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International Baccalaureate - Music - Higher & Standard Level at The Rochester Grammar School

Course description

This course provides a suitable foundation for Music courses (degree and diploma) in higher education at universities and conservatoires, as well as giving a greater insight into what for some will remain simply a life-long, enriching pastime.

Course content

See Assessment section for details.

Entry requirements

To study both Higher and Standard level Music you must have a Music GCSE at grade 6 and grade 5 in an instrument/singing.


In order to gain access to The RGS Sixth Form, students must obtain 5 GCSE grades at 9-6 (A*-B) including English Language and Mathematics.




At Higher and Standard levels Musical Perception and Analysis in western and non‑western styles counts for 50% of the total with Performance and/or Composition counting for the remaining 50%.

Musical Perception and Analysis consists of the detailed study of set works and further study of a wide range of musical examples from different parts of the world, different genres, and different styles. These are examined by means of a Listening Paper. In addition candidates must present an investigation of 2000 words which compares examples of music from two musical cultures.

Performance and Composition components can be wide-ranging with regard to style and content. This work is internally assessed and externally moderated. At higher level 20 minutes of solo performance recordings is required and three contrasting compositions must be presented. Some compositions could be substituted by technical exercises (e.g. completion of a Bach Chorale). At standard level candidates choose ONE option from: 15 minutes of recorded solo performances; two group performances; two contrasting compositions.

It is essential that Higher students (and Standard students opting for performance) continue their instrumental/singing lessons.

Future opportunities

Taking the IB in Music can lead to a variety of music-related careers: performing, composing, arts administration, publishing, music journalism, TV, radio. the ever-expanding e-media, music therapy, and even teaching! However the skills and disciplines of the successful musician, both individual (such as meeting deadlines and self-confidence) and interpersonal (such as reliability in team membership and communication) are attractive qualities for any employer.

Further information

The I.B.O.s mission statement:

'The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.'

IB learners are:

- Enquirers
- Knowledgeable
- Risk-takers
- Thinkers
- Good communicators
- Principled
- Open-minded
- Reflective

The ideal IB student will also have acquired a sense of caring and compassion, and will recognise the importance of a balance between his/her intellectual, physical and emotional needs.

If you require any further information please contact Miss Hemming at The Rochester Grammar School.

If you wish to study at The Rochester Grammar School, please apply directly to the school. 




How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Rochester Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 12 December 2018
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