Skip to content ↓

Welcome to Music GCSE

The Music Department at The Westgate School is an inclusive and vibrant department that offers a vast array of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities. GCSE Music (OCR) aims to nurture pupils’ enthusiasm for music whatever their disciplines and background and whatever their skill and ability. The course consists of four Areas of Study that cover a wide range of music from 1700 to the present day including classical and popular music from around the world. Pupils create two compositions based upon topics from the Areas of Study. The performance element of the course requires the pupil to play a solo performance and a performance as part of a group. The specification can be viewed here: 

Student Testimonials 

Choosing GCSE Music is very essential to many people as it shows that you have a wide range of interests and skills, as well as showing that you have dedication and commitment to learning a musical instrument and learning GCSE Music, Vaseeharan S.

I like to study music because it allows me to enhance my skills and allows me to be myself and express myself in the form of singing. Through my years of studying music, I have seen myself grow and be able to do better and work on my confidence as a singer, Tiago D. 

I chose this subject because it is an escape from your traditional lesson. You get to really appreciate music for what it is and I get to better understand my instrument. I enjoy how relaxed it is where you can play a piece of music out of nowhere and everyone joins in , no one is left out . it very stress free. I am currently developing my performance skills in drumming. it can be very nerve racking when playing in front of people but these music lesson have really helped me gain confidence and be able to relax on the stage when playing, Lara M.


Does my child need to play an instrument aside from singing? 

Singing is absolutely an instrument! If your child sings, this can be considered as their primary instrument that they focus on at GCSE. They will do one solo performance and one ensemble performance. 

Does my child need to have instrumental lessons? 

We always encourage students to have instrumental lessons either at home or within school. Our instrumental lessons haven’t been running at the moment due to COVID, but hopefully we’ll be able to get them up and running again soon.  

My child gets very nervous about performing in front of the class. Will they be able to do GCSE Music? 

Of course! I find that within a short period of time, most students have built up their confidence to perform in front of the class. Performance will become such a regular assessment that takes place, that after a few performances your child will be used to the process. The final GCSE recordings will take place in a classroom without an audience.  

Will my child get a chance to perform in concerts and events? 

We run a big Christmas Concert every year (there wasn’t a concert this year due to COVID restrictions) which the GCSE classes play a huge part in. Over the last few years we have also performed at a number of different venues and taken part in workshops such as a Music Management workshop at the Royal Albert Hall.   

My child can’t play difficult pieces on their instrument. Is this OK? 

I always say that it is much better to play a simple piece well than struggle with a difficult piece. You will get more marks for playing a simple piece accurately and musically than trying to play a piece that is too hard. 

Why should my child study GCSE Music when it isn’t related to what they want to do when they are older? 

Universities and job places often say that a student who studies arts shows that they are a well-rounded person. If your child was to apply for a job and another candidate had exactly the same qualifications as them, often it’s things like this that help them stand out! You must make sure that you look at the requirements in detail though, as some professions determine exactly what should be studied at GCSE/A-Level.  

For further information please contact:

Miss N Yates: Curriculum Leader of Music