Saharah03
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I'm about to pick my options, and so far I've roughly picked geography, French and art. I'm seriously thinking about changing art to music. I play the piano and sing, and I feel that I'd genuinely enjoy and do better in music, but I'm not sure what I'd do with a music GCSE, after school. With art, I'm alright at it, but I could actually use it after school in a design job. I know I could still do some kind of art qualification after secondary, and I do quite enjoy it, but the coursework seems horrendous and everyone I've spoken to says it is. My art teacher is also horrible, and there's no chance of me getting someone else. My mum also wants me to do music and is really opposed to me doing art, and would probably just say I've made a mistake for two years. I only have a few days to change my options, so I'd just like some more feedback on both subjects and how people found them, and their experiences.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Saharah03)
I'm about to pick my options, and so far I've roughly picked geography, French and art. I'm seriously thinking about changing art to music. I play the piano and sing, and I feel that I'd genuinely enjoy and do better in music, but I'm not sure what I'd do with a music GCSE, after school. With art, I'm alright at it, but I could actually use it after school in a design job. I know I could still do some kind of art qualification after secondary, and I do quite enjoy it, but the coursework seems horrendous and everyone I've spoken to says it is. My art teacher is also horrible, and there's no chance of me getting someone else. My mum also wants me to do music and is really opposed to me doing art, and would probably just say I've made a mistake for two years. I only have a few days to change my options, so I'd just like some more feedback on both subjects and how people found them, and their experiences.
It is ok to have one creative. I think its wise you have chosen to stick to one.

If you want to take it further then i'd think you will need to be doing A level and more. Quite enjoy may not be enough. If you dont take it further then its just a GCSE. Only Maths English and subjects that are required to do your chosen A level are that relevant. Are you serious about an Art/ graphics career?

I would go for the one you enjoy and will get the best grade from. It can be a breather from your other GCSEs.

When responding to questions on TSR I see many that are about students underestimating and leaving too late the coursework for Art, such that many abandon it. Music may be less demanding and time consuming, hence I would be more disposed to that. In GCSE terms a higher grade is better.
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Saharah03
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Thanks, I think I'll go for music, as I would most likely fall behind the coursework for art and I would enjoy music more. Your reply made me realise that if I'm not really serious on an art career I probably shouldn't take it if I'm having doubts. Thanks again for your response, it was really helpful.
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jadarose
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I can only tell you about gcse music since I don’t do art but I personally hate gcse music! Don’t take GCSE music unless you are Grade 5 and above!!!! Although most people say you can take music without being able to play, the new 9-1 exams are very theory based. I regret taking music, in my opinion, just stick with grade exams lol. Good luck!
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jadarose
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Also, there are 15 music pieces (for edexcel anyway) that you have to memorise and write an essay on in the final exam. It’s definitely not a ‘break’ from your other GCSEs.
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laurawatt
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hiya :hi:
Contrary to the person above, I am really enjoying GCSE music so far! (am in Year 10) I was a grade 4 when i started, and knew next-to-no theory, but picked it up really quickly (obviously it would depend on the person) but now i feel it's one of my easier subjects
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maisiex10x
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Hi,
I do music GCSE. only choose music if you are GRADE 5 AND ABOVE IN PRACTICAL AND THEORY.
I honestly cannot reiterate this enough people in my class are really struggling if they are not and wish they hadn't picked it.
To be honest it is not a particularly fun subject.ONLY PICK IT IS YOU ARE GRADE 5 IN THEORY AND PRACTICAL
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maisiex10x
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Also you have to use this programme called Sibelius and it costs £500 to buy so you have to spend ALOT of time at school doing composition- at least 2 nights a week from halfway from year 10 onwards
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username4182552
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I do GCSE Music & GCSE Art, but honestly GCSE Art is 10X more painful (to me). It takes so much more time for the pieces, and it’s often hard to stay on top of all my coursework as I forget that my sketchbook is worth more points than my final piece. Whereas GCSE Music is amazing if you have a natural talent in music, or just talent in general. Since 60% of the course is coursework, I think it’s great for musicians.
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Beth_H
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I know this is a relatively old thread now, but I wanted to add my perspective in case anyone else comes across it looking for advice. I did GCSE and A-level Music (I didn't do Art, but many of my friends did).

Both GCSEs are work intensive, especially during the coursework stage. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you will, in the words of one girl in my GCSE Music class, "just sing [or paint, in the case of Art] and get a grade" and then have extra time for the subjects which schools generally try to sell to you as 'more academic'. The main difference I noticed between the two, though, was that the Art teachers at my school tended to expect students to go beyond the syllabus by visiting galleries and exhibitions in their own time, which obviously wasn't feasible for everyone.

In my opinion, Music GCSE requires a wider range of skills than Art, as each of the different components (solo performance, ensemble performance, composition, theory and listening, if you do Edexcel) tests something completely different.

Contrary to the post above, buying Sibelius (or Finale/Cubase/Logic/Other expensive software) is not a requirement. There are plenty of free alternatives which work very well, and it's not difficult to transfer files between, for example, MuseScore and Sibelius if your school's system uses the latter. You can also handwrite your compositions if you really want to.

Unless it's changed with the new specification, the absolute minimum performance standard required to get a decent mark is grade 3, although to start getting into the higher mark brackets, you'll be helped by having at least grade 5. If you've got grade 7 or 8 and a reasonable level of confidence, getting full marks in the performance module isn't particularly difficult. Composition is a bit more difficult, but by no means impossible (it gets harder to get a high composition mark at A-level, as the mark scheme is vague and the examiners often unpredictable). The skills required for theory are not massively different to those needed for any GCSE - mostly memorising facts about the set pieces.
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Crazypink48
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Hi, same to the person above that I just wanted to contribute my perspective even thought this is a very old thread. I am going into sixth form this year and I took GCSE music and am taking A-level music. I didn't take Art GCSE however I was considering it at first. I think that having a creative subject acts as a good contrast and also helps you to relax a bit as it is a very enjoyable subject. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I found that I really looked forward to music lessons in the week as it took my mind off other work.

If you have done grade 5 theory you will find the analytical side of music a lot easier, as well as being familiar with all the terminology (which is very useful especially for listening).

Regarding composition, I did most of my composition at school in the mornings as Sibelius is expensive but don't let this put you off. You will spend a lot of time during lessons doing composition.

Hope this helps.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by jadarose)
I can only tell you about gcse music since I don’t do art but I personally hate gcse music! Don’t take GCSE music unless you are Grade 5 and above!!!! Although most people say you can take music without being able to play, the new 9-1 exams are very theory based. I regret taking music, in my opinion, just stick with grade exams lol. Good luck!
I wish I'd taken that exam rather than the music GCSE I did in 2007. The syllabus back that was horrifically simplified. Bear in mind at that point I had grade 5 theory and grade 8 practical - and had achieved those before I started the course - and you had questions like "name the note on the stave" or "describe how this music makes you feel". The practical exam only had to be grade 3 standard for you to get top marks in difficulty.

Totally didn't prepare me for A Level music, which I struggled with even with my theory and practical knowledge. I came out with a B and felt like even that was a bit of a miracle!
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