This NEW conference, is designed in the light of the 2018 examinations. The revamped conference will focus on challenging areas, how to boost grades and how to meet the demands of the questions for examination success in 2019.

This conference will provide students with a practical, engaging and motivating study day for GCSE Music. Throughout the day, students will work with expert examiners and practitioners with a focus on extending their skills in the subject and improving their final grades. Utilising information from the 2018 exams, students will be given high level advice and guidance on how to improve their skills in all of the different types of assessment in the GCSE.


  • A unique, interactive GCSE Music conference with LIVE student performances
  • Gain first hand advice and guidance from GCSE Music examiners and expert practitioners, including the opportunity to ask them questions directly
  • Obtain advice that really works on how to improve revision and assessment technique
  • Benefit from sessions on performing, composing and listening/appraising
  • Take away a full set of revision notes containing key ideas, tips and example answers
CONFERENCE DATES More dates coming soon.
In the meantime, bring this conference into your school.
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference



10.20 – 10.30am: Welcome and key feedback from 2018

  • Our experts highlight the most important messages on how students can improve for 2019 and what was done well in 2018

10.30 – 11.15am: Performing well in the Listening Paper

Using example answers from across the ability range to highlight what examiners look for at each level, our experts explore how to succeed on the Listening Paper

  • Listening with your brain – how to really understand and analyse familiar and unfamiliar music
  • Thinking like a composer when listening – relating what you know to what you don’t
  • Understand the questions and gaining the best marks in the Listening Paper
  • Think like an examiner: what are they looking for and how to produce that
  • Student activity – working together to produce a top grade answer

11.15 – 11.30am: Morning Break and an opportunity to submit questions to our experts


11.30 – 12.20pm: Achieving well in Composition

  • How to compose great music for GCSE
  • Examples of compositions at different levels of ability
  • Live composer performance and demonstration to show:
  • How to improve your compositions so that they achieve higher grades
  • Finishing touches and presentations which do well
  • How to enjoy composition
  • Student activity – in pairs, assess and mark compositions to help understand the standard required

12.20 – 1.00pm: The written paper

  • What students did well and struggled with in 2018
  • Using transferrable skills: how composing and listening help improve written analysis and answers
  • Planning successful answers to the high mark questions
  • Improving students’ musical vocabulary to strengthen written answers
  • Review excellent and less successful responses – what makes the difference?
  • How to prepare best for extended response questions

1.00 – 1.30pm: Lunch


1.30 – 1.40pm: Live student performance

(if you wish your students to be involved in this, please contact Keynote on 01625 532 974)


1.40 – 1.50pm: Quiz box Q&A

  • Chaired by Simon Rushby, this is a chance to ask questions directly to all our presenters, with a prize for the best question

1.50 – 2.30pm: Performance – what makes a good performance?

  • What makes a good performance? Interactive live demo with performers
  • How to get the best out of yourself when performing for assessment
  • Advice and guidance, based on the 2018 exams, on what the examiner is looking for to allow access to the top grades

2.30 – 3.05pm: Learning from songwriters

  • Analysing what makes a successful song and showing how to compose one
  • Simplicity is key – demonstration of how the best songs are often simple (and what simple actually means)
  • Anatomy of a song, with examples of a good song and a bad song for comparison

3.05 – 3.15pm: Final top tips and close

  • Key points from each of the presenters
  • Action Plan – how students can take action after today to improve their grade

Emma Sees

Experienced Head of Creative Arts, Head of Music and GCSE Music examiner for a major awarding body.

Simon Rushby

Former Director of Music and Assistant Head from a school rated ‘Exceptional’ by ISI, writer of A Level resources for Rhinegold, A Level and ABRSM examiner, performer and songwriter.

Jason Thornton

Jason Thornton holds an exceptionally varied portfolio in the music industry, but began as Head of Music in two schools in the south west. Today Jason has a successful career as a conductor, working with many of the countries finest professional orchestras including the RPO and the City of London Sinfonia as well as with ensembles in the US, Europe and the Far East. In addition he is Music Director of Bath Philharmonia, the resident professional orchestra serving Bath & North East Somerset. He has maintained an active educational portfolio, re-training as a Music leader in 2005 and now leads creative music projects throughout the country working with various Music Hubs, Venues, Festivals, and Orchestras with every Key Stage group. He is a specialist at working with hard to reach young people and is passionate about engaging young musicians in demanding musical concepts from the inside out.

Students £25+VAT

One free teacher place for every 10 student places
Additional teachers £35+VAT
Individual teachers £80+VAT