Music

Contact: Mr W Cragg

Key Stage 3

All students in years 7 to 9 study Music once a week.  During lessons, students are taught three key skills:

  • Listening to and Appraising music
  • Performing
  • Composition

In class, students have the opportunity to compose and perform live, or multi-track record on 40 Apple iMac computers using GarageBand or Logic Pro X. Each iMac is linked to a MIDI keyboard.The department is equipped with 3 dedicated and sound-proof recording studios using Logic Pro X. We also provide students with a wide range of microphones, interfaces, electric, acoustic and bass guitars, as well as both electric and acoustic drum kits, on which they may choose to perform live or use when recording.

Six topics are covered each year, with one topic being covered each half-term.  The topics for each year groups are:

Year 7

  • A Brief Musical History of Time
  • Popular Music of the 1980s
  • Musical Clichés
  • The Music of China
  • The Baroque period
  • Blues and Jazz

Year 8

  • Reggae
  • Hooks and Riffs
  • The Classical Period
  • Gospel, Soul and Funk
  • Popular Music of the 1970s
  • Film score composition

Year 9

  • Musicals
  • Popular music of the 1960s
  • Working in the Music Industry
  • The Romantic Period
  • Dance Music
  • Albums that changed the world 

Key Stage 4

Music GCSE

In year 10, students have the option of studying music for GSCE.  The Edexcel exam board syllabus, specification 1426, is followed focusing on 12 set pieces that form 4 areas of study.   These are:

Western classical music 1600-1899

  • Handel – 'And the Glory of the Lord'
  • Mozart – 1st Movement of Symphony No. 40 in G minor
  • Chopin – Prelude 15 (The Raindrop)

Music in the 20th Century

  • Schoenberg – 'Peripetie'
  • Steve Reich – 3rd movement (fast) from 'Electric Counterpoint'
  • Leonard Bernstein – 'Something’s Coming' (from West Side Story)

Popular music in context

  • Miles Davis – 'All Blues'
  • Jeff Buckley – 'Grace'
  • Moby – 'Why does my heart feel so bad?'

World music

  • Capercaillie – 'Skye Waulking Song'
  • Anoushka Shankar - 'RaagDesh' 
  • Koko – 'Yiri'

Music Btec

For BTEC, we offer the Edexcel BTEC Level 2 First Certificate in Music, looking at the following units:

  1. The Music Industry
  2. Managing a Music Product
  3. Introducing Live Sound
  4. Introducing Music Performance
  5. Introducing Music Recording
  6. Music and Production Analysis

Music Technology A-Level

In year 12, students have the option of studying AS Music Technology.  The Edexcel exam board syllabus requires three pieces of coursework: a realised sequenced performance, a multi-track recording and a sequenced arrangement. The Exam tests the students’ knowledge of popular music styles from 1910s to the present day and corresponding production techinques.

Extra Curricular Music

In terms of extra-curricular, we have a singing group for each year, a whole-school singing group, regular school productions, a school orchestra, a school Jazz band, a regular ‘open mic’ session, instrumental tuition from The Richmond Music Trust and fully equipped Practice Rooms that are available to book before school, break times, lunchtimes and after school. For further information about the Richmond Music Trust, please visit their website:

Richmond Music Trust | External Webpage

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