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Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 Music, students develop their Listening, Performing, and Composing skills through the study of World Music topics, Western Classical Music topics, and Popular Music topics. They gain instrument-specific techniques, as well as contextual understanding, through the study of these genres, styles and traditions. 

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Year 7 Carnival of the Animals
Using Chords
Jackass Blues Samba Carnival
Year 8 Superhero Music
Holst's Planets
Pop and Songwriting Indian Music
Year 9 What is Music?
(Experimental Music)
Understanding the IGCSE course
(Minimalism Composition)
Inter-House Competition



  • To equip students with the opportunity to explore music from around the world.
  • To encourage students to develop skills through practical application and performance.
  • To enable students to develop their creativity, knowledge, ability and understanding through performing, listening and composing.
  • To develop confidence and maturity, enabling students to perform with flair and charisma.

Learning Objectives

  • Students develop their practical skills through listening, observing and application.
  • Students develop their compositional skills by learning how to notate music.
  • Students develop their skills of perception and further enhance their knowledge and understanding of music in relation to time and place.


Key Stage 4

What you have to do for IGCSE Music

Students will learn about several different areas in Music.

Musical Rudiments/Theory

Students will learn to recognise chords, keys and cadences. They will also learn to follow a musical score and recognise simple rhythmic dictation.

General World Music

Students will learn about Music from Latin America, China, India. Japan, Africa, Arabia and Indonesia and identify the structure, texture, instrumentation and style of each region.

Western Classical Music

Students learn about Music from 1600 to present day. For example; The Baroque, Classical and Romantic  periods and the Twentieth Century.  Students will learn about the composers and how the music styles have changed over the years.

Set Pieces

Students will study 2 pieces of music in depth, 1 from the Western Classical Era, the other from Music around the World and will then be asked questions about them in the written exam.

How is Music Examined?

Component Grade
Component 1: Unprepared Listening: 3 Sections

Students will listen to pieces from 2 different areas of music.

Section A - 2 questions on music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic or Twentieth Century Periods.
Section B - 2 questions on World Music pieces from Latin American, China, India and Indonesia.
Section C -  Several questions relating to an extract of Western Classical Music, identifying theoretical features within the music.

Component 2: Prepared Listening:  2 Sections

Students will study in depth 1 composer and his work from the Western Classical Era and 1 genre of World Music as detailed below;

Section  D - Prescribed Focus - World Music.
Section  E - Set Work - Western Classical Composer and his work.

Students will be asked questions about both genres in their written exam.

Component 3: Performing

Students perform two pieces on their instrument.

Students choose the pieces with guidance from both their instrumental and course tutor;

One of their pieces has to be an Ensemble piece and the other has to be a solo.

Component 4: Composing

Students compose two pieces.

  1. One has to be written in a Western Classical Style, demonstrating familiarity with the basic principles of traditional harmonic language.
  2. For the other piece, students choose what to do. They can compose something based on one of the areas of study or do something completely different.

30% of the exam is performance, therefore it is essential that Students learn to play a musical instrument as part of their coursework.


Continual assessment is carried out in Music IGCSE.  The solo and ensemble performance and composition components for the final exam in year 2  are both internally and externally assessed.  However, the listening paper, which is normally taken in May, can only be externally assessed.

Music is a very relaxing and enjoyable subject and not only helps to develop academic studies but also equips students with the confidence to explore their creative and imaginative intelligence.

To learn more about music at BSM, please visit our Creative Arts page.

Key Stage 5 - IB

Music HL and SL

The art of music demands that the educated musician and music lover be able to recognize and articulate musical elements realized in diverse examples of music making. A vibrant musical education fosters curiosity in, and sensitivity to, the musical worlds which surround us. The alert mind trained in the disciplined study of music will appreciate the ways in which music integrates and manifests knowledge on multiple levels. With careful listening, the musician may become humbled by the power of music to change lives.

Music at IB Diploma level falls into the Group 6 category of subjects that are grouped as Arts and Electives. It is an advanced level course available as Standard level (150 hours) or Higher Level (240 hours).

Students are expected to have a broad interest in music and should be of a proficient standard on their chosen instrument or voice. They need not have completed GCSE or IGCSE before the commencement of the course but should have demonstrated a positive interest and commitment to music and music making.

Standard Level Higher Level
Students may choose between;

• Solo Performance
• Group Performance
• Composition

They will also;

• Study prescribed works
• Study Musical Genres and styles
• Do a musical Investigation

Students will;

• Perform a solo recital
• Compose 3 contrasting pieces
• Study prescribed works
• Study Musical Genres and styles
• Do a musical Investigation


Standard Level Higher Level

Listening Paper 2 hours - 30%

Musical Investigation - 20%
(written media script of 2000 words)

Listening Paper 2 hours and 30 minutes - 30%

Musical Investigation - 20%
(written media script of 2000 words)

Solo Performance - 50%
(15 minute recital)     
Group Performance - 50%

Composition - 50%
(2 contrasting compositions)                  

(only one area is chosen)

Solo Performance - 25%
(20 minute recital)                                  

Composition - 25%
(3 contrasting compositions)