top of page
Writing in a Graph Notebook


The goal of the Academic Music Department at St. Columb’s School of Music is to assist pupils in becoming informed, imaginative and enquiring musicians. It aims to give them a wide range of musical skills and to enable them to use these skills creatively. 


Our aim is to continue academic music tuition as much as possible, giving students the chance to explore music further and offer them opportunities in the music sector in the future. As a school, we offer GCSE and A-Level to students who otherwise would not be able to partake in a music qualification, whether that be a timetable clash, or if the school does not currently offer music as a subject. 


Essential criteria for enrolment:

  • Access to a laptop

  • To be able to pass an example listening and theory paper as well as play one solo performance piece, all to grade 3 standard (organised before enrolment)

  • Permission from your current school 


A minimum of 2 students and a maximum of 8 students is required for the GCSE Level course consisting of 2hrs a week for 30 weeks on Tuesday evenings, 7.00pm-9.00pm.


Term 1: 20/9, 27/9, 4/10, 11/10, 18/10, 25/10

Term 2: 8/11, 15/11, 22/11, 29/11, 6/12, 13/12, 20/12

Term 3: 10/1, 17/1, 24/1, 31/1, 7/2, 21/2, 28/2, 7/3, 14/3, 21/3, 28/3

Term 4: 18/4, 25/4, 2/5, 9/5, 16/5, 23/5


The cost of the GCSE Level course is £760 per student and can be paid in full, or in 4 termly installments of £190. 


To enquire further and to enroll, please get in contact with the school either by phone (07366602407) or email (

Black Brown English Course.png

GCSE Level Course

The GCSE course includes three compulsory components: Composing, Performing and Listening.

  • The Composing component includes two composition tasks, one in response to a pre-released stimulus and one free choice. This will be marked by your teacher but moderated by CCEA (30%). The free composition can be in any style and for any combination of instruments/voices.

  • The Performance component requires one solo and one ensemble performance (combined duration should not exceed 6 minutes). This includes a discussion of the performances with the visiting examiner (35%). The minimum standard for performance is Grade 3.

  • The Listening component includes 4 compulsory Areas of Study. At the end of the course, there is a listening examination in which students answer questions based on familiar and unfamiliar music relating to the Areas of Study. The exam is 1 hour 30 minutes in duration (35%).


The listening and essay writing components are taught as a whole class. Composition is also taught as a class but will be individually supervised by the class teacher and special workshops with composition experts. Much of the practical/performance work is studied with peripatetic teachers or private teachers, however, performance workshops and accompanying sessions will take place during the allotted time. 


Class tasks/tests are taken as each topic progresses or is completed and homework is given regularly and pupils are provided with written feedback. The practical component will take place around April/May with the listening and written papers taking place in May/June. Composition is developed as coursework and externally moderated by CCEA. 

bottom of page