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Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way learners feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.
The Music curriculum at Aylestone School aims to get students to perform, compose and listen to and appraise Music. All three elements are present in all of the topics covered in Key Stage 3. The curriculum is designed to get students to work with a variety of notations and musical structures. Pupils have the opportunity to develop their cultural knowledge, understanding and practical skills through world music topics such as the origins of blues music, reggae and African drumming. Every opportunity is taken for all pupils to develop and enhance their keyboard practical skills to help them to develop their confidence as well as being able to analyse and peer assess as part of their evaluation skills.
Compositional skills are developed through topics such as ‘pictures at an exhibition’, film music and the musical world of Harry Potter. Teaching of composition is tiered so that it is accessible to all ability students, helping them to develop their sight-reading skills and be able to express their creativity.

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Term 1

Elements of Music

Blues Music


Basic Notation

Hooks and Riffs

Song Writing

Term 2

Instruments of the Orchestra

Music Notation

Film Music

Musical world of Harry Potter

Shape and Melody

Film Music composition techniques

Term 3

World Music

Reggae Music

Music and the Media


Rhythm and Africa

Music Industry

GCSE Music

What will I learn?
GCSE Music covers performing, composing and listening in a wide variety of musical styles – popular music, world music and classical music. Performing as a soloist and as a member of a group is 30% of the course and as such, pupils must be prepared to practise their instrument, perform and record their work. If pupils do not have instrumental lessons then keyboard or singing work covered in key stage 3 could be developed further for this part of the course.

How will I learn?
Through performing, composing and listening, pupils will learn how music is constructed from initial ideas through to the finished product and will produce extended compositions using notation software. Pupils will have the opportunity to work on solo and group performance and recording skills. Pupils will also learn how to analyse music in a variety of styles and discover the social and historical context in which music has been composed over the last 400 years.

How will I be assessed?
Performing – 30% controlled assessment
15% 1 solo Performance
15% 1 Ensemble Performance
Both performances will be recorded onto CD
Composing – 30% controlled assessment
You will compose 2 pieces of music in different styles e.g. A song and a piece of music in a minimalist style. Each piece of music will need to be 2 minutes and will need to be written down in music notation with the help of music software. Compositions will be recorded onto CD.
Listening – 40% External Examination
Students will answer questions based on eight set works covering each of the four Areas of Study; Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.

What can I progress to?
GCSE Music is useful for any job that involves communication and expressive skills. It is also a good preparation for further musical study and a solid foundation for the AS/A Levels in Music and Music Technology as well as BTEC National Diplomas in Music, Popular Music and Music Technology. Future jobs might include careers in in the music industry, publishing, entertainment and teaching.

Further Information
Mrs Casey

  • National Citizen Service Champion School