Music is one of my favourite subjects. I have always enjoyed performing. There have been many opportunities to further my technique and understanding of my instrument. Also, the lessons in history and theory have helped me to understand the development of music and many of the styles in which music can be played. Studying AS-level music has been huge step up from GCSE, with a much more in-depth knowledge of theory, harmony and history required. All this has been taught really well and has been very interesting to look at.
Year 12 Student
The Music Department is busy and lively, both in class and in extra-curricular activities. Many musical genres and styles are covered in all Key Stages, from popular music cultures and world folk traditions through to Western Classical Music. Students learn musical skills and understand theoretical aspects through practical music making. Students have access to a wide variety of instruments and specialist computer software in each classroom.
Key Stage 3
Students develop their musical skills through a curriculum, which allows students from all musical backgrounds to cover the necessary aspects of the National Curriculum. All topics are taught with an integrated approach to the three disciplines of performance, composition and listening and appraising.
Key Stage 4
Students follow EDEXCEL Music to GCSE Level.
- 30% Performance, examined through recorded coursework
- 30% Composition, examined in timed conditions
- 40% Listening and Appraising, examined through a 1 hour 45 minute paper
Key Stage 5
Student follow EDEXCEL Music to A Level.
A Level Course Overview
- Unit 1 - Performing 8 minute recital.
- Unit 2 - Composing - Complete a composition on a given brief and complete compositional techniques tasks.
- Unit 3 - Appraising - Listening and analytical examination based on the study of set works from a wide range of styles and genres.
Numerous concerts are held throughout the year to celebrate the students’ progress. The music department are really proud that so many students are willing and able to take part in the many extra-curricular activities and events that take place throughout the year.
If students receive instrumental tuition through the school, there is an expectation that they will participate in at least one ensemble.
- Orchestra - open to all (grade 3+) string, woodwind, brass and percussion players
- Concert Band – open to all (grade 3+) woodwind, brass and percussion players
- Senior Choir – open to Yr 10 – 13 students
- Girls' Choir (Years 7 - 9), Boys Choir (Years 7 - 9)
- Jazz Band – open to all saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar (rhythm, lead and bass), piano and percussion players
- Brass Band – open to all brass and percussion players
- Clarinet Ensemble
- Percussion Ensemble
- String Ensemble
- Training Band (wind and brass players beginners to grade 3)
- Guitar Ensemble (all guitarists both acoustic and electric)
In addition to the above the following ensembles are currently run or have been run in the past by A Level students:
- Chamber Quartet
- Musical Theatre Group
- Worship Band
- Barbershop Choir
The music department, along with the Drama department, have directed many musical productions. In the past we have performed shows at The Willows Arts Centre in Corby and The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering and shows have included: Les Miserables; The Wizard of Oz; Anything Goes, Grease and HONK! and Bugsy Malone. Shows are performed towards the end of the academic year. Students who wish to take part and who would like a singing part will be required to commit to a rehearsal schedule.
Trips and Visits
KS3 - workshops held throughout the year to enhance the curriculum (subject to availability) – Latin-American Music, Bhangra and African Drumming
KS4 - workshops and visits to enhance the curriculum and musical skills
KS5 – a visit to London or Birmingham. In each visit students undertake a practical workshop and see a lunchtime recital and evening concert or production
Mrs Janice Armstrong – Head of Music
Mrs Jeanette Wilson – Music Teacher
Mr Julian Taylor - Music Teacher