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Head of subject: Mr G Forbat (

The main aims of our department are:

  • To understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. 

  • To learn to sing and to use your voice, to create and compose music, use technology appropriately and musically
  • To perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians 



Key Stage 3 

Year 7

  • The elements of Music: singing, pulse, keyboard orientation basic notation and baseline listening assessment
  • Indonesian Gamelan: exploring dynamics, ensemble performing and structuring a performance (using xylophones)
  • The guitar: Basic guitar orientation, singing, keyboard technique and ensemble performing.
  • Instruments of the orchestra: orchestral timbres, composing and introduction to Logic software.
  • Ground Bass: The bass clef, the string section, classical ensemble performing.
  • Brazilian Samba: Samba drumming technique, offbeat rhythms and call and response.

Year 8

  • Solo performance: Two hand piano technique and different dynamics
  • Folk Music: composing a melody, ¾ time recording compositions into Logic.
  • The Blues: 12 bar blues, improvisation, singing, the blues scale and guitar chords.
  • Taiko Drumming: drumming technique, composing using different timbres and dynamics
  • 4 chord songs: recording and arranging a pop songs on ipads, singing in harmony.

Year 9

  • Band Skills: drumkit and bass guitar orientation, guitar and piano ensemble skills. 
  • Cover Versions: ensemble band practice, rehearsing and performing skills. 
  • Reggae Music: the features of reggae, performing a reggae piece and composing your own
  • Film Music: composing music to reflect a scene using Logic   
  • Electronic Dance Music (‘EDM’): different genres e.g. house, drum ‘n’ bass etc and interesintg chord progressions.

Key Stage 4 

GCSE Music

GCSE Music at William Ellis is extremely popular. Currently, we have 45 students studying Music in Year 10 and Year 11. Exam results are also outstanding:

  • In 2018, 68% of students achieved 8-9 (where 8 is equivalent to an old A* and 9 is even higher). This is compared to a national average of just 18%.
  • In 2017, 55% of students achieved A*/A.

All resources and homework can be found at the Music Department GCSE Music Website, which can be found here:

 Key Stage 4 – GCSE Specification AQA Music

 Year 10  

  • Western Classical tradition 1650-1910 (Hayden – Symphony 101 in D major The Clock Movt. 2)
  • Popular Music (The Beatles - Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
  • Composition to a set brief
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Solo Performance

Year 11

  • Traditional Music (Santana – Supernatural)
  • Western Classical Tradition since 1910 (Copland – Saturday Night Waltz and Hoedown)
  • Free Composition
  • Solo Performance
  • Ensemble Performance

Assessment –

Listening Exam (40%) (1 hour 30 mins)

Section A: Questions linked to unheard works

Section B: Questions linked to set works

Performing (30%) (minimum Grade 3 standard expected) – internally marked and externally moderated.

1 ensemble piece

1 solo piece

Composing (30%) - internally marked and externally moderated.

1 composition in response to a brief

1 free composition

Further Information

All students taking GCSE Music receive a 50% discount for individual instrumental lessons.  Well equipped practice rooms are available at lunchtimes and instrumental teachers run a range of ensembles in which GCSE students are expected to take part. More information about extra-curricular provision can be found here.