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Event Details

Steps to Success in GCSE Music

The Musical Futures approach to connecting theory to practice with easy steps to success to integrating GCSE listening, composing and performing.

Led by Fiona Sexon, Musical Futures Consultant Teacher, this CPD event is available free of charge to all schools signed up to any Hub Subscription Package or £75 otherwise.

Please note that lunch is not provided. Delegates attending this CPD will need to provide their own lunch or purchase it from the canteen.

Please note this CPD has been rescheduled to 12th July.

Click here to attend

Download: Steps to Success in GCSE Music Workshop Outline (.doc)


Our Musical Futures: Steps to Success in GCSE Music full day workshop gives ideas and strategies to help students make the transition from KS3 to examination level successfully by incorporating activities which are both musical and theoretical in your teaching.

  • Explore practical approaches to the analysis of GCSE music set works and preparation for listening and appraising tasks through workshopping, composing and improvising
  • Support students to transition successfully from Key Stage 3 (where music frequently has a focus on practical work – to the demands of GCSE music
  • Make GCSE more accessible for all students and specifically those students who may not have come to study GCSE via formal instrumental lessons.
  • Research shows that students are more likely retain the learning if they are actively engaged in the process.
Aims of the course
  • Explore creative and practical approaches to listening, appraising, composing and performing to make key terms and concepts easier to learn.
  • Analyse/understand music using performing and composing activities related to GCSE set works.
  • Develop tools to increase student skill and confidence with improvising and composing.
  • Share ideas and resources to make GCSE music vital, practical and engaging.

Start With A Set Work – Performance

  • Exploring a GCSE set work to examine specific musical features as a basis for classroom performance
  • Developing student knowledge and understanding of key musical concepts through classroom performance.

Start With A Set Work – Composition

  • Exploring a set work (examples from all major examination boards available) to identify key features typical of a style or genre as a stimulus for student composition.
  • Identifying strategies to assist students with composing using improvisation to collaboratively create and compose new works that reflect the key features of a style or genre.

Composing and Improvising

  • Ideas and resources to connect listening and composing briefs
  • Using a rhythmic groove as a starting point.
  • Developing melodic ideas by adding instrumental lines
  • Exploring structure, texture, complimentary chords and other musical features to develop compositions further.

Songwriting – Applying creative skills to a task

  • Exploring a series of starting points for songwriting​
  • Using a variety of approaches, practical activities and resources to support your students with the songwriting process!
Who is it for?

This course is particularly suited to teachers who are interested in exploring practical approaches to teaching music at examination level, but is equally suitable anyone seeking ideas and inspiration for composition and improvisation.

  • Heads of Music
  • Secondary Music specialists
  • Classroom music teachers
  • Instrumental teachers
  • Trainee music teachers
  • Newly Qualified music teachers
What’s included?
  • Guidance notes for ‘Start With A Set Work’ practical activities
  • Musical Futures Songwriting resource
  • Your choice of 2 x GCSE set work playalong (options from all exam board specifications available)