)
Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
Section C: Essay (30 Marks)
There are varying areas of study which we tailor to students needs. They will study 2 areas of study (AoS1: Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 and AoS5: Jazz) and choose one more from the following options:
AoS2 – Pop Music
AoS3 – Music for Media
AoS4 – Music for Theatre
AoS6 – Contemporary Traditional Music
AoS7 – Art Music since 1910
Performing Music – worth 35% of the A Level
Students will have to do a minimum of ten minutes of performance. The repertoire should be wide and varied showing a high degree of skill and demand.
It is highly encouraged that as a musician students should be playing regularly with groups and ensembles to build up a repertoire of music. They should also have a regular practice routine, and be receiving tuition from an instrumental teacher to assist in getting the most marks in this area of the course.
Composing Music – worth 35% of the A Level
Pupils will have to do two compositions for your A Level which will have to amount to 4 and a half minutes or more of music in total. One composition is set to a brief which is released in the September of Year 13, and free composition in an area/style/genre of the candidates own choosing. It is highly encouraged to listen to as much music as possible to assist in this area of the course.
Courses are split into 3 sections: Appraising Music, Performing Music, and Composing Music. They are weighted differently depending on the course. GCSE is weighted 40% Appraising, 30% each for Performing and Composition. A level is weighted 40% Appraising, 35% for Performing and 25% for Composition.
AQA for both GCSE and A Level
Resources to Support Learning
Google Classroom resources, GCSE Bitesize, Musictheory.net, musictheoryhelp.co.uk, Yousician, Youtube, Spotify and other music applications
It can open doors to a range of education and employment pathways in:
Being a musician isn’t the only career in music – other options include being a sound technician, community musician, music therapist, teacher, or private tutor, or a range of careers in the music industry, in a concert hall or music venue.
The arts/creative industries
This might include work in film, TV, theatre, radio, arts administration, or creative education.
Professions such as medicine, law, accountancy
Music is highly regarded as an academic subject and so could complement your other studies in leading to a professional career.
Any other pathway a young person might choose
GCSE Music provides a range of transferable skills that will provide a good foundation, whatever pathway your child chooses.
Mr J. Ridley
Mrs S. Cochrane
Ms L. Ion