Key Stage 3


Why is the study of Music important? 


Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds. Music is a valuable subject and has an important place within your education, where both personal and social development is enhanced and your self-confidence and esteem is improved.

Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorisation can serve students well in education and beyond. Learning music promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.

Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music. Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.

An enjoyable subject like music can keep students interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects. Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures They also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety. Spatial intelligence is helpful for advanced mathematics and more.

Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie. Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential. With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.

Music Learning Journey – VIEW

  • What will you learn?

    Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision and aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish to become the very best version of themselves. The Music curriculum is engaging, relevant and provides appropriate challenge for every student regardless of their starting point in their learning. It also improves academic skills – the role of Music within the academy is important, developing a wide range of skills as noted above.

    Curriculum Overview:


    • Introducing Music: Building Blocks. Introduction to the subject, building a foundation for students to learn about the Elements of Music, how music reflects moods and emotion and how to listen critically in order to reflect on what they hear. Composition explored through soundscapes.
    • Introducing Keyboard Skills: Students will complete practical exercises and learn how to play the keyboard. Basic playing techniques as well as performing with both hands will be included in this topic. Students will learn how to perform and understand different note values and rhythms as well as how to find and play different pitches
    • ‘Just Play’ Ukulele: Students will be introduced to Ukuleles and develop their understanding of the elements of music. This follows on from Keyboards in HT1 where performance skills and listening skills will be embedded through a number of performance and listening opportunities.
    • Theme Tunes: Theme Tunes will provide students with the opportunity to compose their own theme tune using the keyboards. Students will also have the opportunity to listen to various theme tunes and develop their ability to listen holistically to pieces of music and respond to given briefs appropriately.
    • Pentatonic Music: Develop wider cultural understanding of Chinese and pentatonic music, exploring simple folk melodies and also how pentatonic has been used in more modern settings in popular music. Students will have the opportunity to perform and where appropriate, compose using typical pentatonic frameworks.
    • Axis of Awesome: Continued development of ensemble skills using various instruments (following on from HT3) and put together a performance of a popular song using band instruments. Listening assessment embedded throughout. Students will maintain written logs (targets and evaluations) and perform for assessment incorporating the skills learnt to date. Composition option available to extend learning.



    • Jazz and Blues: Students will be introduced to Jazz and The Blues through a variety of listening, performance and composition activities. The final assessment for this topic will involve students completing their own Blues composition based around the notes of the Blues scale on the keyboards.
    • Musicals: Students will use ensemble, listening and performing activities to explore a range of popular songs from musicals in addition to gaining an understanding of the history of the genre.
    • Samba: The topic introduces students to music from a different country (Brazil). Students will explore the names of different Samba instruments and traditions. Students will develop their ensemble skills throughout this topic and will put on a Samba ensemble performance at the end.
    • Reggae: Throughout the Reggae topic, students will explore different listening and performance activities on the keyboards. Students will learn about the history and context of Reggae music whilst developing their performance skills and learning how to perform a famous Reggae piece.
    • Musical Futures: Just Play: This topic enables students to pursue their ensemble skills further and put together a final topic performance of a popular song or piece using skills honed throughout the full year. Whilst completing this, students will learn to work independently, set themselves targets and goals to be achieved, resulting in creating a final graded performance on their instrument as part of an ensemble.
    • Topics can vary through all genres dependent on previous experience in their learning and also with guidance from teachers from the start of the project.
    • Musical Futures – Songwriting: This topic enables students to pursue their listening and songwriting skills and compose a song in pairs using skills honed throughout the year.



    • Live Lounge: This topic enables students to further pursue their developing ensemble skills and put together a ‘Musical Futures’ style performance of a popular song or piece (either of their choice or from a set choice of song) using skills honed in prior KS3 years. Whilst completing this, students will work independently, set themselves targets and goals to be achieved, resulting in creating a final graded performance on an instrument as part of an ensemble. Composition (creation/song writing) is a route students will explore once the requirements of the performance requirement have been achieved.
    • Topics can vary through all genres dependent on previous experience in their learning and also with guidance from teachers from the start of the project.
    • Film Music: Exploring aspects of musical techniques used in film music. This unit will focus on performance and composition in which students will learn about motifs and themes from well-known film scores and then adapt and apply these to composition to fit with a scene from a film. The elements of music will be development to create music for a specific purpose.
  • Key Strategies used to implement the curriculum

