Should I pick music GCSE?

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A09887
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I am very musical and I play three instruments (piano, flute, saxophone), but I have never properly composed before - only messed around a bit. Should I take music for GCSE's or not as I know the composition is a big part of it. Is it worth taking it or doing a different subject (eg. computer science) as I do music outside of school anyway and I don't want to have a musical career? My minimum expected grade is a 9 but I don't know how hard it is to get a 9 in music. Is there a specific criteria? Also, has anyone done it and if you have, what did you think of it? Sorry for lots of questions I just don't want to regret my decision as I have to pick my subjects now.
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username3893816
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I'm doing music gcse atm (eduqas) and honestly, I'd only recommend it if you like all parts of the course/have a good knowledge of music theory. I've done grade 7 on one of my instruments so performance was fine for me, but composition was a mess since i hate making chord patterns and sticking to a set theme. Plus the exam side of it is just boring (but easy to get marks if you've done the smallest amount of revision)

(edit: in terms of specifics, most exam boards require you to play at grade 3 standard. the whole gcse is 30% composition, 30% performance, and 40% exam)
Last edited by username3893816; 1 year ago
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Sammylou40
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Like you my eldest son played numerous instruments outside of school. Because he was put on the gifted and talented register he was pushed into it.
It suited him actually as it filled a gcse slot and didn’t put any pressure on him.
Truthfully I don’t think that the level of difficulty is anything you’d struggle with as an instrument player. It’s a relatively basic level.
What he did comment on was the jump in difficulty at a level. Something to consider
But you should be ok. Good luck
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Elena :)
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I did GCSE music last year and got an 8, and i was in a similar situation to you (I was doing grade 7 piano at the time, but I’d never done any composition before and I think that I only did it in the first place because people expected me to with the piano). I really enjoyed it in the end - the composition was a bit boring but my class was really small and I liked my teachers. If you’re good at your instrument, I don’t think that it’s hard to get high marks in the performance section (I got 39/40), and the exam wasn’t too bad. Overall, I think that it’s quite a fun course to do, and it was a really nice change for me from the academic subjects that I was doing
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lilTrain
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how much do u enjoy other subjects?
you can do music in your own time as u may feel ur not learning anything in music gcse and do another subject. im not trying to sway u off choosing music, but i know from my own experience choosing compsci gcse and music in my freetime worked out better for me. but if you prefer the atmosphere and lower work load then no ones stopping you. id still consider other subjects you like though--just dont base ur choice on what career u want as its too early, though learning something new/interesting could help. doesnt really matter what u pick in the end so dont worry
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A09887
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(Original post by Elena :))
I did GCSE music last year and got an 8, and i was in a similar situation to you (I was doing grade 7 piano at the time, but I’d never done any composition before and I think that I only did it in the first place because people expected me to with the piano). I really enjoyed it in the end - the composition was a bit boring but my class was really small and I liked my teachers. If you’re good at your instrument, I don’t think that it’s hard to get high marks in the performance section (I got 39/40), and the exam wasn’t too bad. Overall, I think that it’s quite a fun course to do, and it was a really nice change for me from the academic subjects that I was doing
Thank you - that's really helpful (especially since you had never composed before)!
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