The dictionary may refer to music as “the art of combining tones to form expressive composition; any rhythmic sequence of pleasing sounds” however, we know music is so much more than that definition; music is in everything around us. Music can be found everywhere in our world. It helps people find themselves, and helps them through hard times that we all face in our lives. Music gives us a way to express ourselves and show how we feel inside. Music is important in our world, its what makes us human. Developing confidence and resilience in music is not only attractive to employers, but can enrich our lives as a whole.

Music Years 7 to 9

Autumn Spring Summer
Year 7

Rhythm & Pulse
Pitch & Notation - keyboard skills

Developing keyboard skills
Music Technology - Film Studies
Harmony & Chords
Guitar & Keyboard
Year 8 Western Classical Tradition
Keyboard Skills
World Music - Samba & Reggae Music Technology
Band Skills
Year 9 Popular Song
Music Technology
Rock School
Developing Rock School
Song Writing

Students learning will be assessed by assessments follow the same principles as the GCSE Music course, which are in Performance, Composition and Listening/Appraisal.

GCSE Music Years 10 & 11

Course Leader: Mr Reynolds
Contact Email: 
Examination Board: Eduqas
Assessment: 60% coursework (30% performance, 30% composition),
40% examination

Why should I study this subject at Key Stage 4?

This is an excellent qualification for current musicians, particularly if it is your hobby and you enjoy it. The course will help develop your knowledge and understanding of music theory and its history, improve your playing and develop your composing.

What does the course involve?
The course is divided into three parts:

  • Performing – you have to perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece.

  • Composing – you compose several pieces in different styles before choosing your most successful composition to develop further.  You then compose a second piece from a brief set by Eduqas.

  • Listening and Appraising – you study different structures and conventions in music from a wide range of styles. You have to analyse two set works and must therefore be willing to understand and learn about music theory.

It is advisable that you are having instrument or singing lessons throughout the course as all work is centred around a basic knowledge of music. If you currently do not play an instrument or sing it is expected that you start focusing on a performance straight away and where possible take lessons with a specialist teacher.  Students will be asked to take part in extracurricular activities and concert performances either through performance or backstage work.

Differences from Year 9
We will spend more time understanding how music works and relating this to four different areas of study.  We will learn to compose using notation software as well as programs such as GarageBand and Logic Pro X.

Skills developed
Within your study of GCSE Music, listening skills, confidence through performing, creativity through composing, literacy, numeracy and foreign languages are all skills that you develop.  Music is a subject where you are continually striving to improve through setting and evaluating your own targets – a skill that will always make you successful in life.

How will this course help me in the future? 

In the future, Creativity is going to be one of the most important and in-demand skills at work. When business leaders across the world were asked, they voted Creativity as their most important workplace skill to help their business grow and survive. 

Studying Music is becoming even more important and relevant to young people as a way in which to succeed - whatever your ambitions. At the same time, you will find many opportunities to develop and improve your personal wellbeing, both independently and as part of a wider community. 

Studying Music at Sixth Form

Students can continue studying music as an A Level here at Thomas Gainsborough School.

Extra Curriculuar

A wide range of ensembles, choirs and groups run throughout the year. Peripatetic music lessons are also available, to find out more please contact the Head of Music. 

Department Staff

Mr C Neary (CNE) Teacher of Music Contact
Mr N Reynolds (NRE) Head of Music Contact