Department vision:

"Our vision is to inspire students to develop a lifelong love for music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. We believe music is for all regardless of gender, race, or ability and our curriculum and enrichment provision provides equal opportunities for every student to be valued and to be able to freely express themselves. Students start at Bishop Young Academy with various music exposures and skills, we endeavour to build on these and enrich their experience further."

Key Stage 3

The KS3 music curriculum centres around the 3 pillars (technical, constructive and expressive) as the basis for progression in the musical activities of performing, composing and listening/appraising. The Elements of Music run through every aspect of our Music Curriculum where knowledge and skills are continually built upon.

At Bishop Young we understand that students appreciate music from a wide range of cultures and styles and model the curriculum around both their interests and new experiences. We aim to cater for the needs of all students giving them the opportunity to access professional tuition and raise their cultural capital as well as preparing them for further education/employment in the music industry. Students have lots of in-house performance opportunities such as, assemblies, winter concert and summer festivals. There are also opportunities to perform outside of school and watch professional musicians perform live in house or at a performance venue.



• 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

• learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence

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

Year 7

Autumn 1:

  • Beethoven Melodies
  • Skills: Keyboard skills

Autumn 2:

  • Pop Music Melodies - 7 years Lukas Graham
  • Skills: Keyboard skills

Spring 1:

  • Chords
  • Skills: Ukulele - Fretwork

Spring 2:

  • Ukulele/guitar chords and riffs
  • Skills: Fretwork Skills and Ensemble skills

Summer 1:

  • African Drumming
  • Ensemble skills and rhythm work

Summer 2:

  • Music sequencing using GarageBand
  • Skills: ICT Music

Year 8

Autumn 1:

  • Pop Songs - Chords and Bass Line
  • Skills: Keyboard Skills

Autumn 2:

  • Ukulele/Guitar chords and riffs
  • Skills: Fretwork skills and Ensemble skills

Spring 1:

  • Pop Songs - Chord and Melody
  • Skills: Keyboard

Spring 2:

  • Writing a pop Song
  • Skills: Composition

Summer 1:

  • Band Work - Perform a pop song
  • Skills: Ensemble Skills

Summer 2:

  • Music Sequencing using Logic Pro
  • Skills: Music ICT

Key Stage 4

Course title and type of qualification: Music GCSE (9 – 1)

What will I learn?

GCSE Music is a varied course that encourages students to explore and develop their musical skills in listening, composing and performing. Lessons will cover the areas of study for the qualification, which are Musical forms and Devices, Music for ensemble, Film music, and Popular music. Students will develop listening skills to recognise key musical features and complete composition exercises to give them a range of ideas about how to create an effective piece of music. Performance is a key part of the qualification and students will be required to play as part of a group and perform as a soloist at points during the course. Involvement in extra-curricular music activities to enhance performance skills and develop musical experience is highly recommended.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Performing – worth 30% of the qualification

Students will record two or more pieces, one of which must be performed in a group. The total duration of the performance must be between 4 and 6 minutes in length, with at least 1 minute being the group performance. Any style of performance is acceptable.

Component 2: Composing – worth 30% of the qualification

Students will compose two pieces of music, one of which is in response to a brief set by the exam board. The second composition is a free composition, so students can create their own brief and then compose in a style of their choice. The duration of the two compositions must be between 3 and 6 minutes in total.

Component 3: Appraising – worth 40% of the qualification

Students will be assessed for this component with a written examination. Questions will relate to the areas of study taught throughout the course, with candidates asked to recognise and discuss musical features that they can hear in audio excerpts that will be played during the exam.

What could I move onto?

GCSE Music is really useful if you aspire to a career as a performer, producer, composer or teacher. It is also valuable for Music journalism, Musical theatre, Arts administration and to access A Levels and Higher Education courses in Music, Music Technology, Theatre Studies and/or Performing Arts. Former Bishop Young students have gone on to study at Music Conservatoires and specialist Music & Arts Colleges, or move into careers as professional musicians, DJs, composers, and actors. Universities are very interested in candidates who commit to participation in extra-curricular activities and have proved they can express themselves creatively, as well as verbally and in writing. The varied skills such as problem solving, teamwork, presentation, effective planning, and analysis that are covered in the course will prove invaluable in all potential career paths.