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St Alban's Catholic High School

St Alban's
Catholic High School


Department Aims

The study of music promotes; social co-operation, development of motor skills, confidence in performing and expressing ideas and an awareness of cultural traditions and idioms. Music is studied by all students during years 7, 8 and 9. Most lessons focus on practical skills and giving the students the opportunity to experience the feeling of being a ‘musician’. students gain and develop their skills in performing on a number of instruments, compositing using instruments and music technology, and listening and appraising.

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9


1st Hal

Introduction to music at St Alban's, Key skills and bassline assessment. World music project focussing on Samba drumming, Reggae and Indian music. Introduction to music theory and basic score reading.
Film Music – composition using instruments and music technology.



2nd Half

The Elements of Music, Composition focus and Ostinato Music for TV Adverts and developing Vocal techniques creating an acapella performance. Terminology for describing music. Musicals / Popular music and song writing.



1st Half

African Music focussing on pulse and rhythm and developing timing. The Blues and Ground bass. Performance and composition projects. World music fusions. Performance and instrumental tuition, ensemble tuition.



2nd Half

Instruments of the orchestra, SCI-FI ICT composition project and musicals. Ragtime Keyboard skills project and Rock band performance group project. World music fusions. Performance and instrumental tuition, ensemble tuition.



1st Half

Rock Band project introduction to guitar and drum kit.
Composition project.
Composing using 4-chords and introduction to song writing. iPad composition. Vocal music through the ages, 1700 – present day.


Term 2nd Half

Developing improvisation skills, pentatonic melodies and whole-class end of year performance piece. STOMP – junk percussion project and whole-class end of year performance piece. Introduction to the GCSE. Analysing music, score reading, unfamiliar music, essay skills.



Curriculum Content

10 & 11

Edexcel GCSE Music (9-1)

A two year course which can be taken as an option subject. The course content is as follows:


Unit 1 – Performing Music – 30%

This unit will allow you to demonstrate your skills as a performer – either on an instrument or voice. You will perform a solo piece of your choice and as part of an ensemble.


Unit 2 – Composing – 30%

This unit will build on the techniques of composing which you have worked on in KS3. You will compose 2 pieces of music to a set brief which will demonstrate your understanding of the chosen style. This work may be done on instruments or through the use of ICT.


Unit 3 – Listening and Appraising Music – 40%

8 set pieces of music are studied during years 10 and 11. The listening exam paper is 1hr 30mins and will play extracts of the pieces studied on CD. You will be asked to recognise and comment on instruments, structures and stylistic details you have learnt about each of the pieces. This unit will help to widen your enjoyment and understanding of the music you listen to and will help you develop your understanding of a range of musical styles, including Popular Music, World Music and Western Classical Music.

12 & 13

Edexcel A level music. A two-year linear A level course. The course content is as follows:


Unit 1 - Performing:

The 30% performing is from one performance of a minimum of 8 minutes. It can be solo and/or ensemble or a combination of both. The minimum expected standard is grade 6. This will be completed and recorded in the spring term of year 13. The performances are externally assessed.


Unit 2 - Composing:

The 30% composing is made up of 2 compositions One is a free choice (can be from a brief) and is a minimum of 4 minutes (out of 40 marks) During year 12 you will look at different compositional styles and techniques and start to gain ideas for your final piece. One is assessing a composing technique and is a minimum of 1 minute (out of 20 marks). You will be studying Bach Chorale 4-part harmony.



6 areas of study with 3 set works in each. Exam is 2 hours long and is out of 100 marks. The set works cover a huge variety of musical genres and styles including Vocal Music, Instrumental music, Film music, Popular music, Jazz and world music fusions.

The Department


Music is mostly taught in the main music classroom. This is equipped with keyboards, Computers with music software (Sibelius, Acid and Making Waves), and a variety of percussion instruments and guitars, We have a whole-class set of Ukuleles which are used for ensemble work throughout Key Stage 3. We have 3 practice rooms each with drum-kit, pianos and amps.

Instrumental Lessons
We currently offer instrumental lessons on Strings, Brass, Woodwind, Singing, Piano, Drum-kit and Guitar and Bass.Lessons are taken by visiting private tutors take place for 20 minutes each week. Most lessons are taught on an individual basis and during the timings of the normal school day. Lessons are charged at £70 for a 10-week block per term. Anyone wishing to receive lessons should fill out an application form, available from the Head of Music.

Extra Curricular

The school has a number of ensembles, including a string orchestra, Jazz band, Flute Choir, brass ensemble and choir. Other ensembles get together when there are suitable players and interests. There are regular concerts which give students the opportunity to perform. The school ensembles also perform at school and community events and regularly take part in the ‘Celebration of Schools Music’ at Snape Maltings. We also perform school musicals which have recently included ‘Grease’ and ‘Oliver’