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GCSE Music

Why Choose GCSE Music?

This course will provide a contemporary, accessible and creative education in music with an integrated approach to the three main elements – performing, composing and appraising.  Learners are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons and understanding with areas of study that inspire and challenge, including popular music from 1950's to present day, film and video game music, The Concerto through Time and Rhythms of the World. Students will explore performance and composition with a focus on their own instrument and genre choices and offer opportunity to explore new instrumental skills. Through the various genres, styles and eras contained in our areas of study they will explore musical context, musical language, and performance and composition skills. GCSE Music is designed to appeal to, and cater for, a wide range of interests, instruments, personalities and directions. Learners will have the opportunity to explore instruments and Areas of Study depending on their personal preference and ability.

What do I need to be able to do/know?

Students should be able to confidently sing or play an instrument.  They would also benefit from having good basic keyboard skills and notation reading skills.  There is no written work in Music GCSE – all coursework is practical.  There is only one exam, in the form of a listening paper, at the end of year 11, worth 40% of the final mark.  We strongly advise students to be having lessons on their instrument if they wish to take music GCSE.

Where can GCSE Music take me?

Music GCSE is a great course to prepare students for A-level or Diploma/BTEC level music/performing arts courses. Music graduates have a wide range of career options available to them both inside and outside the industry, including: performer, teacher, administrator, songwriter, conductor, composer, recording engineer, manager, promoter, or music publisher. The range of roles can seem quite endless.  There are also more jobs than ever in music business related areas, such as: careers in digital marketing, social media, PR, technology, label services, ticketing and merchandising. It is also common to find music graduates in consultancy, finance, banking, music therapy and legal jobs. Studying music can give you a great mix of social, technical and business skills, which can all help with employability later in life.

Music Options Information Video


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Exam Board


Year 10   -  OCR GCSE (9-1) Music (J536)


Year 11  -  OCR GCSE Music 9-1  (J536)