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do i take music gcse

im thinking about taking music. im currently doing grade 5 piano and grade 3 theory and i want to start taking piano seriously. ive heard its hard but some ppl say eduqasmwjec examboard is easier which is the examboard my skl is doing. should i do it? my other option is health and social but im not too sure
i would say do what you think is best for you. Sure some exam boards are more difficult than others, but if you genuinely want to do something and you feel you would enjoy it go for it. for example when i had to pick my gcses, i picked triple science because i wanted to do it to help with the career i want to get into and then i was stuck between my 2nd option between health and social care and art - i ended up picking health and social care because even though many people and teachers said it was difficult i picked it because i felt like i would love it and would be interesting. i have completed my health and social care course and i loved every second of it even if it could be stressful at times. i feel in your situation as you already seem to have a passion for piano and want to take piano seriously you should go for it. either one you end up picking just make sure you do whatever is best for you!
Original post by renstarr
im thinking about taking music. im currently doing grade 5 piano and grade 3 theory and i want to start taking piano seriously. ive heard its hard but some ppl say eduqasmwjec examboard is easier which is the examboard my skl is doing. should i do it? my other option is health and social but im not too sure

Hey I did GCSE music. Had done 0 music theory and voice was my main instrument (though I have not taken any formal ABRSM or Trinity exams and was self-trained). I ended with an A* with relative ease and I think you might have a bigger advantage given your background. The good thing abt GCSE music is how they access you (majority of exam boards have the same assessment method): 1) the actual written exam 2) Compositions 3) the Performance portfolio. About 40% of your grade = from the exam. Theory is very manageable given good understanding and I actually found that my lack of history in it = did not put me at a disadvantage to my peers who were all grade 5. Performance = should be easy enough. The one thing many people struggle with = compositions. It's the timing really. I spent half terms at school, bought a MIDI keyboard and logic pro just to finish my work at home and really composing did not come naturally to me. On one hand you have to use all the different techniques you've learnt in your theory class to max your marks = structure, musical ornaments, dynamics and stuff and all but on the other hand you also want a piece of music that makes sense = sounds good. So you gotta strike a balance bet the two. I would say starting early with composition ideas = a good idea. Start recording melodies and any chord progressions you come up with. Oh and listen to a variety of music = for exposure. All in all if you love music and want to take the piano seriously, do GCSE music. It was my therapeutic subject to say the least = a good break from my other content heavy subjects.
Reply 3
I do edexcel music gcse so I’m not sure about the Educas course but we do a solo and ensemble performance, a brief and a free composition and the final exam. You only need to do 2 grade 5 level pieces for performance and as for composition as long as you know how to use the elements of music and are creative you should be ok. The final exam is harder than some exams but the grade boundaries on it are always lower.

Personally, I have never done a singing exam (although I have sang from being around 4), and got full marks on my solo performance and stopped piano at grade 4 but accompanied bridge over troubled water for my ensemble performance and got full marks on that too. On my composition I got 25/30 and 24/30, which brought my total to 109/120, which is 60% of my overall grade.

This means the written exam is 40% of my overall grade and I will have to get 61/80 to get a 9 if this years grade boundaries follow suit of last years.

Overall, take whichever you prefer but make sure you know what the course expects of you beforehand and don’t be put off by rumours of either subject.

Hope this helps :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by Tulipbloom
Hey I did GCSE music. Had done 0 music theory and voice was my main instrument (though I have not taken any formal ABRSM or Trinity exams and was self-trained). I ended with an A* with relative ease and I think you might have a bigger advantage given your background. The good thing abt GCSE music is how they access you (majority of exam boards have the same assessment method): 1) the actual written exam 2) Compositions 3) the Performance portfolio. About 40% of your grade = from the exam. Theory is very manageable given good understanding and I actually found that my lack of history in it = did not put me at a disadvantage to my peers who were all grade 5. Performance = should be easy enough. The one thing many people struggle with = compositions. It's the timing really. I spent half terms at school, bought a MIDI keyboard and logic pro just to finish my work at home and really composing did not come naturally to me. On one hand you have to use all the different techniques you've learnt in your theory class to max your marks = structure, musical ornaments, dynamics and stuff and all but on the other hand you also want a piece of music that makes sense = sounds good. So you gotta strike a balance bet the two. I would say starting early with composition ideas = a good idea. Start recording melodies and any chord progressions you come up with. Oh and listen to a variety of music = for exposure. All in all if you love music and want to take the piano seriously, do GCSE music. It was my therapeutic subject to say the least = a good break from my other content heavy subjects.


yea i do kind of struggle with compositin, may i ask what exam board did u do? and were you given chords already or did u have to make the pieces sound really good since i struggle with making certain notes sounds nkce together 😭😭
Original post by renstarr
yea i do kind of struggle with compositin, may i ask what exam board did u do? and were you given chords already or did u have to make the pieces sound really good since i struggle with making certain notes sounds nkce together 😭😭

I did Cambridge and no I was not given any chords. I composed 2 pieces from scratch. I feel you though, making notes sound good tgt = not easy. Not only that, I had to write the scores for like 6 other instruments and make em all come tgt. Listening to a lot of music helped though. I tended towards classical music in my compositions so I took some inspiration from some pieces I've listened to.

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