GCSE Music

Exam Board - OCR (J535)

The Course

The course helps students to extend the skills of performing, composing and listening.


Listening Examination – 40%

During this course we will listen to and discuss a wide range of music, including the music that you play and compose.   You will sit a listening test as part of the examination which is based on the four areas of study which are;

  • My Music – music for your own instrument/voice
  • The Concerto through time
  • Rhythms of the World
  • Film Music
  • The Conventions of Pop

    Performing – 30%

    Performing is an integral part of the course. You will choose one instrument to focus on (which could be voice) and you will be expected to practice regularly.  The assessed coursework consists of one solo performance and one performance as part of an ensemble.

    Composing – 30%

    You will compose short pieces throughout the course, both independently and in groups.  Your two final compositions must be in different styles and will be completed under controlled assessment conditions.  One of your compositions must be for your own instrument the other will be composed from a set brief set by OCR. During the course you will learn to use both Cubase and Sibelius computer software.

    Where it leads

    Studying GCSE Music helps pupils develop creativity and confidence.  It is particularly useful for those interested in careers in broadcasting, media and the arts. However it develops skills that are applicable to any industry, such as presenting in front of an audience.