“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” 


Click here for Music curriculum outline

Why do we study music?

The music curriculum aims to ensure students fully experience the breadth and depth of this creative subject to help ignite a lifelong passion for music. Each scheme of work has been created to enthuse students about a style or genre from around the globe whilst also exploring and developing an understanding of the key elements of music. Students learn how to appreciate listening to music whilst also analysing its composition. They also learn how to perform and compose as individuals and as part of an ensemble using instruments, their voice and music technology. The music curriculum and the opportunities offered beyond it incorporate a variety of skills and many opportunities that students need to develop to be successful not only in a creative way, but in other subjects at Studley High School and in their life beyond school.

Music programme of study at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Students in KS3 receive a one hour music lesson each week. Our programme of study is designed to give students an experience of different genres of music covering traditional, popular and music from other cultures, through units of work which incorporate listening, performing and composing opportunities. There is an emphasis on traditional staff notation so that students become fluent in reading, writing and performing music from a score.  

In Year 7 students study:

Autumn term – ‘An introduction to Music’ and ‘Pentatonic Music from China’ 

Spring term  – ‘1950s rock ‘n’ roll’ and ‘Vocal Skills’

Summer term – ‘Theme & variation’ and ‘Musicals’

In Year 8 students study:

Autumn term –  ‘Reggae’ and ‘The Blues’

Spring term  – ‘Film Music’ and ‘Pop Songs/Chords’

Summer term – ‘Minimalism’ and ‘Sport & Music’

In Year 9 students study: 

Autumn term – ‘Timbre Town’ and ‘Folk Music’

Spring term – ‘All About the Bass’ and ‘What is PA? Music and Performing Arts tasters’

Summer term –  ‘Sport and Music’ and ‘I’m With the Band’

Music programme of study at Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Music is an optional subject at KS4. Students can choose between BTEC/GCSE Music or BTEC Performing Arts. All courses aim to further students’ understanding and abilities within the subject whilst linking to real-world scenarios. 

BTEC Music allows students to engage with the music industry and develop a range of relevant and engaging practical and technical skills. Students explore music product development and events management, and apply knowledge in new and practical industry-related contexts. There is also a focus on composition skills and we are fortunate in having specialist PC software to help students create their own music from a range of starting points. There is a strong emphasis on performance skills and students are awarded credit for the level of progress they make alongside their practical abilities. Students also learn about the music industry and the job roles and opportunities that could be available to them as careers or hobbies post-16.

GCSE Music follows on from our KS3 programme of study and is currently offered as an after-school twilight course which enables students to complete this course as an additional qualification either alongside one of our BTEC courses or entirely independent from it. 

GCSE Music offers a broad course of study which encourages learners to engage actively in the process of music study and develop performing skills individually and in groups. There is emphasis on developing compositional skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources and recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music. 

Students also learn to recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology.  The aim is to engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

BTEC Performing Arts provides an opportunity for practical exploration and application alongside conceptual study, leading to strong opportunities to progress post-16. This course  gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover:

  • The development of key skills that prove your aptitude in Performing Arts such as reproducing repertoire or responding to stimuli 
  • The process that underpins effective ways of working in the Performing Arts, such as development of ideas, rehearsal and performance
  • The attitudes that are considered most important in the Performing Arts, including personal management and communication
  • The knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines and styles. 

This course complements the learning in GCSE Drama and BTEC/GCSE Music by broadening experience and skills participation in different types of performance activities with the opportunity to practically apply knowledge and skills, through project work such as developing ideas and performing for specific audiences. 

Homework expectations

Homework during KS3 is designed to extend students’ learning and understanding of a current topic through research or listening. Students are set one piece of project-style homework during each half-termly project which is designed to feed into and support current study. There are also opportunities for students to continue rehearsal of class performance pieces, should they wish to or return to a rehearsal room in their own time to continue solo or ensemble work. 

Homework during KS4 is varied, depending on the current area of study. Typically students are asked to complete one weekly piece of homework which may be written or topic based. Primarily, homework is based around students progressing their own performance skills away from the classroom either by utilising rehearsal spaces outside of lesson time as part of an ensemble or personal practise at home. 

How can parents and guardians support at home?

As well as monitoring and supporting formal homework , there are a range of ways in which parents and guardians can help to support their child with developing their music and performance skills. There are many opportunities for all students to become involved with extracurricular musical activities and for them to become embedded into your child’s routine whilst at school. Encouragement from parents and families can be invaluable in aiding students’ commitment to performing subjects.  Lots of our students are fortunate enough to receive instrumental or vocal lessons on a 1:1 or small group basis either within or beyond the school day. It is vital that students spend their own time in between lessons practising their skills to aid faster development and enjoyment. Parents can support this by offering encouragement to their child to practice regularly at home and to join in with any activities or performances that are offered.  

Extra-curricular opportunities

We are proud to offer a strong and varied extra-curricular programme of musical activities to all students at Studley High School. Every day of the week, there is a lunchtime or after school club that your child can join and become a part of. Rehearsals always build towards performance opportunities, either within school or publicly. Examples of activities include:

  • Choirs (by year group and ability)
  • Orchestra
  • Ukulele Club
  • Rockschool 
  • Jazz Group 
  • Performing Arts Club

We have a team of six visiting professional musicians who offer individual or small group tuition on a variety of instruments to include piano, brass, woodwind, percussion, strings, guitar and vocals.