Head of faculty – Mr A.Milthorpe 

Subject lead – Mrs J.Elliott



The study of music at Smithills School develops the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians through the use of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing. We strive to broaden the musical experience and interests of all our pupils through developing imagination and fostering creativity. 


At Smithills School all Year 7 & Year 8 pupils have one lesson of Music per fortnight. They begin their music experience by exploring a range of technical, compositional and expressive skills that underpin their study of contrasting styles and genres. All pupils who attend Smithills School are given the opportunity to have singing, brass, woodwind and guitar tuition completely free of charge.   


Year 7 & 8 Music

Our main aim is to encourage pupils to engage with and participate in collaborative music making allowing the development of their performing, composing, listening and appraisal skills.  Pupils are given the opportunities to build upon their own interests and skills through a variety of individual, paired, group and whole class activities.  For each area of study pupils will continually identify strengths and areas for development within their own and others’ work, whilst consistently developing their use of appropriate music vocabulary. 


Year 10 & 11 GCSE Music

In GCSE Music we offer our pupils the chance to study a wide range of musical genres, with a wealth of opportunities for practical learning. The GCSE Music course brings theory, listening and composition to life in new and engaging ways, and links to the world around us like never before. In addition to this pupils will develop their awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music, recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music. We consistently seek to develop our pupils as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds to be able to reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music. Throughout the two year course we strongly ensure our pupils engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.Our excellent facilities, which include a specialist music/ recording studio and spacious well-equipped classrooms and practice rooms, ensures we provide our pupils with the best provision in music education. 


Year 10 EDUQAS GCSE Music


Course structure 

This two year course enables learners to develop knowledge and understanding of music through four interrelated areas of study:


Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices

Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble

Area of study 3: Film Music

Area of study 4: Popular Music.


Component 1: Performing (30%)

Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes

72 marks


Pupils will perform a minimum of two pieces of which at least one must be as part of an ensemble performance lasting at least one minute.


Pupils other piece(s) may be performed either solo and/or as part of an ensemble.


One piece must be linked to one of the four areas of study. 


Pupils can make use of music technology and improvisation within both solo and ensemble performances.


Throughout the study of this component pupils will learn how to successfully demonstrate the following key skills within their performances. 


  • technical control

  • expression and appropriate interpretation

  • accuracy of rhythm and pitch

  • appropriate pace and fluency

  • effective use of dynamics

  • stylistic awareness

  • empathy (in ensemble playing).


Component 2: Composing (30%)


Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes

72 marks 


Pupils are encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of music through composing. All pupils will create and develop musical ideas in relation to given and chosen briefs.


Pupils will compose and submit two compositions with a total playing time of between 3-6 minutes.

Task 1

Pupils will select one from a choice of four briefs, set by the exam board, each related to a different area of study.


Task 2

Pupils will have opportunity to compose a piece of music in a style of their own choice. Pupils will set their own brief for this composition. The brief itself is not assessed; however, learners are assessed on their musical response to the brief.


Component 3: Appraising (40%)


Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes

96 marks


Pupils will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of music through the

following four areas of study:


Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices

Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble

Area of study 3: Film Music

Area of study 4: Popular Music.


Pupils will learn, examine, analyse and evaluate how to identify musical elements, musical contexts and musical language, and apply this knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar music.


Pupils will learn, examine, analyse and evaluate critical judgements about musical elements, musical contexts and musical language, using appropriate musical terminology. 


Pupils will learn, complete, examine, analyse and evaluate the rhythm or pitch of a short section of music (pitch dictation will be within the major scale).

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