GCSE - (OCR J536)

OCR Specification J536

The GCSE music course can be thought of in two parts:

This consists of four pieces of coursework that make up 60% of the qualification

  • performance 1* and performance 2**

  • composition 1* and composition 2**

For more information click the heading above or click here.

*Performance 1 can be a solo piece for just one musician or as part of a band/ensemble. Composition 1 is a piece composed to students' own brief. **Performance 2 is an ensemble piece and therefore must contain at least two performers. Composition 2 is created according to a brief set by the exam board, OCR. The brief is released on the September in which the students start year 11.

This consists of a listening exam that makes up 40% of the qualification. For more information click the heading above or click here.

Here you will find crucial information for students on everything from practice tips, online resources, tutorials and much more related to the practical coursework component of the course.

Click above or here for links to websites that can assist students on the GCSE music course

Click above or here to view or download any or all of the booklets that we use for GCSE music

New to GCSE? Just started?


It's an exciting course but it's also very very different from music in years 7 & 8.

Below are some important things you will need to know

- Independence and trustworthiness are the two things above all else you will need to show. You will be trusted to practise, sometimes in a room on your own for weeks without visits from me. You will be trusted to use the department as a 'second home'; it is open to you at all times, before school from 7.30 am up until I leave usually around 5:00 pm.

- You will probably need to use your phone for anything from using it as a guitar tuner, for reading lyrics, accessing YouTube tutorials, ultimateguitar.com, notation software, recording yourself, as a metronome and much more. Do not let yourself down by being caught using it for anything other than work. You will NOT be given another chance for the whole course.

- Use www.soundcloud.com/wrothamschoolmusic to check out the standard you need to be aiming for

- Visit this website regularly for information relevant to the music department

- If you own your own instrument the advice is to bring it in, unless you physically cannot do so. For example drummers cannot bring their drum-kit in. Equipment can be left here overnight but it goes without saying that we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage. However, it might be helpful to say that in the 7 year of Mr Laviolette being the music teacher not a single instrument belonging to a student has gone missing or been damaged.

- We have a shared Spotify playlist that you can access at all times. The username is d.laviolette (you must include the ‘dot’). The playlist is titled 'GCSE Solo and Ensemble pieces'. This playlist has suggestions for songs you can learn if you cannot think of any challenging and appropriate material and is always being updated. This link should take you straight there: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/261OZINKJMuVLUh3nR7nCP?si=e11c6cd59c484669

Finally, the most important thing...

You must provide proof of practice each week from home to verify that you have completed at least 7 hours over the week. This does not include time in lessons.

This used to be via a signature from home. However, we have changed this now so that students send evidence directly to their music teacher, usually via Teams but this can also be via email. This is checked the same time each week (different lessons for each year group). Information about how this is submitted can be found HERE

Failure to provide proof results in one week of lunchtime and/or after school catch-up sessions in place of your missed practice.