“Music is the universal language of mankind” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Key Stage 3

Music lessons are often of a very practical nature with all students encouraged to develop their musical performing and composing skills. Topics include Musicals, Ukulele performances, Samba Band, African Drumming, Reggae, Pop Song Writing and Pop History, Film Music and the use of Music Technology. This is backed up by theoretical work in elements and notation along with a broad range of stylistic listening topics, covering all genres from Classical, Pop and World Music.

Music Department Booklet

Key Stage 4

Why study music?

Apart from the obvious enjoyment in music this GCSE course includes both practical and academic elements of study. It helps with skills in self-confidence, responsibility, teamwork, cooperation, discipline and social skills. These are key skills to have for all future careers.


We have an enviable and rich variety of music taking place at HGS. So if performing or composing is your thing, GCSE Music is the obvious place to develop your skills. Whether you are a traditional clarinettist, a rock guitarist or you wish to explore music technology this course is available to you.

What will it be like?

This course is open to all students who have a genuine interest in music. GCSE music is concerned with the three primary activities that our students will have become familiar with in key stage 3 – Performing, Composing and Appraising.

GCSE music students undertake performances both as soloists and as a group, along with composing two pieces. Performances and compositions can be in any style of rock, pop, jazz, classical and world music or you could use music technology.

You will also learn about four Areas of Study – Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Fusions and Music for Stage and Screen. The eight set works link to each of the four Areas of Study and have something for everyone. They include pieces by Bach, Purcell and Beethoven, music from the West End show Wicked and the film Star Wars, pop music by Queen and two fusion pieces that include a mixture of Jazz, Samba, African drumming and sampling.


Students are entered for GCSE with the Edexcel examination board. The course is assessed through practical assessments during the course of performing (30%) and composing (30%). There is also a final listening & appraising examination at the end of the course (40%).

GCSE Music Booklet

Key Stage 5

Edexcel A level music leads on from the GCSE course following a similar structure but with a greater depth of study. During the course students explore, develop and refine their skills in performing and composing. Through in depth study of a range of set works students complete a final examination that explores the following areas of study – Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Film Music, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions.

Key Stage 5 Course Information – Music