Soham Village College

GCSE Music

GCSE Music

Click the logo or link below if you would like to view the full course specification from the Exam Board website.

Exam Board Qualification Specification Coursework
OCR Exam Board - GCSE Music (J535) GCSE Music (9-1) J536 60%

 The table below is a breakdown of the units studied at GCSE and the format of the assessments.


 Year 10 - OCR GCSE (9-1) J536

Year 11 - OCR GCSE Music J535




AOS 1 (My Music)Building Performance Skills
During this term, students will be introduced to the GCSE course and will learn how to rehearse and perform a solo piece of music to a small audience. 

“An Introduction to Composing”
Melodic and Harmonic Composition Skills using Sibelius and Garageband
Techniques of Composing: tune and accompaniment, link with AOS 2 (The Concerto) though Time
Solo instrument and Accompaniment
Solo Instrument and Orchestra
Piano and guitar accompaniment styles (link with Pop Music)
October Class Showcase – video, programme notes and appraisals.
Performance development over time.  
Listening and composition activities.
AOS 1 & 2 (My Music)
Solo Composition (Controlled Assessment) – three hours a fortnight.
Composition/Improvisation Activities.
Group Performances recorded.
Ensemble Performance
SATB Vocal Music – voices in harmony
Listening to Choral Music and performing as a whole class: focus on texture, harmony, dynamics, articulation and performance skills within a group.
Christmas Ely Cathedral Performance – Dec 2016. AOS 2 (Shared Music)
Principles of performing in a group – preparation for performance 2.
Study of Ensembles for listening exam: Chamber Music, Orchestral Music, Indian Classical Music and Gamelan.
Stylistic Dance Composition Exercises.
Listening Tests based on Dance styles.
Spring    AOS 5 (Conventions of Pop)·        
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
Group compositions – pop song writing in the style of a chosen genre.
Listening Tests.
AOS 1 & 2 Preparation and Recording of Solo and Ensemble Pieces (these are done in Jan 2017) Complete written commentaries and logs for B351 and B352 (Performance and Composition Controlled Assessment) 
Creative Task Preparation – short timed 40-minutes composition exercises based on a stimulus
Performances are recorded in January 2017 (30%)
Both compositions handed in for assessment by Feb 2017. (30%)
All written work complete and handed in – included written commentaries, composition log and scores.
FREE COMPOSITION – Coursework 1 
Students compose a piece of music to their own set brief. This is completely free and can be in any style, for any instrument.Students are expected to use and develop their knowledge and understanding of rhythm, melody, harmony and compositional techniques.
Composition submitted in a recorded form and accompanied by a score, lead sheet or written commentary (15%) CREATIVE TASK EXAM – April 2017 (20%)AOS 3 (Dance Music)
Dance Music – review waltz, tango and line dance.
Characteristic musical features of eight dances including Bhangra, Salsa, Club Dance and Disco.
Listening Tests.
Short composition tasks
Summer    AOS 4 (Film Music)
Students study a range of music used for films including:
• music that has been composed specifically for a film
• music from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a film
• music that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game
Short composition exercises in groups and individually – composing music to support action on screen. Complete Review of AOS 2, 3 and 4
Descriptive Music
Programme Music
Revision of Vocabulary
Practice Papers
Listening and composition exercises.
Practice Papers.
AOS 2 (The Concerto through Time)
Baroque Concerto – solo and grosso.
A study of the Baroque concerto with a focus on orchestra, instrumentation and typical musical features.
Listening Tests
Short composition exercises.
June 2017 – B354 Listening Examination (20%) Listening examination.