piano keys

Mission Statement

Music is taught to all students at Key Stage 3 and is an option choice at Key Stage 4. Within the Performing Arts block there are a number of areas that students can work in including a dedicated music room and three practice rooms.

The academy aims to interest all students in some music making and all are given the opportunity and encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities and instrumental lessons.

The music curriculum aims to:

  • develop self-confidence to participate in and to evaluate performances
  • stimulate the growth of responsibility, self-discipline and self-belief
  • promote initiative and individual judgement
  • develop compromise and to respect the views of others
  • develop motor-skills
  • develop social skills


Key Stage 3

Units of work are adapted, modified or changed depending on various factors such as ability and class size. A variety of instruments and resources are used. There is a mix of independent and group work units. Towards the end of a unit, students aim to refine their work for a performance which is evaluated by themselves and the rest of the class. All students, at the start of every lesson, practise a variety of scales.

Year 7

Unit 1 The Elements of Music
Rhythm Grids
Ostinato Patterns
Simple note Values
Elements of Music
Unit 2 The 12 bar blues
12 bar blues pattern
Scales – blues
Blue notes
Call and response – vocal
Chords/triads c f g
Unit 3 Keyboards 1
Introduction to keyboards
Chords of c f g
Finger patterns
Individual work
Unit 4 Medieval Music
Ternary Form
Music for an Occasion (procession/festival)
Unit 5 Keyboards 2
5 – 6 notes
Reading/writing notation
Note values
Unit 6 Atmospheric music
Creating an emotion/mood
Binary form
Using voices and instruments imaginately
Revisit elements of music

Year 8

Unit 1 12 Bar blues in d
Revisit blues pattern in key of d
Add melody ‘boosey’s blues’
Structure – intro/v1/v2/v3/outro
Call and resposne
Chords – 7ths
Alternative bass lines
Re-visit history
Unit 2 Gamelan (music from indonesia)
World music
Unit 3 Keyboards 3
Creating a chord sequence
Notation – treble clef
Bass clef notation for more able pupils
Unit 4 Song writing
Pop song
32 bar structure
Chord progression
Melody writing
Hooks/bass lines
Songs from musicals
Unit 5 Indian raga
Classical indian music
Alap section – slow
Unit 6 Film music
Compose a piece of original music for a short extract of film
Film music history
Themes and motifs

Year 9

Unit 1 – Reggae
Create a piece based around elements of reggae music
History – Links with other carribean music
Fusions with other styles
Themes of songs
Option for adding lyrics
Music of black origin
Unit 2 – Dance music
Create a dance track
History – 1980s onwards
Musical features
Bass lines
Vocal hooks
For to the floor
Styles – house/techno/trance
Unit 3 – Keyboards 4
Practise and perform a piece
Various pieces to choose from
Developing notation reading
Chords and inversions
Unit 4 – Adverts – Creating a product and jingle
Create a product and jingle
Advertsiing – How music sells products
Incorporate Drama – optional
Unit 5 – Soul limbo
Arranging the piece
Arrange ‘ingredients’ following a structure
 Unit 6 – 12 Bar Blues
Develop a blues piece
Group work

Key Stage 4

GCSE – Pearson

Three areas:

  • Composition – using voice or any instrument
  • Performance – using voice or any instrument
  • Listening exam on 12 set works covering western classical music 1600-1899 (3), 20th century music (3), popular music (3) and world music (3).


Time allocation of six 1 hour periods a week split equally.

Learning resources

Students use a variety of instruments including:

  • Tuned percussion (xylophones, glockenspiels)
  • Untuned percussion
  • 3 x electric drum kits
  • Keyboards & pianos
  • Guitars (acoustic & electric)
  • Bass guitars
  • Various software for PCs (currently Cubase)

Students are encouraged to come and practice during and after the school day.

Meet the Staff

  • Mr S.Heelas – Teacher of Music

Enrichment Activities

When available, up and coming pop groups perform to KS3 classes. Opportunities are given for Q&A about themselves, their inspirations and aspirations and about the music industry.

An annual overnight trip to London to see a west end musical. The trip also takes in visits to museums, back stage tours, stadium tours and other London attractions.

Talent show – twice a year

When and where possible, a live band is rehearsed for the annual end of summer term production.

Students who receive instrumental lessons are encouraged to practice during and after the school day. When a certain ability is achieved, they also have the opportunity to take part in activities at the Walsall Music Hub – a Performing Arts Centre which amongst many things, supplies instrumental teachers.

Last updated: November 2014