Learning and undertaking activities in music contribute to achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become: 

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve 
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives 
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society 

The Importance of Music 

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop student’s competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps students understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world. 

Music education encourages active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and communal, helping to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness. Music can influence students’ development in and out of school by fostering personal development and maturity, creating a sense of achievement and self-worth, and increasing pupils’ ability to work with others in a group context. 

Music learning develops students’ critical skills: their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgements about musical quality. It also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment. 

Key Concepts 

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of music. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. 

Integration of practice 

  • Developing knowledge, skills and understanding through the integration of performing, composing and listening. 
  • Participating, collaborating and working with others as musicians, adapting to different musical roles and respecting the values and benefits others bring to musical learning.
    Cultural understanding 
  • Understanding musical traditions and the part music plays in national and global culture and in personal identity. 
  • Exploring how ideas, experiences and emotions are conveyed in a range of music from different times and cultures. 

Critical understanding 

  • Engaging with and analysing music, developing views and justifying opinions. 
  • Drawing on experience of a wide range of musical contexts and styles to inform judgements. 


  • Using existing musical knowledge, skills and understanding for new purposes and in new contexts. 
  • Exploring ways music can be combined with other art forms and other subject disciplines. 


  • Exploring how thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions can be expressed through music. 


Key Processes 

These are the essential skills and processes in music that pupils need to learn to make progress. 

Performing, composing and listening 

Students should be able to: 

  • sing in group contexts, developing vocal techniques and musical expression 
  • perform with control of instrument-specific techniques and musical expression 
  • practise, rehearse and perform with awareness of different parts, the roles and contributions of different members of the group, the audience and venue 
  • create, develop and extend musical ideas by selecting and combining resources within musical structures, styles, genres and traditions 
  • improvise, explore and develop musical ideas when performing 
  • listen with discrimination and internalise and recall sounds 
  • identify the expressive use of musical elements, devices, tonalities and structures. 
  • Reviewing and evaluating 

Students should be able to: 

  • analyse, review, evaluate and compare pieces of music 
  • identify conventions and contextual influences in music of different styles, genres and traditions 
  • communicate ideas and feelings about music, using expressive language and musical vocabulary to justify their opinions 
  • adapt their own musical ideas and refine and improve their own and others’ work. 
  • This section outlines the breadth of the subject on which teachers should draw when teaching the key concepts and key processes. 

Range and Content 

The study of music includes: 

  • performance activities in a range of contexts within and beyond the classroom 
  • a range of live and recorded music from different times and cultures 
  • a range of classical and popular traditions and current trends in music that reflect cultural diversity and a global dimension 
  • staff notation and other relevant notations in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions 
  • consideration of contextual influences that affect the way music is created, performed and heard 
  • the use of music technologies to create, manipulate and refine sounds 
  • the role of music and musicians in society, of the music industry and of artistic and intellectual property rights.

Curriculum Opportunities 

During each key stage students are offered the following opportunities that are integral to their learning and enhance their engagement with the concepts, processes and content of the subject. 

The curriculum should provide opportunities for pupils to: 

  • develop individual performance skills, both vocal and instrumental, including the use of music technology 
  • develop listening and aural perception skills in practical activities, including composing and performing 
  • develop creative and compositional skills, including songwriting, arranging and improvising 
  • work with a range of musicians and watch and listen to live musical performances where possible, to extend their musical learning 
  •  work individually, in musical groups of different sizes and as a class 
  • build on their own interests and skills, taking on different roles and responsibilities and developing music leadership skills 
  • make links between music and other subjects and areas of the curriculum 

Year 7 and 8 

All students follow the same curriculum following the spiral of development above. The lessons are delivered at different times during the term due to limitations in resources and facilities. The overarching topics covered are as follows: 

  • Year 7: Autumn – Musical elements and foundations, Beat it (rhythmic study) 
  • Year 7: Spring – The Classics (Beethoven to Abba), Heroes and Villains (Leitmotif composition) 
  • Year 7: Summer – Disney music (performance, composition and appraisal) 
  • Year 8: Autumn – Film music , Hooks and riffs. 
  • Year 8: Spring – Pop music, World music. 
  • Year 8 Summer – Musicals, Musical Futures, Rap. 

Year 9 

The pre GCSE curriculum is structured to embed all functional composition, performance and appraisal skills. Each cohort follows a students lead curriculum to develop the individual needs of the class. 

2018/19 cohort completed the following topics: 

Blues music, reggae, dance music, sensory story telling (joint project with Stanton vale Special School) and performance skills. 

In the summer term students study ‘Star Wars’ (set work 1 GCSE) and fundamentals of composition. 


We offer GCSE music and the BTEC Tech Award in music with a focus on music technology. Both courses offer a spiral of learning development over the 3 year duration.

GCSE: A balance of performance, composition and the study of musical theory and concepts is studied via a prescribed set of musical works. Each cohort follows the specification which is adapted to their individual musical needs and experiences.

BTEC: the cohort study a balance of sequencing, recording, performance and musical appreciation. Each cohort use industry standard Mac computers and software. This provides a solid foundation for future musical studies.


We offer music A level and Music Technology A level. We currently do not have a cohort of music technology students but are running music A level. This is a natural progression from GCSE offering balance of performance, composition and the study of musical theory and concepts is studied via a prescribed set of musical works. The course is excellent preparation for music college, university or lifelong musical study of a less formal nature.