Music and performance is a highly valued part of life at Maida Vale School. The music department is located at the top of the main building benefitting from rehearsal spaces, a Mac suite, a music room all of which are in close proximity to the main stage in the Theatre.

The opportunities to perform come frequently throughout the year from the Music and the Drama departments. They put on a regular program of plays, readings, live recitals and music festivals where jazz and rock bands take the stage alongside soloists and ensembles.

Music plays an integral role at Maida Vale School and is inclusive for all pupils and abilities

The Music department offers a wide variety of musical opportunities for all our Pupils ranging from: steel pan workshops, workshops with the London Community Gospel Choir, regular concerts for all ensembles, trips to leading performance venues in London such as the Royal Opera House, trips to musicals such as Wicked and Matilda, as well as choir tours to Europe in addition to the weekly class Music lessons. As an academic subject, taught on a weekly basis, Music engages all pupils in the key skills of performing, composing and appraising.

Music GCSE



Assessment Internally assessed

Two performances to be recorded in Year 11. One solo performance and one ensemble performance OR two ensemble performances

Pupils must take lessons or be prepared to commit to lessons on an instrument or voice in preparation for this exam. They must be at least Grade 4 (or equivalent standard) by Year 11. Pupils must also commit to at least ONE extra-curricular music ensemble at school.

Pupils are free to choose their own pieces, which must be of a certain standard and will work on performance throughout the course to ensure they can achieve the highest possible grade. They will develop critical listening skills by assessing their own work.


Assessment: Internally assessed 

One composition responding to a brief set and released by Eduqas in Year 11

One composition, in the candidates chosen style (free choice)

Pupils will compose pieces that are related to the historical topics covered in lessons. They will have the option to use technology such as Logic or compose using Sibelius or similar notation software

Listening & Apraising

Overview of assessment 1 ¼ hour written paper

Eight questions of equal weight – 12 marks each. Mixture of multiple choice and questions requiring recall of key terms.

Study of two set works, one Classical piece and one Popular piece of music.

Extended 10-mark question requiring Pupils to justify how an unheard piece of film music relates to the action on screen/conveys a particular feeling and emotion.

Some knowledge of musical notation is an advantage and will be covered in the course.