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GCSE Music Letter Year 10 (as of 06.09.12)

I am writing to you to explain the GCSE Music Course requirements for the coming academic year, so that you and your child are in no doubt as to expectations.

The course is divided into three units:

1. Performance

2. Composition

3. Listening and Analysing

Unit 1 Performance

Each student needs to prepare a Solo Performance and a Group Performance which will be recorded and marked during the week of 4-8 March 2014. Students who have individual instrumental or vocal lessons will work with their teacher on the solo performance and other students will work with either Mrs Nichols or Mrs Cooke to identify and rehearse a suitable piece. For the purposes of the examination, a group performance will be one that involves a minimum of two students and a maximum of eight. Students can choose who will perform with them and these need not necessarily be students from the same class. Indeed, in the past, staff and occasionally young people from outside have come in to perform. Obviously, as we start the course, these dates may seem like a long way off, but the time will pass very quickly. Students will be expected to learn several pieces over the coming months, perform at regular intervals in lessons and be marked against the criteria, as stipulated by the exam board, to prepare them for their final performance.

Unit 2 Composition

Students are required to compose two pieces lasting no fewer than three minutes in total. Each composition must be associated in some way with a different Area of Study (AOS) and can be written using music technology on Cubase or Sibelius or in the more traditional way with pencil and manuscript paper.

Composition 1 must be completed by end of Term 1 2013

Composition 2 must be completed by mid March 2014

Mrs Nichols, Mrs Cooke and Mr Cooke will give students very clear guidance as to the brief for each composition and help and support both in lessons and at lunchtimes.

During Y10 students will be experimenting with different compositional techniques, styles and genres, working in small groups in order to prepare them for their individual work in Y11

Unit 3, Listening and Analysing

Students are required to study twelve set works divided into four Areas of Study (AOS). All students will be given a CD of the pieces, a score which they should annotate with their own notes and a CPG revision guide which has all the information they need. They should all listen repeatedly to the pieces, both with and without the score. Many students in the past have found it useful to put the pieces onto ipods etc. Term 1 will be AOS 1, Term 2 AOS 2, Term 3 AOS 3, Term 1 of 2013 AOS 4. From January 2014 students will be focusing on revision of set works and completion of all coursework.

Extra-curricular activities

All GCSE and A level music students are expected to support the work of the department in the school and in turn develop their own musicianship. Singing is the most important of all these activities as it teaches everything – listening, communication, performance skills, aural awareness, harmony, team ethics, confidence and empathy. I would like to see all Y10 students involved in the singing ensembles next term and would appreciate your support in encouraging your child to join us. There are a range of other activities that all are welcome to attend, work load permitting.

If you have any queries regarding any of the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Mummery