    Assessment objectives are used as a method by which to measure progress in four areas:

    • Performance – vocal/singing or instrumental.
    • Composing (creating)
    • Listening
    • Appraising

    To be able to perform, demonstrating fluency, accuracy and confidence as well as develop ensemble and solo performance skills according to the task set. Appropriate realisation and use of notation or symbols while performing, inclusive of solo, ensemble or even leadership skill. Evaluative skills such as the ability to improve work and respond to critical feedback as well as following age-related expectations are also assessed.

    Assessment in Composition looks at suitability of the creation according to the purpose or brief, making considered or thoughtful use of musical elements and/or devices and refining ideas in order to improve creations including being able to evaluate and discuss areas which can be improved or altered.

    Listening and appraising assesses the ability to identify a variety of different instruments, sounds and families, the roles of instruments within the music and also musical devices used. Appropriate use of musical vocabulary is to be used wherever possible and In more advanced appraising tasks, ability to evaluate of how suitable the music is for its purpose, or whether the music suits the genre is also assessed.

  • What Skills will the study of Music teach you?

    It improves academic skills – the role of Music within the academy is important, developing a vast range of skills.

    Music and core subjects such as maths are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. As students get older, they’ll start reciting songs, calling on their short-term memory and eventually their long-term memory. Using a mnemonic device to do this is a method that can later be applied to other memory skills and can also introduce young children to basic physics. For instance, plucking the strings on a guitar or violin teaches children about harmonic and sympathetic vibrations. Even non-string instruments, such as drums and the vibraphone, give big kids the opportunity to explore these scientific principles.

    It develops physical skills – Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. This type of instrument is great for high-energy kids. String and keyboard instruments, like the violin and piano, demand different actions from your right and left hands simultaneously. “It’s like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time”. Instruments not only help develop ambidexterity, but they can also encourage children to become comfortable in naturally uncomfortable positions. Enhancing coordination and perfecting timing can prepare children for other hobbies, like dance and sports. It cultivates social skills.

    Group classes require peer interaction and communication, which encourage teamwork, as children must collaborate to create a crescendo or an accelerando. If a child is playing his instrument too loudly or speeding up too quickly, he’ll need to adjust. It’s important for children to know and understand their individual part in a larger ensemble.

    The study of music refines discipline and patience, boosts self-esteem and introduces students to other cultures through key study areas of

    • Performance (Instrumental & Vocal)
    • Listening and appraising
    • Composing
  • How can the study of Music support you in the future?

    After KS3 study, we offer the study of BTEC Music and we encourage continued study in this fantastic subject. We know also that choice and personal interest are important aspects of study. Whether you have continued your study of Music into BTEC or not you will have gained access to this enriching subject and its study will have taught you to think differently and deeply.

    Music is offered at most prestigious universities or Music colleges such as the Royal Northern College of Music or The Royal Academy of Music, either as a single honors or a joint honors subject studied alongside other disciplines. The very fact that you have been able to study creative thinking will help your future applications be they for colleges, universities, apprenticeships or employment.

    Careers that the study of Music supports include:

    • Performers & Writers
    • Recording
    • The Record Industry
    • Music Business
    • Music Industry Touring
    • Facility, Arena & Club management • Film Music
    • Music Journalism
    • Music Education
    • Public Relations & Advertising
    • Radio & Television
    • Symphony and Orchestra
    • Music Health
    • Music industry and merchandising
    • Instrument work and development
  • How does the study of Music support your study in other subjects?

    Music links to many of the other subjects you will study at the Academy and is important not just for your development as a student within the academy but as an individual within the wider society. Once you can transfer your skills between subjects, or topics within those subjects, this demonstrates that you really are honing your skills and applying your understanding.

    Music plays a significant part in creating balance between work and play, which can positively affect physical and mental wellbeing – Music can change the way you feel.

Student Testimonial

“In music I am given the opportunity to play different styles of music using different instruments. I have learnt many techniques to help me improve my keyboard and ukulele skills and can now play the keyboard with both the left and right hand and I can now also read music. Overall, the subject has helped me have a better appreciation of different styles of music.”

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