KS4 Music

Content overview

There are five areas of study:

  • Area of study 1: My music
  • Area of study 2: The concerto through time
  • Area of study 3: Rhythms of the world
  • Area of study 4: Film music
  • Area of study 5: Conventions of pop

Students must complete three components (01 or 02, 03 or 04, and 05) to be awarded the OCR GCSE (9-1) in Music.

Component 01/02: Integrated portfolio

Students develop their understanding of performance and composition through exploration of their own instrument within styles and genres of their choosing.

They demonstrate their playing skills and abilities by practising and performing a piece musically, accurately and with appropriate interpretation. In the composition element of this component, they demonstrate knowledge of composition techniques, use of musical elements and resources, including specific instrumental and technology techniques.

Component 03/04: Practical component

Students develop their skills and understanding of performance and composition. The focus of the performance aspect of this component is on the demands of performing with an ensemble. Students are also required to compose a piece of music appropriate for one of the areas of study in response to a set brief.

Component 05: Listening and appraising

This component focuses on areas of study 2, 3, 4, and 5. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.


Year 10 :

 There will be opportunities for solo and ensemble performances throughout the year; the music will be selected by yourself and your teacher. We will be studying all of the 5 areas of study and you will complete one ‘Free composition’.

Year 11:

 You will continue to have opportunities for solo and ensemble performances and the areas of study will be looked at before revision and practice papers leading up to the exam. You will complete one composition based on a brief from the exam board which will relate to one of the areas of study and complete a solo and ensemble performance.

Specialist equipment required

The school will provide musical instruments, rehearsal space and IT equipment for composition and performance; while it is not necessary that pupils learn a music instrument to take a GCSE in  music, it is advisable that they do and that they have the time to commit to regular practice and participation in musical events in and around the school.