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Brynmawr Foundation School

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  • Music

    Key Stage 3

    Alongside developing pupils’ musical ability, music at Key Stage 3 offers invaluable opportunities to develop pupils’ confidence and ability to communicate effectively and solve problems both individually and in groups.

    The Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work has been developed in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum and is constantly being adapted to suit pupils’ needs and learning preferences. The units and topics that are taught at Key Stage 3 are designed to give our pupils a wide knowledge of music including Welsh music, music from other cultures and pop music and are taught mainly through practical means.  Pupils are given the opportunity to perform songs, write their own pieces of music and discuss different types of music throughout all units.

    Year 7: African Music, Keyboard Skills and the Orchestra, Carnival of the Animals, Folk Music and Samba.

    Year 8: The Blues, Music and Advertising, Contrasts, Indian Music, Rondo Form.

    Year 9: Disco, Film Music, Reggae, Pop Music and Hip Hop.


    Music is all around us. It influences our moods and emotions and stimulates and excites us in many ways. Following this GCSE course will develop your understanding of how music is created through four Areas of Study. In the course you will learn how to compose and develop skills in performing and appraising music. GCSE Music teaches you to learn independently and how to work as a team.

    Pupils follow the WJEC course where they will explore music through three units and four different 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

    Unit 1: Performing

    Total duration of performances: 4 – 6 minutes; 35% of qualification (84 marks)

    Section A: Performing (30%)

    A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

    Section B: Programme Note (5%)

    A programme note for one of the pieces chosen for performance, linked to an area of study.

    Unit 2: Composing

    Total duration of compositions: 3 – 6 minutes; 35% of qualification (84 marks)

    Section A: Composing (30%)

    Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to an area of study. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

    Section B: Evaluating (5%)

    An evaluation of the piece composed in response to a brief set by the WJEC.

    Unit 3: Appraising

    Written examination: 1 hour; 30% of qualification (72 marks)

    This unit is assessed via a listening examination. There are eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study. Two of the eight questions will be based on prepared extracts set by the WJEC.


    There are many career opportunities available for musicians. Below is a list of the more popular jobs that musicians do on a day to day basis.

    • Performing in and with an Orchestra, the Royal Navy, the Army, the Welsh Guards, Musicals, Opera House, and Ballet.
    • Composing for television, radio, films, festivals, important occasions and events, song writing.
    • Other: Teacher / Lecturer, Music Editor, Music Supervisor and Arranger (TV and/ or radio) Pop/Rock star, Music / Arts producer. Sound Engineer, Music Technology, Music Therapist, Music Management, Music Agent, D Jay, Entertainer, Musical Director, Music Librarian, Music Publisher.

    Music GCSE will also develop other skills including self-discipline, motivation, communication, perseverance and creative development.