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"Success for All"


Developing creativity through musical invention

Music offers opportunities for students to develop their creativity through composing, improvising and inventing using music technology. Students learn to appraise through listening activities, discovering what goes on in a piece of music, through an understanding of the elements of music. Students explore the music of different styles, genres and cultures through listening, performance and composition. They learn how musicians play a part in today's communities and recognise what is entailed in following the career paths that musicians choose to pursue.

Key Stage 3

Music provides a solid foundation for GCSE Music. It also develops many of the skills required in independent learning and creative problem-solving.


In Key Stage 3, students will develop skills in order to:

  • Create their own music

  • Perform to an audience

  • Evaluate and refine their work

  • Progress, demonstrating knowledge and understanding

Key Stage 4

Students follow the AQA Music GCSE course.

Core content:

  • Understanding Music

  • Performing Music

  • Composing Music 


Component 1: Understanding Music

  • Listening

  • Contextual Understanding 

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

What's assessed: 

  • Music Performance

How it's assessed:

As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:

  • Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks) 

  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks) 

A minimum of four minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance. 

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

Component 3: Composing Music

What's assessed: 

  • Composition 

How it's assessed:

Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)

Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks) 

A minimum of 3 minutes of music in total is required. 

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

Key Stage 5

Honiton Community College does not currently offer any music courses at Key Stage 5.

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