OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Music will provide a contemporary, accessible and creative education in Music with an integrated approach to the three main elements – performing, composing and appraisingLearners are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons and understanding with Areas of Study that inspire and challenge. The course on will enable learners to explore performance and composition with a focus on their own instrument and genre choices and offer opportunity to explore new instrumental skills.

In addition to classroom based music lessons, you will have a free 20-minute instrumental/singing lesson with one of our peripatetic music teachers once a week during term-time.

What are the aims and learning outcomes of the course?

OCR’s GCSE in Music will encourage learners to:

  • engage actively in the process of music study,
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used,
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources,
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music,
  • broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity,
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians,
  • develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing,
  • develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music,
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology,
  • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds,
  • reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music,
  • engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

What is the structure of GCSE Music?

The GCSE consists of three main elements – performing, composing and appraising (listening to and answering questions about the music). Pupil evidence will consist of:

  • An Integrated Portfolio (30% of the course) – this consists of a solo music performance(s) and a composition of your choice.
  • Practical Component (30% of the course) – an ensemble (group) performance and composition to an OCR set brief.
  • Listening Exam (40% of the course) – a written exam where you will be asked questions based on the Areas of Study.

What are the Areas of Study?

Learners will study five Areas of Study, from the past and present, from the western tradition and other world cultures:

  1. Area of Study 1: My Music.
    Learners should study their instrument, which can be any of the following: any instrument, voice – this can include styles such as rapping or beatboxing, DJ-ing, or sequencing – realisation using Music Technology.
  2. Area of Study 2: The Concerto Through Time.
    Learners should study The Concerto and its development from 1650 to 1910 through: the Baroque Solo Concerto, the Baroque Concerto Grosso, the Classical Concerto, the Romantic Concerto.
  3. Area of Study 3: Rhythms of the World.
    Learners should study the traditional rhythmic roots from four geographical regions of the world: India and Punjab (Indian Classical Music and traditional Punjabi Bhangra), Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (traditional Eastern Mediterranean and Arabic folk rhythms, with particular focus on traditional Greek, Pales nian and Israeli music), Africa (traditional African drumming), Central and South America (traditional Calypso and Samba).
  4. Area of Study 4: Film Music.
    Learners should study a range of music used for films including: music that has been composed specifically for a filmmusic from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a filmmusic that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game.
  5. Area of Study 5: Conventions of Pop.
    Learners should study a range of popular music from the 1950s to the present day, focussing on: Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1950s and 1960s, Rock Anthems of the 1970s and 1980s, Pop Ballads of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Solo Artists from 1990 to the present day.

How am I graded at the end of the course?

Pupils are awarded 1-9.

Why the OCR exam board for GCSE Music?

Monk’s Walk embeds Musical Futures into the whole of KS3 and with our work in our feeder primary schools through our Community Music initiative. This has influenced the choice of exam board for the new GCSE and A Level specs in England as take up is high and students with a wide range of musical experiences and abilities opt to take the subject at KS4.

We have chosen to move to OCR for both the new GCSE and A-Level. The courses are inclusive for our broad range of student’s and their various musical disciplines and we are excited for the breadth of study for the examination units that is not limited entirely to specific pieces. We think that OCR is the ‘musical’ option. We also feel that the pathways between the GCSE and A Level transition nicely, and gives students an opportunity to take music further at university. Students have a varied choice as to the style of music the study in further depth, and the pathways in which they would like to develop their musical creativity, including options for the use of music technology throughout.

Source: 10th March 2016, J. Rotchell https://www.musicalfutures.org/musical-futures-blog/new-spec-new-start-ocr.

OCR GCSE Music Documentation