GCSE – Music



Students prepare pieces for one solo performance and one for ensemble performance. They discuss and appraise both their performances and those of others.  Combined duration of both performances to be no longer than 6 minutes.


Students compose two pieces of music. They write one of these in response to a pre-release stimulus and the other is free choice. They record their compositions and provide a score, a leadsheet or a written account of their work.


Students develop their understanding of the relationship between music and its contexts. They listen to and appraise familiar and unfamiliar music by a range of composers, both male and female, within the four compulsory Areas of Study:

  1. Western Classical Music 1600–1910

– Handel: For Unto Us a Child is Born from Messiah
– Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4, third movement
– Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, fourth movement

  1. Film Music

– Coates: March (The Dam Busters) from The Dam Busters
– Williams: Superman Theme from Superman
– Horner: Young Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man

  1. Musical Traditions of Ireland

– Beoga: Prelude Polkas: Prelude Polka, Paddy’s Polka No. 2 and Millstream Reel
– Stonewall: Fife Medley: Boys of Belfast and The Girl I Left Behind 

  1. Popular Music 1980–present day

– Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
– Ash: Burn Baby Burn
– Florence and the Machine: Cosmic Love



Curriculum Enrichment

GCSE pupils will also get the opportunity to work with internationally renowned film composer Michele Josia whilst on the course, giving our pupils the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with Michele on a film composition project. He will also provide a session on the history of film music which will provide useful background information for the GCSE Area of Study ‘Film Music’.  Michele Josia (www.michelejosia.com) has worked with Ennio Morricone and his music has featured recently on Netflix, and Loreto Music Department is very fortunate to be able to avail of his expertise in this way.

Who is suitable for this course?

Any singer or instrumentalist of a basic standard upwards should consider themselves eligible as long as they are prepared to continue working on their   chosen medium for the next two years. All styles of Musical Performance including Pop, Irish Traditional and Classical are acceptable.

Career Opportunities

Essential for a career in broadcasting and television, music journalism, music publishing, acting, music and instrument retailing, music libraries, music therapy, music administration, dancing, making and tuning musical instruments, sound recording and musical technology.  Music as a subject is also highly endorsed by the Medical Profession because of its required dexterity and high levels of creativity.