The Music Department

Music is a language that everyone can speak.

Shell (Year 9) pupils are taught in groups of approximately 20.  Music making is an integral feature of the lessons and pupils are taught skills in performing, composing, listening & appraising.  Pupils learn to play on a variety of instruments including keyboards, tuned percussion and guitars. Topics include Film Music, Caribbean Music, Blues & Jazz, Traditional Instruments and the use of notation and recording software.

Pupils who choose to pursue music to GCSE follow the Edexcel specification, which covers three main areas: Performing, Composing and Appraising. The four areas of study covered during the course are Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions. Examples of the set works are Beethoven’s ‘Pathétique’ Piano Sonata, ‘Killer Queen’ by Queen, ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked and the soundtrack to ‘Star Wars’. Coursework (Performing & Composing) consists of 60% of the total marks, whilst there is only one listening exam based on the set works (40% of the total marks). The specification is graded using the new 9–1 system.

At AS level, all pupils take Paper 1: Listening and Component 2: Practical Music. In Paper 1, pupils study a series of set works as well as learning about wider issues involving music and musicians. In Component 2, pupils prepare coursework in performing and composing. 


At A2 level, pupils choose two components from a choice of three and can therefore specialise in Performing, Composing or choose a topic for extended writing in the Investigation & Report. As this is all coursework there is no final exam.
  • edexcel
  •    HMC - Leading Independent Schools
  •   School Inspection Service
  •              University of Cambridge International Examinations