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Music is an integral part of the Arts curriculum at Archbishop Ilsley. The Department aims to develop the musical potential of every pupil which is underpinned by the following aims:

  • To provide all students with the opportunity to access and engage in a variety of musical genres, traditions and styles.
  • To provide all students with the opportunity to develop the ability to perform, create, appreciate and appraise music.
  • To encourage students to work independently and as part of teams, to share musical experiences.
  • To provide a music education culture that is creative, expressive, technological and vocational.
  • To encourage active independent participation in cultural opportunities by students.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop their own spirituality

Key Stage Three

In Music at Key Stage Three we encourage active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and communal, helping to. Music lessons are active with students engaging with musical concepts in a predominantly practical setting.

The core skills of performing, composing, listening and appraising are developed through the study of a wide range of musical styles. Current topics studied include Music Theory, Keyboard Skills, Rap, Samba, Blues, Reggae, Minimalism and many, many more!

The study of Music at Key Stage Three can help to foster personal development and maturity, creating a sense of achievement and self-worth, and increasing pupils’ ability to work with others in a group context.

Key Stage Four

Studying Music to GCSE allows students to extend and develop their skills and knowledge in the three key areas of Listening, Composing and Performing. Students will find out more about different types of music, investigate how music is put together, write their own pieces and improve their performance skills both as a soloist and within a group.

GCSE Music is suitable for all students with a love of and interest in music. It is a particularly good option for those who already play an instrument as these skills count towards your final grade. In addition to developing music based skills, students also develop many general skills such as independent learning, research, planning and problem solving.

Music qualifications are highly regarded by colleges of further education and employers alike as musicians are trained to work methodically and to be self-disciplined.

Students follow the OCR GCSE Music syllabus which breaks down into 3 assessed areas: Listening, Performing and Composing. Areas of Study include:

Area of Study 1: My Music (performance and composition)
Area of Study 2: The Concerto through Time
Area of Study 3: Rhythms of the World
Area of Study 4: Film Music
Area of Study 5: Conventions of Pop

Assessment is ongoing with performances recorded throughout the course, composition tasks set under controlled assessment and a listening examination in June of Year 11.
A wide range of music is studied to give students the foundation knowledge of music for further education in music.

Instrumental Lessons

The School also offers individual tuition on a number of instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, cornet, trombone, French horn, tuba, piano, classical/acoustic/electric/bass guitar, drums, vocals and uniquely, steel pans. Instrumental lessons are provided by Birmingham Music Service. From September 2016 there will be a nominal termly charge for instrumental lessons of £50 per term. 

If you would like your son or daughter to receive instrumental tuition please click the link below to download the current payment letter.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Performing with a musical ensemble is important not only in developing musical skills but also in fostering a strong sense of community within the department. We therefore offer a wide range of opportunities to cater for differing abilities and skills. There is a group for every member of the school community who wishes to take part if they choose to and we always welcome new ideas! Ensembles currently running include String Group, Brass Group, Singing Group and Keyboard Club. Pupils are encouraged to set up their own groups and bands and equipment are available for rehearsals at lunchtimes and after school. Each term there are a variety of concerts which gives the groups and individuals the opportunity to gain performance experience. There are showcase events, workshops with visiting practitioners and regular performances in Mass.