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Welcome to the PGCE Secondary Education: Music programme at the University of Reading. We are delighted that you are interested in the programme and look forward to meeting you at the interview.

How do I prepare for the subject-specific elements of my interview?

Instrumental or vocal performance

Before your interview, please prepare and provide a recording (MP4) of an instrumental (using your main instrument) or vocal performance lasting between three to four minutes. Your performance may be a piece in any style. Additionally, your performance may be a solo, it may be accompanied or unaccompanied, or it may be part of an ensemble.

Please send an email containing the MP4 recording of your performance to the subject leader, Mark Aitchison (, at least 48 hours before your interview. The MP4 must be unedited.

During your interview, you will be asked to:

  • discuss your choice of piece, your approach in preparing the performance, as well as various musical aspects of the piece
  • discuss aspects of your performance, incorporating the performance assessment criteria for the Eduqas GCSE specification and the Eduqas A Level specification.

Presentation relating to the National Curriculum for Music

Before your interview, please select a set work from the Eduqas or Edexcel GCSE specifications and prepare a five-minute verbal presentation demonstrating:

  • a medium-term plan that demonstrates how you would teach the set work over the course of five one-hour music lessons. Consider the activities you would incorporate, listening, performing, composing, and appraising
  • how you would teach the relevant music theory – consider the elements of music and include staff notation
  • how you would demonstrate being the musician in the classroom and how you would use your musicianship to engage the students.

Please send an email containing a one-page summary of your presentation to the subject leader, Mark Aitchison (, at least 48 hours before your interview.

On the day of your interview

On the day of your interview, you will be asked to:

  • complete a short composition task using music software, and convert it to and present in notation. We will give you access to this on the day, and an introduction to using the software, which is quick and easy to use. You will be invited to discuss and analyse your composition based on GCSE specification requirements, using the assessment criteria in the OCR and AQA specifications.
  • talk about your musical qualifications to date, and your experience of performance, composition, music theory, and musicianship. This might be work you have done in your own studies or work you have done as a music teacher or working musician. You will also be asked to talk about your aspirations as a musician and as an educator.

If you have any questions about preparing for your interview, please contact the subject leader, Mark Aitchison (, before the date of your interview.