Music at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 introduces students to the critical appreciation of a wide range of musical genres, classical and modern, international and local.  Student undertake project-based learning at the beginning of their time at Urswick, learning about the history of certain musical cultures, before using their knowledge of structure and form to create individual pieces of their own.  The GCSE expands this into the skills necessary to contrast music of different genres, and create free compositions of their own. 

The curriculum aims to appeal to all learners, by creating units that allow them to study musical genres familiar and popular to them, as well as exposure to more traditional, and less familiar areas.  Students across the school play a range of instruments: this inspires other students to develop their own musicianship, as well as having the further experience of listening to an even wider range of pieces.  Students should come away from a study of music at Urswick with the ability to appreciate and recognise contrasting styles of music and, when deciding on their own musical interests, should be able to think more critically about what goes into music that they enjoy.


Key Stage 3

Students will learn how to recognise different melody and rhythm patterns, giving them the building blocks for reading sheet music.  They will undertake projects that examine samba music, reggae, the Blues, and Baroque and Classical Music.  Students who play instruments have the opportunity to improve their skills with specialist teachers, assessed by graded Trinity Music exams.  They can also get involved with Christmas and Easter church services, perform during Black History Month, and work with specialists from the Guild Hall of Music to compose their own works.  The school choir leads on our singing in school services, and is invited annually to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Key Stage 4

The 2-year AQA GCSE course develops students’ performance and composition skills, as they play or sing in both individual and ensemble performances, in line with their Trinity exams, as compose two fresh pieces of music, one to an assigned brief, and another that is completely their own work and ideas.  A listening examination tests their musical theory knowledge, recognising harmony, dynamics, structure and instrumentation.  They will also study in detail a Haydn Symphony, and the music of the Beatles, to be assessed in this same listening exam.  The Year 10 band formed from the GCSE ensemble work has several opportunities to perform throughout the year, during Black History Month, LGBT month and the Christmas period.  All GCSE students continue their individual music lessons on their chosen instrument (or voice), with Trinity-graded exams scheduled for the summer term.