We offer GCSE as an online course and can facilitate private entry for students able to fulfil the controlled assessment requirements. We use the Edexcel specification; component 1 (performing), component 2 (composing) and component 3 (appraising).
There are two parts to this element of the course; solo performance and ensemble performance. They carry equal weighting and together need to last four minutes. Each performance can consist of one or more performances but must be at least one minute each. For example, it is possible to perform one ensemble piece lasting one minute and two or more solo pieces lasting three minutes. The final performances are captured in an audio recording under controlled conditions. Students are assessed on technique, expression and interpretation and accuracy and fluency and receive a raw mark out of 24 which can be scaled up to a maximum of 30 marks depending on the level of difficulty of the music presented. The standard level of difficulty for GCSE (Edexcel) is Grade 4 and a raw mark of 24/24 can be scaled up to 30/30. If grade 5 standard repertoire is presented (‘more difficult’) a raw mark of 20/24 would be scaled up to 30/30. Repertoire below grade 4 standard (‘less difficult’) is also awarded a mark out of 24 but is not scaled up or down.
Please note the online course does not include instrumental or vocal tuition. The tutor will provide guidance and answer any performance-related queries. An assessment of your performing (marked against GCSE criteria) during the course is also available through the shop by sending an mp3 recording and a PDF score if applicable.
Two compositions lasting three minutes altogether are required. A minimum of five hours, including the final write up and recording must take place under controlled conditions under teacher supervision. The compositions carry equal weighting and one is in response to a set brief and the other is a free composition where students can follow their own interests. The online course provides composition projects giving a stage by stage guide to assist students in understanding the grading criteria, plus exemplar material. An assessment of trial compositions (marked against GCSE criteria) is also available through the shop to help students understand the level standard expected. The tutor will provide guidance and support throughout the course.
This is a written exam lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. The next siting is 4th June 2019. The online course firstly guides students through eight set works across four areas of study. The focus is on the music elements and acquiring the necessary subject specific terminology using the acronym DR SMITH (Dynamics - Rhythm, Tempo and Metre - Structure - Melody - Instrumentation - Texture - Harmony and Tonality). For every set work, each element is thoroughly examined via audio guides. Exam-type questions are incorporated throughout, alongside exam technique. The online course does not require any further resources although students would benefit from working through the past and sample paper resources available supporting the Edexcel specification. The tutor will provide guidance and support throughout the course and provide feedback on the exam-type questions incorporated within the course.