GCSE Music

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by emziesonic, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    At the moment I am choosing my GCSE options, and one of three I am considering to take is music. But there are two courses involved with music, Music and Music Technology. At the moment I am not too sure what the difference is? Plus what exactly is involved in each option?:tup

  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    The first question you have to ask yourself is - What do you want to do with your life?

    The second question is - Which of the two options suits that best?

    If you want to take music up to degree level, maybe, then avoid Music Tech, unless there's a very large dollop of music theory in the content or unless you are getting proper theory training elsewhere.

    At the moment, music tech courses do not supply sufficient music theory for anyone wanting to teach music.

    Same goes for (later on) Pop music courses.

    If music is not going to be important in your adult life, then go for the tech option.

    At the end of the day, you need to think carefully about what direction you want to go in and make choices appropriate to that.
  3. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    Well I definetly want to take music for A-level and if I can in Uni so I can become a music teacher. And I also already get taught theory out of school so thats that bit sorted, does anyone actually know whats included in the Music course eg amounts of coursework, areas worked on...:tup
  4. Alisop

    Alisop Member

    AQA GCSE Music is made up of 4 units.

    Composition - 1 composition based on Music for special Occassions
    Performance - 1 solo and 1 ensemble
    Intergrated Assignment - Composition (based on a brief taken from a choice of 4 from the other areas of study), realisation and a 30min written exam
    Listening Exam - Based on the 5 Areas of Study
    Areas of Study:
    Music for Special Ocassions
    Orchestral Landmarks
    Music for Dance
    Music for Film
    Popular Song since 1960

    Don't know about any other of the boards or Musci Tech Sorry!
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Depends on the exam board syllabus....google it....for instance the EDEXCEL GCSE specification can be found here.
  6. Euphgit

    Euphgit Member

    not too sure which board your school will be with, but on our course we covered:

    harmony exercises
    performance (including ensemble work)

    if you can get grade 5 theory, thats a really good base to work from

    music tech is an interesting course, a lot of 'classical' (for want of a better word) musicians tend to sneer upon it

    but if you want to be a teacher then you should do the music course and if you want to do tech, pursue it seperately (tech is very handy as a teacher)
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Perhaps a comment is due at this time.

    There are a great deal of further and higher education courses that have sprung up over the last few years. I've seen quite a lot of students embark on them thinking that when they graduate on the other side they're either a 'Producer' or that they'll walk into a job in a studio.

    The somewhat harsh reality is that this just isn't the case - and depending on which course they plump for, they could find themselves paying very large fees with minimal prospect of (continuous) employment in the industry.

    Music tech isn't in reality anything like a 'classical' music course (i.e. like wot used to be taught when I were a lad ;) ), and it develops a completely different skill base.

    It's a relatively widely held belief that there are only a couple of higher Education courses in music tech that are worth doing - the Tonmeister course at Surrey and LIPA. The Tonmeister, however, also requires grade 8 performance standard plus theory qualifications as part of it's entrance requirements I think. Not sure about LIPA. Even with a degree from here, the graduates aren't assured of a job....it's often thought that a degree in a related subject, so acoustics or electronic engineering for example, is a better way to go so you've got a fallback position.

    However, you're talking about becoming a music teacher....depending on what kind of music teacher you mean ('classical' or music tech? ;) ) I'd tend towards the normal music course. The bits of tech you need to ensure you can record your student's performances can be picked up along the way.
  8. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    So which music catagory would you learn this from? Sorry having a confused moment!:D

    Also, to give you an idea what sort of teacher, I would'nt like to be a teacher of the sort which goes around schools know as the 'local' brass teacher but a lecturer at colleges and uni's is where i would like to head but i suspect I won't be able to be too picky!
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    You can pick up the tech stuff from just doing it to an extent - you just have to do it from outside of your course.

    If you're lecturing in music - teaching about cadences, harmony, counterpoint and why Mozart really doesn't do it for you - rather than sequencing, gain structure, microphone polar patterns and how to make the most out of early reflections, then you want a 'normal' music course ;)
  10. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    Ok, thankyou everyone for your comments but please keep them coming in!:biggrin:
  11. jcowensEb

    jcowensEb Member

    im sitting gcse music now,i didnt choose music tech because my teacher explained it in a way it was all composing and recording but im unsure?!?!?!?!?!?!im having fun on the music cource and predicted a C but got a B in my mocks:)
    hope you choose the right subject 4 you!!!!!
  12. lilz

    lilz Member

    I did music GCSE and then Music AS Level, quit that college and now on a BTEC Music Technology course and i think the general differences are:

    Music is classical and to do with the theory etc. Also you do performances which I dont think you do with music tech (i dont have to anyway, dont even need to play an instrument). So I think you should do music because thats the career you want.
    Where as music techno is about the music industry, recording and all about the microphones and mixers, acoustics, mixing, engineering/electronics etc .

    So ye i rekon you should do music because thats what you want to teach in and can move over to techno later. But i dont know about the GCSE techno course so it may differ...but still think you should do music.
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Which BTEC are you doing?
  14. lilz

    lilz Member

    I cant work out how to multi-quote, but kmj what do you mean?
    Unless you mean BTEC national award or diploma?
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep - which level
  16. lilz

    lilz Member

    Well it depends on how many units i pass.
    I think if you pass 9 you get the national award, you pass 18 and you get the diploma.
    So im planning on achieving 18 merits as its pass, merit or distinction.
    18 pass'/merits is also what you need to get into uni as my back-up but im hoping to try and get into work instead, as im not really convinced at the moement that you need a degree to do well in music techno, its more about how good you are practically.
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's all about experience, really.....but it becomes a chicken / egg situation to an extent.
  18. lilz

    lilz Member

    Yup im trying to get as much experience whilst doing my course :D
  19. millie6589

    millie6589 Member

    hey em,
    i'd definately go for just music. i did both gcse music and music A-level. music tech is more for people who want to get into the music industry ie recording studios and the business side of things whereas music is more for people who play instruments and want to progress as a musician. it involves composing pieces, performances and some theory. i found it all really good fun and really really helpful with all aspects of playing, sight-reading etc. hope this helps!
  20. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    Yeah lookin back at what other people have said i think i will go with just music, as far as i know im not going to go into the technology side of music so i might as well stick with music! Thanks everyone for your help!:tup

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