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Choosing Music as an option

(18 Posts)
Clutterbugsmum Tue 14-Mar-17 20:35:01

My DD school chose option in yr8 instead of yr9.

She would like to do Music, but she doesn't play an instrument. Would you let her do it and hope she can pick up an instrument to the level that she needs to be or would persuade her away from but encourage to learn an instrument along side her studies.

LIZS Tue 14-Mar-17 20:40:27

Does she sing?

Broccolirevolution Tue 14-Mar-17 20:43:40

No. She needs to be playing at grade 3 in form 9 to get a good pass at the end of GCSE. Sure other people will say she can pass playing at a lower grade but I'm sure your daughter wants a good grade.
She won't get a good grade if she can't play or read music well.

BeyondThePage Tue 14-Mar-17 20:48:12

DD doing music GCSE and it is biting away wayyyyyyyyy too much of her time now.

ensemble piece in particular is a real pain as they need to have someone to play alongside who is of the same standard and has time to practise with them.

Would try to encourage a different option unless she is either dedicated to music or happy with only being able to go for a lower grade.

Clutterbugsmum Tue 14-Mar-17 20:56:06

She can read music, her primary school teach children to read music from yr 1, so she is ok with that.

Clutterbugsmum Tue 14-Mar-17 20:58:05

Beyond that's we thought. I/we think she would be better doing another subject and learn a instrument along side.

drummersmum Tue 14-Mar-17 22:12:22

I have heard art and drama are both more time consuming. You can do voice as instrument but the composing part requires knowledge of music theory and some keyboard skills.

dementedma Tue 14-Mar-17 22:14:14

Dd2 did standard grade and Higher music, with voice as her main instrument. It was something she was good at and gave her confidence.

SuperRainbows Tue 14-Mar-17 22:56:06

If your dd starts an instrument now, with the right level of commitment she could reach the required standard.

I have asked my dd14 and she was really positive about music gcse. She said the course breakdown is 40% theory, 30% composition abd 30% performance. She really enjoys it.

I would encourage your dd as she's expressed an interest, as long as she realises she needs to work hard to catch up.

I started violin at 12 and practised endlessly and eventually played it as my main instrument for my music degree.

smellylittleorange Wed 15-Mar-17 00:04:57

DD is doing music from Y9 she started singing lessons at grade 3 last year so should be grade 5 by GCSE year. It is possible but she has been told she must do extra music theory etc . She is lucky she has a good ear and I am so glad she took voice lessons last year. She has a good ear and enjoys music but is disinterested in doing drama and art so it is nice for her to have that in her options.

smellylittleorange Wed 15-Mar-17 00:09:06

Just to confirm DD Y8 now. I believe the equivalent level for GCSE Music is Level 5 your DD can start voice lessons now and be at the right standard for GCSE year. It is also wise to look at the school and how they support musicians - are there lots of different bands and music extra curricular opportunities? DD school has ensemble evenings which they use for the performance element of the GCSE but all the different bands and even non gcse students are involved.

jaguar67 Wed 15-Mar-17 09:07:30

My DD sat Music GCSE last Summer - can't remember which board (think EdExcel), the 40/30/30 split mentioned above sounds familiar.

She started the course in Year 10 with all 8 practical grades in saxophone under her belt and a strong Grade 5 in theory.

She really enjoyed the course, found the composition challenging and thanked the Lord every day for that Grade 5 theory (her view was that you don't need anywhere near grade 8 for performance element). She has a naturally good ear for music too, which was also a Godsend. The few girls who started the course without Grade 5 theory, fell by the wayside within a term.

DD went on to get an A* (of which she is most proud of all her GCSE results) - thanks to excellent teaching on the theory front and support in composition (which she found hardest and from what I remember didn't get an A* for that component). She also worked her socks off throughout, both in preparing pieces and in practising past papers for the theory exam. There is no doubt that an easier option for her would have been a second MFL, but she loves a challenge!

It's certainly a rewarding and interesting GCSE to do but your daughter (certainly if she wants to achieve one of those top grades) needs to go in with eyes wide open and understand the work involved ahead. 'Getting to' a Grade 5 level during the course of study is very different to having that knowledge already under your belt and being able to follow everything in class from the get-go. Especially if others in the class are already at that more advanced level.

And of course it needs to be balanced with the work needs of her other subjects. If she's game, she'll find it a great option. I know my DD doesn't regret taking it at all.

Clutterbugsmum Wed 15-Mar-17 10:45:29

jaguar6, Thank you.

Her music teacher has said she has 'natural ability' for music. She also lucky as her grandfather on her dad side has been involved in music since he was a teenager, and has been a music teacher for 40 plus years and still writes and composes music for at least 3 of the bands he still involved with.

We are going to let her do it, on the understanding that she chooses an instrument (probably the guitar as her dad can help as he also plays) by the end of March, and get's a list of tutors from her music teacher on Friday and that she has to commit to practice everyday.

SoulAccount Fri 17-Mar-17 08:36:27

Yes, she can do it if she really goes for learning the instrument.

Singing counts too, if she sings?

As soon as possible she needs to join one of the school music ensembles, ours has a guitar group that accepts two chord strummers.

Get a teacher now, practice regime in place, she could be at grade 2 by the end of the summer hols.

Plenty of GCSE students at Dc school started year 10 with grade 3.

SoulAccount Fri 17-Mar-17 08:37:37

You don't have to laboriously work through all the Grades.

You could also consider the Rock School Grade exams.

Clutterbugsmum Fri 17-Mar-17 11:03:32

We going to try to speak my FIL if not this weekend definitely next weekend as I said early he works for one of our local music school so we going to pick his brain to find the best way going forward for her. She lucky in that her school do their courses over 3 years instead of 2 years which will also help.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 17-Mar-17 15:03:07

Good for you! Just passing on feedback from DS1 who is doing gcse music that if you can sing, it's a good way to accelerate through the grades - sadly he can't! But it could save her some time. Alternatively, rockschool for drums, guitar or keyboard would be a good bet, too.

tumpymummy Wed 29-Mar-17 19:37:04

DS doing GCSE Music and currently in Year 10 and really enjoying it. He has been told he needs to be at Grade 4 standard by the time he is assessed for his GCSE. He doesn't need to have taken a Grade 4 exam, but he needs to play a piece that is that level. So if your daughter knuckles down she could just about do it. DS also does the Rockschool exams and actually started with Grade 2 so that helps reduce the time to work through them.

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