Music Curriculum

Key Stage 3

It is a requirement that pupils take part in music lessons in years 7 & 8. Each of these years is split into a number of modules which encompass a wide range of topics including Find Your Voice, Band Skills, The Piano, Graphic Notation and an Amnesty International Songwriting Project to name but a few. Each of these modules assesses pupils’ performing, composing and listening abilities. In addition, the course provides a solid musical grounding for students wishing to continue their studies into years 9, 10 and 11 and also allows less able students to gain valuable musical experience.

As well as classroom music lessons, pupils have access to private instrumental tuition with specialist teachers who come into the school on a weekly basis (see the "Welcome to the Music Department Page" for more details.


Key Stage 4

The Edexcel GCSE course comprises of three different elements: performing, listening and appraising and composing. For the performance aspect, pupils are expected to play at least one instrument and will perform regularly, as both a soloist and as part of a group. The listening and appraising area allows pupils study a range of styles and genres of music to help them gain a deeper understanding of the importance of music in different cultures and periods of history. This is concluded with a final timed examination which tests pupils' ability to listen to and appraise both set works which have been studied throughout the course as well as unfamiliar music.  Finally, pupils must submit two compositions based on different areas of study. 

At Meden we also offer pupils the option of studying for a Pearson BTEC Certificate in Music at Key Stage 4 Level. This is suitable for pupils who are more interested in the Music Industry and Music Production than the traditional study of Music provided by the GCSE. 75% of the course is built on coursework with 25% relying on a written exam on the Music Industry. Pupils must study compulsory units on both The Music Industry and Managing a Music Product, but also have two optional modules which they can complete on a range of topics including Live Sound, Music Performing, Music Composition and Music Recording.

It is strongly advised that pupils wishing to study Music at Key Stage 4 Level receive private lessons on their chosen instrument. This is subsided for KS4 and KS5 pupils.


Key Stage 5

Currently Meden College offers students the option to study Edexcel AS and A Level Music. As in the GCSE, these courses comprise of a performance, composition and listening and appraising element, which is also concluded with a written exam.  Both courses also require a composition portfolio to be submitted as well as more intricate study of a selection of set works. In order to study this course, students need to be prepared to devote a substantial amount of personal time to practicing a musical instrument, studying music theory and reviewing and revising composition techniques and exercises. 

As of September 2016, Meden College will also be offering Pearson BTEC Diploma in Music Technology as a course of study. The Diploma is completed over two years and consists of ten modules. The five compulsory units which must be studied on this course are:

  • Live Sound
  • Studio Recording Techniques
  • Music and Sound for Media
  • Music Technology in Context
  • DAW Prodcution

The rest of the course consists of optional units including Creative, Synthesis and Sampling, Music Technology in Performance and Music Technology and Musicianship amongst several others. The course is made up entirely of coursework with no written exam.

It is strongly advised that pupils wishing to study Music at Key Stage 5 Level receive private lessons on their chosen instrument. This is subsided for KS4 and KS5 pupils.

May 2018


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