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Brilliant GCSE Music Composition Teaching

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This brand new composition course is a course with a difference! Packed full of new and effective composition techniques, approaches and strategies, the course expands composing opportunities for all students across a broad curriculum range to incorporate a wider diversity of opportunities, incorporating pop,jazz, Gamelan, music technology, diversity and inclusivity and more. The course aims to stimulate, excite and reinvigorate teachers in providing refreshed and innovatory approaches while at the same time opening up wider curriculum perspectives in GCSE composition. This course is a must for all teachers who wish to ensure the high achievement of students in GCSE Music composition and focuses on effective, practical ways you can help your students become better composers improve student confidence, raise attainment, and maximise the potential of all students to achieve well. Although examples will be drawn from submissions to the Pearson and Eduqas exam boards, the course will is suitable for teachers of all exam boards.


  • Develop a range of approaches to teaching music composition at GCSE and as a part of the wider GCSE course
  • Utilise how students engage with and learn music composition in the “social-media age”
  • Understand how to foster an engaging and motivational “workshop”
  • Take away composition techniques, methods and feedback strategies to raise attainment
  • Examine effective differentiation to challenge all students specific to their potential from day 1 to final submission
  • Gain confidence in non-notated music submissions that use computers as a medium rather than a tool


What Do We Mean By Brilliant Composition Teaching

10.00 – 10.40am
  • What do our students need, want, and expect?
  • Do we know what a brilliant composition looks like?
  • Summarising exam board feedback and highlighting key priorities
  • Encouraging diversity and inclusivity, broadening the curriculum
  • Early recognition of different types of students
  • Engaging the “other 80%” in KS3
  • Offering opportunities to perform and nurture


Morning Break

10.40 – 11.00am

Exploring How students engage with GCSE composition

11.00 – 11.45am
  • Analysis of what students are submitting; style, genre, and medium
  • Does “the music they compose” align to “the music they like”? (Answer: rarely)
  • Examining the hardware, platforms and media today’s students use to compose
  • Building the thriving “workshop” – fostering creative spaces
  • Breaking the wall between “the music they compose” and “the music they like”
  • Common issues with student engagement and how to tackle them

Developing a Range of Approaches, Techniques and Practical Strategies

11.45 – 12.45pm
  • Practical approaches to designing programmes that hit key composition and theory skills across the course
  • Exploring composition techniques, methods and feedback strategies to ensure student progress and enhance attainment levels in composition
  • Ensuring the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ to maintain student interest across a whole scheme
  • Integrating differentiation from day 1 of the course
  • Developing cohesive classroom and homework tasks
  • Integrating composition into listening and performing calendar
  • Composition technology – the computer as a tool and as a medium



12.45 – 1.45pm

Composition Deep Dives – Example 1

1.45 – 2.40pm
  • Examination and analysis of a “traditionally” notated case studies
  • Looking at compositions at various stages, from first sketches through to final submission
  • The “Some of the time, most of the time, all of the time” framework to promote positive feedback
  • Highlighting typical differences between Grade 4/5, 6/7 and 8/9 level compositions
  • Composition strategies to help students move through the grades to access the higher marks
  • Tackling key areas that students struggle with through a real-life example


Afternoon Tea

2.40 – 2.45pm

Composition Deep Dive – Example 2

2.45 – 3.15pm
  • Examination and analysis of a non-notated case studies
  • Knowing which students would be best served through this approach
  • Scrutinising lead sheet compositions, DAW screenshots and written commentaries

Opportunities beyond the classroom: Extra- and Co-Curricular Composition Possibilities

3.15 – 3.45pm
  • Music production clubs
  • Composition prizes
  • Integration with ensembles
  • Bands – moving beyond the four chords


London | Tuesday 28 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Tuesday 28 November 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Jane Werry has been teaching for 30 years, and since 1999 has been Director of Music at Hayes School in Bromley. She is co-author of the award-winning Being a Head of Music: A Survival Guide, and is a frequent contributor to Music Teacher Magazine’s online resources. Jane is also a Specialist Leader in Education and a Musical Futures Champion Teacher. She has been a senior moderator for A level harmony and composition, and an examiner for the GCSE listening paper.


  • Heads of GCSE Music
  • Teachers of GCSE Music
  • PGCE mentors for Music
  • Heads of Performing Arts


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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