Welcome to the Music Department. The department has an all-inclusive ethos. Regular performances include an annual Carol Concert and Summer Concerts along with regular Bands’ Nights.
Head of Department
- Mr R. Jones (Subject Leader)
- Mr G. Warner (2nd in Dept and Lead Practitioner)
- Mr A. Wheatcroft
- Mr M. Newns (Head of Media)
- Mr I. McMillan (Technician)
- Over 200 students in all year groups currently receive specialist instrumental tuition. FSM, GCSE and A Level students receive this free of charge. All other students pay a nominal fee.
- The department employs 9 peripatetic tutors.
- Lessons are offered on the following: All strings, woodwind, brass, drum kit, guitar, bass guitar, piano and voice.
Music is a well-accommodated department housed in:
- four classrooms including a dedicated keyboard room and a music ICT room
- A state-of-the-art recording studio
- 6 practice rooms
- A music office
Key stage 3
At Key Stage 3 Music lessons are based on the integrated study of three central principles: performing, listening and composing. Music lessons are practical and students are encouraged to participate in a variety of “hands-on” activities. Furthermore, students are welcome to practice their skills through participation in a wide range of both formal and informal further-curricular activities which are open to all.
During year 7 students undertake modules of work on the keyboard (incorporating treble clef musical notation), the guitar and drum kit. Students explore composition through ICT using Sequel 3 (a sample-based sequencing program) and through graphic scores and rhythm-based pieces. Students undertake an overview of the history of music, exploring the music and musicians of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods and study instruments in the context of the string, woodwind, brass and percussion families.
In year 8 students develop their instrumental skills on keyboard, guitar and drum kit, often through ensemble performance. Students undertake a study of The Blues, its history and influence on popular music and, using the 12-bar Blues as a template, compose and perform a Blues song. The concept of improvisation is explored. In addition, students investigate and perform music from around the world, studying African and Brazilian drumming and Indonesian Gamelan along with Indian classical and Punjabi Bhangra music.
During year 9 students develop still further their instrumental skills on keyboard, guitar and drum kit, often through ensemble performance. Students participate in a whole-class performance of Brazilian Samba using Surdus, Timbals, Repeniques and Agogo Bells learning a range of ostinato patterns along with solo and call-and-response rhythms. Students have the opportunity to develop their compositional skills using either the Sequel 3 or Cubase programs and further develop their listening skills.
To view our Key Stage 3 Composition introduction please click here
To view Year 7 module 1 please click here
To view Year 8 module 2 please click here
To view Year 8 module 3 please click here
To view Year 9 module 4 please click here
To view Year 9 module 5 please click here
To view Year 9 module 6 please click here
To view Year 9 module 9 please click here
Key stage 4
GCSE and BTEC Level 2 (Music Technology)
Both courses run at KS4. Students follow the OCR GCSE syllabus and the Edexcel BTEC course, a vocational option.
Click here for our GCSE (OCR J536) specification https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/219378-specification-accredited-gcse-music-j536.pdf
Key Stage 5
Students study six units across a two-year course. Units 1, 2 and 3, taught in year 12, comprise the A/S Level, after which students may opt to follow other courses. Students who continue to the A2 course complete units 4, 5 and 6 during year 13. Students follow the AQA syllabus.
Click here for our A Level (AQA 7272) specification https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/music/specifications/AQA-7272-SP-2016.PDF
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Music Technology (Edexcel/Pearson) (Music Technology)
This is a two A-Level equivalent qualification consisting of 10 units, 5 of them mandatory and 2 being externally assessed.
Units of study include:
- Planning a music recording: planning recording sessions, booking studio time, producing and engineering recordings.
- Sound recording techniques: the recording studio, types of microphone, microphone positioning, effects, mixing desk, D.I.
- Introduction to acoustics: the nature of sound and how it behaves in a range of environments, the physics of sound and hearing.
- Operating live sound: P.A. systems, mixing desks, microphones, monitoring and fold-back, D.I. boxes, multi-core cables.
Extra Curricular Activities
- Vocal Groups
- Course-work consultation
- Course-work recording
- Studio proficiency
- Jazz band
- Keyboard club
- Brass group
- Theory Club
- Informal practice and composition sessions
Where are they now?
- Richard Nicholson: Sound Engineer, AdLib Audio
- Ian Driver: LIPA Sixth Form, Music Dept.
- Nadeem Kemp: LIPA Sixth Form, Music Dept.
- Roy Martin: Professional session drummer and teacher, recording and touring with Aretha Franklin, David Gray, Barclay James Harvest and Robert Palmer amongst others.
- Jennifer Shone: Peripatetic Music Teacher
- Roger Kirby: Sound Engineer, AdLib Audio
- Alan Sillifant: Peripatetic Drum Teacher
- Helen Boag-Munroe: Music Specialist, Woolton Junior School
- Kathryn Williams: Singer-songwriter, has recorded a string of acclaimed albums and was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.
- Chris Pye: Drummer and Teacher
- Kirk Ward: Session guitarist (Atomic Kitten etc.)
- Nouska Hanly: Professional Dancer in West End musical theatre
- Andy Dockerty: Top Sound Engineer and founder of AdLib Audio. Sound engineer of choice for The Scissor Sisters, Texas, Del Amitri and The Kaiser Chiefs amongst many others.
- Michael Kenney: Commercial composer