• Music


Welcome to Music

Music is taught across the age and ability range by a team of four specialist teachers. The department has its own suite of teaching, rehearsal and practice rooms as well as a well-equipped recording studio.

As well as learning about structure, composition and different musical traditions, students have every opportunity to write and perform their own and others’ compositions. They are also encouraged to learn an instrument or to progress their existing musical skills and ability further.

Key Stage 3 - Years 7 & 8

Transition Unit/African Music
This unit provides an opportunity for pupils new to the school to demonstrate and
develop musical skills, knowledge and understanding achieved at KS2

This unit builds on and develops pupil’s experiences and understanding of the music of Java and Bali, extending the work done in Unit 1. The unit reinforces the concept of ensemble playing and composing.

Heroes and Villains ( Motifs/TV advert Music/Film Music)

In this unit, students work creatively with the elements of music (pitch; tonality; tempo and melodic shape) to compose descriptive music for a hero or villain that they have designed. Pupils will also be introduced to the concept of Major and Minor tonality.

Working with chords
This unit introduces pupils to the concept of Chords, Chord progressions and Chordal
patterns. Pupils will study the chord of C major and the harmonic series. They will compose short pieces, improvise and learn what primary chords are in relation to Caribbean music.

Pupils will learn about the background to Reggae music and what influenced the style of music. They will learn to play popular reggae songs to enhance performance and ensemble skills.

Rondos and Recurring Structures
Pupils will compose their own rondos, as well as being introduced to jazz, minor pentatonic scales, dotted crotchet rhythms and the concerto.

This unit will develop pupils knowledge, understanding and practical experience of the
traditional street music of Brazil. Students will perform on traditional samba instruments, developing ensemble performance skills, composition and improvisation, as well as completing listening work on various different samba styles and genres.

Musical Futures
This unit develops the ideas of performance, structure, texture, instrumentation, instrumental technique and composition through the genre of popular music. The project will investigate concepts through and understanding of, the various roles of instruments in a pop/rock band.Pupils develop vocal and instrumental skills. They will improvise their own versions of their chosen song, exploring and developing musical ideas when performing. They produce, develop and extend musical ideas, selecting and combining resources within the musical structures of their chosen song.

Key Stage 4

Leading up to GCSE, students will receive three one hour lessons per week over the key
stage. The course is consists of three units.

Assessment comprises an External Exam (40%) and Coursework/Practical project- based work (60%)

Unit 1 - Performing Music - Internally assessed, 30% of the course students will develop their practical performing skills in both solo and ensemble performance. They will be given the opportunity to rehearse and improve performances on their chosen instrument or voice.  Students will be encouraged to develop creative thinking, critical awareness, self-confidence, self-motivation and their own musical interests and skills, including the ability to make music individually and in groups.

Assessment – Students will record an agreed ‘best performance’ comprising

  • One solo performance
  • One ensemble performance

Unit 2 Composing Music - Internally assessed, 30% of the course
Students will be introduced to the technical and creative skills required by a composer, including using industry standard software to realise their work.

Students will be encouraged to explore a range of compositional starting points and investigate a range of techniques for developing and manipulating ideas, and turn them into completed pieces of music. Students can also explore the skills needed to arrange music for different musical forces.

Assessment- Recordings of both compositions/arrangements

  • Two compositions, or two arrangements, or one composition and one arrangement
  • Notated scores or written commentaries for both compositions/arrangements

Unit 3 Music – Listening and Appraising - Externally assessed, 40% of the course
Here students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The content for the unit is grouped into four Areas of Study each of which contains three set works.

  • Area of Study 1 – western classical music 1600-1899
  • Area of Study 2 – music in the 20th century
  • Area of Study 3 – popular music in context
  • Area of Study 4 – world music

Assessment - The paper will be in two sections

  • Section A:  eight compulsory questions in response to extracts from the set works that will be played on a CD during the examination (68 marks)
  • Section B: one question from two optional questions on the set works, requiring extended writing (12 marks)



Netherhall High School
Netherhall Avenue,

Tel: 01484 382140 
Email info@nlconline.org.uk

Named contact for queries: Joanne Ainley ainleyj@nlconline.org.uk

NLC's Complaints Policy can be found here.

About the NLC

NLC consists of four schools, covering a full range of ability from 3 - 19 years. Each school has its own distinctive ethos and identity but all share the common goal of catering to the specific needs of each student.