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The IGCSE is a relatively new and genuinely exciting course. Administered by Cambridge University, it enhances practical and general musicianship to a higher degree than the GCSE exam boards. The skills obtained during the course will fundamentally change the way in which students hear, create and practice music. Participation in the College's ensembles is a requirement of the course.

Although pupils with good performing, listening and notation skills are inevitably find themselves at an advantage, there are no formal requirements for embarking on the course. The Music Department offers a very great deal of support (IGCSE clinic and Theory Class as well as the ensembles) so everyone has an opportunity to be very successful at IGCSE.


Performing: 30%

One solo and one ensemble performance, recorded at any time during the course. Internal assessment, external moderation.

Composing: 30%

You get to create two pieces of your own. The College ensembles will perform and record these for you, sometimes in public.

Listening : 40%

Exam of 1 hour 15 minutes. Pupils answer questions on music from a wide range of styles as they listen on CD. There will be some questions on a set work – one piece that is studied in more depth.

An exceptionally rewarding and valuable course in its own right, the IGCSE in Music is an ideal preparation for IB Music or for anyone who wants to develop their talents to a high level.


Music is one of the fundamental creative instincts of human beings everywhere. Today, technology makes music more ubiquitous than ever before, ask yourself when you last spent a day without hearing some kind of musical sound. This unprecedented exposure to music can be enriching, but also leaves us in danger of becoming passive listeners; people who allow music to wash over them and even to manipulate their emotions almost without being noticed. To study music is to become more aware of what is happening around you.

IB Music is practical, creative and analytical. You will develop performing skills through regular individual lessons, concerts, recording sessions, masterclasses, competitions and participation in ensembles. The stylistic variety and number of performance opportunities offered at KWC are vast by any standards, there is something of the highest quality for fans of all types of music. IB Music allows you to participate in these activities as part of your Diploma.

Learning to listen analytically, to understand how musical effects are achieved, is also a major part of the course. Skills in this area are assessed in two perception and analysis components. The first is a listening exam where candidates are asked questions about music they have not heard until the exam as well as about two set works. In 2016-17 the set works to be examined are by Bach and Kadàly. The second component is a coursework task in which candidates compare two pieces from different cultures in the form of a media presentation.

Analysis of other music also feeds creativity. At Higher Level you will be asked to submit three pieces of coursework and at Standard Level you can choose between either performance or composition (two pieces). The style, ensemble and genre are all matters of personal choice.

Many students find composing to be the most rewarding part of the course.


Higher Level
Perception and Analysis, two components (30%), plus one of:

  1. Solo performance. 15 minutes. Recording submitted (50%) 
  2. Ensemble performance. No professional backing allowed. Recording submitted (50%) 
  3. Composition. Coursework: two or more contrasting pieces. Score and recording to be submitted (50%) Media Script (20%)

Standard Level
Perception and Analysis, 2 components (30%), plus one of:

  1. Solo performance. 20 minutes. Recording submitted (25%) 
  2. Ensemble performance. No professional backing allowed. Recording submitted (25%)  and
  3. Composition. Coursework: three contrasting pieces. 5 -15 minutes. Score and recording to be submitted (25%) Media Script (20%)

Director of Music - Steven Daykin - email: steve.daykin@kwc.im

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you and all the KWC team for the ongoing support and care taken for the education of my child. I have to say that you manage to fulfil both my child and my own dreams beyond expectations and everybody has observed his fantastic evolution.

U5 Overseas Parent