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Pearson GCSE Music: Brilliant Appraisal & Listening Teaching For Exam Success

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This brand new course for Autumn 2023 is a must for all teachers who wish to ensure the high achievement of students in Pearson GCSE Music Appraising and focuses on effective, practical ways you can help your students raising attaining in their listening and analytical skills as well as performing to a high standard in the Appraisal paper. Packed full of innovatory, fresh and effective listening and appraising approaches and strategies, the course expands opportunities for all students across a broad curriculum range to Although examples will be drawn from submissions to the Pearson and Eduqas exam boards, the course will be of benefit for all GCSE Music teachers of all exam boards.


  • A focus on high level student attainment
  • Covers all aspects of the Appraising paper
  • Take away a range of different approaches for all sections across a range of student ability
  • Take away teaching approaches and methods to build and develop relevant knowledge, understanding and skills to the appropriate level of being able to access the top marks
  • Forensically examine the key challenge spots and gain fresh ideas on how to tackle these
  • Explore sample answers, with mark schemes & examiner’s reports Examine the significant demands of the Comparison question and formulate plans to help students gain confidence i n coping with these
  • Tackling the extended written responses


Considerations for Shaping Curriculum Design and Teaching Approaches

  • Brief overview and summary of the specification, important considerations and common misconceptions.
  • Levelling up varying abilities early on: strategies and solutions before take-off. Immediate priorities.
  • Achieving an integrated, holistic, outstanding and inspiring teaching approach.
  • Helping students to listen rather than hear, and to talk academically, musically and technically by default. Where students need to get to by the end of Year 11 for outstanding results; achieving this musically.
  • Achieving momentum: the art of questioning, the power of asking ‘why’, and creating habits and norms.
  • P.S. I’m taking GCSE Music: musical mindsets, cultivating curiosity, and the role of environment.

Component 1: Performance

11.00 – 11.30am
  • ‘I have Grade 6 with Distinction but got a 4’: why GCSE performances are not like practical exams.
  • Summary of examiner reports since 2016; common errors, patterns, and immediate priorities.
  • To be or not to be (interfering): the role of students’ singing or instrumental teachers.
  • Teaching students how to practice, how to think, how to reflect, and how to work deeply and musically.
  • Coaching through questioning and masterclasses; achieving excellence in solo and ensemble recordings.
  • Boosting confidence in performing; strategies for wobbly legs and the anxious.
  • Flightpaths and curriculum design; how much happens outside the classroom?

Morning break

11.30– 11.45am

Component 2: Composition

11.45 – 1.00pm
  • Current requirements, assessment objectives, marking grids and common pitfalls.
  • Summary of examiner reports; common errors, patterns and immediate priorities.
  • The role of research and the question of pastiche.
  • Composition curriculum end points and key objectives; achieving this musically.
  • Ingredients of outstanding compositions; minimising subjectivity and impressing examiners.
  • Designing composition briefs – issues, parameters and requirements.
  • Developing students’ skills and monitoring their progress efficiently: minimum time but maximum value


1.00 – 1.45pm

Component 3: The Appraising Paper

  • Paper profiles – question types, maximising marks, and using paper profiles to shape the GCSE curriculum.
  • Developing listening skills without using up finite practice questions: the role of elaborative interrogation.
  • Questions 1-6: helping students to assess the level of detail required for set work questions.
  • Shall I compare thee? Tackling comparison questions using compartmentalisation; developing critical listening.
  • Question 7: teaching dictation musically, normalising the skill, and helping students to chunk information.
  • Question 8: embracing unfamiliar listening, teaching backwards, and developing analytical skills.
  • Question 9: essay technique to help students demonstrate a genuine understanding for the highest marks.
  • Effective essay structuring: teaching students to write well at a high level, regardless of ability.

Component 3: The Set Works

3.30- 5.00pm
  •  A whistlestop tour of the eight musical worlds that form the set works, including key terms, focus elements, teaching strategies and suggested resources separate to the published textbook


London | Monday 27 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Monday 27 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.


Sarah Murphy is currently a teacher of academic music at Chetham’s School of Music, where she works with A-Level students teaching harmony, composition and analysis. She is also responsible for preparing A-Level students for Oxbridge interviews and for higher level study in the form of the AMusTCL examination.


  • Teachers of the Pearson GCSE specification
  • Heads of Music
  • Heads of Performing Arts
  • Teachers of Key Stage 3 Students looking to prepare them effectively for GCSE study


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

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