Course description 

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to provide a high quality music education that engages and inspires students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Students will develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to perform, compose and listen with discrimination.

Key Stage 3 

Students will:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of great composers and musicians.
  • Learn to sing and use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use music technology and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence.
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

This enables students to develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history.

Key Stage 4 

RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners

This course allows students to:

  • Engage actively in the process of music study.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical and contextual issues relating to music style, audience and the music industry
  • Perform effectively on their instrument/voice
  • Rehearse and display musicianship skills in a number of professional scenarios
  • Initiate and develop repertoire
  • Understand relevant aspects of music technology

All students will study three main units:

Unit 201ta:  Music Knowledge Development, 4 credits, internally assessed

This unit give students the opportunity to build their musical knowledge and articulate their thoughts and feelings about music using appropriate industry and theoretical language.  They will study different musical styles and the various distinctive traits they have, building their wider contextual and theoretical knowledge of contemporary music.


Non exam assessment (coursework) – work is assessed by the teacher, checked by an internal verifier and sampled/moderated by RSL

Students will comprehensively describe two contrasting musical styles, making comparisons and analysing how the musical elements are used within pieces in each genre.

Unit 202ta:  Live Music Performance, 8 credits, externally assessed

This unit gives students the chance to engage with a full live performance project, including planning, rehearsal, performance and evaluation.  They will learn how to rehearse effectively and develop their planning, organisation, communication and evaluation skills throughout the rehearsal process before performing in front of an audience.  The skills learnt in this unit can directly be applied to any future pursuits in the live music industry.


20 Hour Controlled Assessment – externally assessed by RSL.

Briefs will be released at the beginning of the Spring Term of Year 11 for this unit.

Unit 204ta:  Instrumental Study, 8 credits, internally assessed

This unit enhances students capacity to understand how to maximise their development as an instrumentalist.  It give them the chance to use objective and reflective self-assessment in order to recognise success and encourage improvement in areas which require further work.  The purpose of this unit is to facilitate the students ongoing development as an instrumentalist and facilitate the capacity for them to use their instrument as their primary tool for creating and performing music.


Non exam assessment (coursework) – work is assessed by the teacher, checked by an internal verifier and sampled/moderated by RSL

Students will comprehensively assess maintenance requirements and personal health and safety issues in relation to their instrument.  They will set and review personal goals, completing a plan of action for improvement.  Students will also demonstrate profound developmental progression as an instrumentalist through rigorous engagement with the practice plan and through reflecting on their progress, perceptively highlighting strengths and areas for development in order to plan for ongoing development as an instrumentalist.

Extra-Curricular Activities / Independent Learning Opportunities:

The music department is a very busy, exciting place to study and students will be expected to:

  • Take part in regular extra-curricular school activities and the AAN concert programme as directed by the music department.
  • Show a high level of independence.
  • Participate in arranged visits to concert halls, theatres and local music events.Expectations:In order to prepare for classroom learning and the wider practical nature of music, students will be expected to:
  • Listen to a wide range of music
  • Regularly practice and take part in ensemble playing in school and in their own time.
  • Use independent study time to practice and compose.
  • Perform in school concerts/gigsOpportunities for Study beyond key Stage 4This course gives students the opportunity to study music Post 16, and in particular, move onto RSL’s Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners which is available to study in the Sixth Form.This is a unique course that will allow students to choose their own ‘pathway’ in music and create a personalised qualification which is worth the equivalent of one and a half A levels, attracting equivalent UCAS points, and being recognised by both Higher Education Institutions and The Music industry.Career pathways:Studying music can lead to the following careers in the Music Industry:
  • A Professional musician
  • Working in Music Education
  • Creating and marketing music
  • Working in Music technology
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