This course aims to explore a range of strategies and techniques for teaching aspects of the new GCSEs in Music to students at all levels of ability. Drawing upon advice and guidance from Ofsted, the course covers all awarding bodies, focusing upon key features of each specification and their potential to inspire outstanding teaching, maximum learner engagement and exceptional achievement.


  • Increased understanding of the most recent OFSTED guidelines for music and how they can aid effective planning and structuring of outstanding lessons
  • Practical strategies at helping all pupils regardless of ability generate compositions and push them towards the higher grades
  • Effective approaches at developing listening skills that ensure success in the examinations yet engage all pupils in class


COURSE DATE London Friday 23 November 2018
  • All teachers of GCSE Music
  • Heads of Music
  • Music NQTs
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 – 11.00am: Outstanding Teaching and Learning at GCSE Level

  • Ofsted: what is outstanding teaching and learning?
  • Ofsted: what is outstanding teaching and learning in Music?
  • Teaching GCSE Music musically: performing, composing and listening/appraising
  • How to inspire and motivate students of all abilities
  • Transition from KS3 to GCSE: laying the foundation for success – skills, techniques, motivation, and enthusiasm
  • Planning for success – how to structure courses and produce excellent schemes of work that stimulate and motivate students (and teachers) and demonstrate outstanding progress

11.00 – 11.15am: Discussion: coffee break


11.15 – 11.45am: Collecting Performances

  • Understanding the mark schemes
  • “Performing” as opposed to “playing”
  • Recording, recording and recording again
  • Integrated performing and listening… and more recording
  • Communication: ensuring parents/carers and instrumental teachers understand the process

11.45 – 1.00pm: Inspirational Composing

  • Understanding the mark schemes
  • Using the set briefs as composition starters
  • Understanding context: audience, occasion, purpose
  • Understanding the idiom
  • Compositional techniques for whole-class activities
  • Stretch and challenge: pushing the more able composer
  • Inspiration: engaging the less able composer

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 – 3.00pm: Developing Listening and Appraising Skills

  • Listening skills – exploiting every opportunity
  • The Elements of Music – discussing music musically
  • Musical terminology – speaking the language
  • Set Works – getting the balance right between knowledge and appraisal
  • Unfamiliar Listening – applying and demonstrating listening skills
  • Dictation – practice makes perfect

3.00 – 3.10pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.10 – 3.40pm: Examination Techniques

  • Understanding the mark schemes
  • Baking the cake: Grade 4/5/6
  • Icing the cake: Grade 7/8/9
  • Essay planning
  • AO3: skills and knowledge
  • AO4: forming opinions, drawing conclusions

3.40 – 4.00pm: Conclusions, Questions, Final Thoughts

  • Revisiting the Ofsted advice and guidance
  • Planning issues

Mick Verrier

Mick works in a number of capacities for one of the major awarding bodies, carrying out moderation, verification and quality management review; in particular, he delivers training on all aspects of assessment in GCSE and A Level Music, having been involved as a GCSE moderator for some fifteen years (including two years as Principal Moderator for Composing).

From 2001 to 2013, Mick taught in a challenging secondary school, becoming Head of Music and subsequently Head of Performing Arts, but prior to that his varied career included several years in the legal profession handling criminal defence and civil litigation cases, two tours as a performing musician and an unfinished PhD thesis on Ewan McColl. In addition to his exam board work, Mick is involved with several performing groups and the delivery of live music at various festivals and venues.

View all courses led by Mick Verrier >