We are pleased to offer this popular course, revamped and updated for 2018. The course is designed for all teachers of Edexcel GCSE Music, including those who line manage departments. It aims to explore a range of teaching approaches, techniques and strategies for successful outcomes in Unit 3: Listening and Appraising. The course will also explore ways to make this area of the course relevant, interesting and of lasting musical benefit to all students.

The course will explore approaches to the listening exam itself, what the examiners are looking for in response to questions, question design and ways to integrate composition and performance into the unit 3 listening & appraising element.

The course aims to drill down into the ‘nitty gritty’ of unit 3 so that teachers have a full understanding of task setting, skills requirements, levels of difficulty, areas of study, Edexcel specification and transferable skills.


  • How to structure the GCSE course for maximum impact and benefit for your students
  • Secrets of the marking system – what examiners are looking for in a response
  • Working with levels and Areas of Study – how to utilise the specification for maximum output form your students
  • Developing an understanding of the types of questions that will be asked of students’ and how they can approach them in the best possible way
  • How to support wider listening and therefore achieve in the unfamiliar listening elements of the paper
  • Dictation – what to expect and how to give students confidence in answering accurately
COURSE DATE London Friday 14 June 2019
  • All teachers of GCSE Music
  • Heads of Music
  • Music NQTs
  • Those who line manage music department and those teaching Edexcel music
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 11.15am
Introduction and Unit 3 Structure

  • Approaches to tackling Unit 3 – what the spec suggests and which it actually means!
  • Effectively utilising the levels based approach to marking – how this help us teach and pupils learn
  • What excellent resources are available on the market to support your teaching
  • Engaging from day one: activities for the first few weeks to boost students’ confidence and begin to work a solid musical foundation
  • Integrating performing, composing and listening – how do these elements help each other

11.15 – 11.30am
Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.30pm
Listening Questions – questions 1 – 6

  • What are the common types of questions and how to approach them for maximum marks
  • Achieving quality responses – prepping students for familiar listening questions. Tips and tricks!
  • Marking responses: applying the mark scheme – what are the examiners looking for in a response and how can they be achieved in the classroom
  • Developing resources: writing your own questions and mark schemes; practical techniques

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.30pm
Extended writing – question 9

  • Looking at approaches to teaching extended writing for set works and unfamiliar excerpts
  • Level based approach to marking – making sure students have a firm grasp of how to incorporate AO3 and AO4 into their responses
  • Looking at the depth of response required at a variety of levels and abilities
  • How to move up the levels with a written response and how students can achieve beyond their target
  • Marking exemplar responses, example materials, and do’s and don’t’s

2.30 – 2.45pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 3.30pm
Dictation (question 7) and unfamiliar listening (question 8)

  • Approaches to teaching dictation – how to achieve the maximum on this tricky question
  • Example dictation questions and examiner advice on dictation and how to tackle it
  • The importance of wider listening and how this feeds into unfamiliar unit 3 questions
  • How to prepare students for unfamiliar listening and comparison questions

Michael Lamb

Michael is an experienced Head of Music currently teaching in the thriving music department at Framwellgate School in Durham. His varied portfolio has seen his work as Director of Music in a Newcastle secondary, and as an active musician across the UK specialising in jazz performance and musical directs of both theatrical and orchestral projects. Michael is also the producer of several high profile music education projects, workshops and seminars in the North of England.

View all courses led by Michael Lamb >