AQA’s GCSE Music specification
I’m taking the time to have a look at each of the draft specifications that were published last week and write a few observations. This isn’t a comprehensive compare/contrast exercise so, if that’s what you’re looking for, then you’d be well advised to have a look at this document written by Alison Daubney for the ISM. These posts are intended to be entirely subjective and may well create more questions than answers! So, with your expectations well and truly managed, let’s start with AQA’s specification for GCSE Music.
A move to set works
A few years ago, I hated the idea of a set work. I take issue with the idea that there’s a canon of music that should be studied by all pupils and I’m uneasy with pointing to certain pieces of music as being ‘the best’ or even just ‘the best examples of something’. I still hold this aversion to canons but, almost paradoxically, I quite like the idea of set works. There’s one simple reason for this – set works are great for workshopping.
Workshopping a piece of music with a class is a great way to:
- explore what makes that piece of music ‘tick’
- improve the performing skills of your pupils
- give pupils a ‘personal’ experience of the music
- model the process of composing a piece that’s inspired by another
The layout of the specification
Annotation or Written Account?
- Written account – “Providing a detailed guide through the aural experience of the piece that will highlight structure and musical ideas, including the ways in which they have been explored.”
- Annotation – “Including details of the processes, devices and
techniques used, showing how the areas
detailed in the criteria contributed to the final