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home education and GCSE music [title edited at OP's request](8 Posts)
I have no plans to home educate as I am generally happy with my son's school. However he is coming under huge pressure to choose GCSE history instead of GCSE music.
I would love my son to do GCSE music outside school, but its very hard as its a practical subject and you need other people to do group work with. GCSE music is different to grades because there is a composition element and I feel the group work aspect would be valuable to my son in developing his communication skills.
Is GCSE music something that a home educated teen might be interested in? I want my son to be able to get a good clutch of GCSEs so that he can either do sixth form or go to college. The only real life home ed musical family I know see little benefit in doing GCSE music.
I know that plenty of home eduated children are excellent musicians. Do any of them do GCSE music?
I wasn't home educated but had long-term sickness so dropped three GCSEs (my school did 11).
I then did music with my piano tutor instead. It was really good actually and the composition was awful in a class group - basically lots of people taking turns to improvise on glockenspiels etc total cacophony.
Improvisation is better when noodling on an instrument, taking ideas from other music and composing from there etc. It is quite mathematical so can be taught. One thing your DC will have to do is perform a duet so a patient teacher or accompanist is handy to have. I didn't miss out by doing music outside the classroom and the one-to-one teaching meant I got a good grade.
Grade 5 theory ABRSM in music is good enough to be accepted to do A level music.
Why is he under pressure? Music and history are usually on different "pathways"- could he not do both?
Look at your County Music Service, I have recently moved but both counties I have recent experience of have Saturday music schools where, as well as orchestras and private lessons, there are things like Musicianship, Improvisation, Group Theory and choirs for different levels of ability.
Cost was £10 a week in my old county and I think it is less in the new one but I can't find the forms I filled in. Private tuition cost on top.
I've not seen the new GCSE music syllabus but another issue is that in the old syllabus compositions had to be done as controlled assessments over several weeks in exam style conditions.
Does he want to do history? If not stand firm. My dd will be doing GCSE music - she too particularly enjoys the composition element.
Certainly you didn't used to be able to do GCSE music as a home educator on the old syllabus. However, DD2 got accepted to do A level at the local college no problem at all without GCSE but having grades instead. She had Grade 7 piano/ 6 theory but they'd have taken her with Grade 5 without blinking.
In fact I usually tell my piano pupils not to bother with GCSE music unless they want to for the enjoyment, because it doesn't open any extra doors than a Grade 5 practical and theory would. If he's learning an instrument, I'd concentrate on that instead. If he isn't already quite far ahead in an instrument then, in all honesty, it's hard to do particularly well in GCSE music anyway as part of it is performance based and for a really good composition you need a degree of theoretical knowledge.
I do believe if you're desperate there are a few places offering it as a Saturday school thing Trinity such as Trinity. Their results are amazing - a couple of my pupils have been to their Saturday school and one got an A* at A level with them. However, they tend to cater for the "live breathe sleep music" brigade!