Tel: 0117 3772200


Mr J Lewis – Leader of Music (acting)
Mr B Thompson - Music Teacher


Mr King – Piano
Mrs H Stanley – Piano
Mrs J Downer– Piano (maternity)
Mrs Donaldson - Piano
Mr M Le Poidevin – Voice
Mrs R Edwards-Mlangwa – Voice

Instrumental Teachers

Mr R Shepherd – Flute
Mr Johnson – Saxophone
Mrs A Whitfield – Clarinet
Mr J Bruce – Trumpet
Mr L Treasure  – Lower Brass


Mr N Smith – Guitar
Mr Montreau – Guitar
Mr A Tween - Drums
Mr White – Drums
Mrs R Donaldson - Violin


1. Aims and Objectives:
The Music Department aims to promote learning across the curriculum in a wide range of areas including spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, key skills and thinking skills.
Our aim is to enable pupils to view music as:

  • a major cultural feature that provides intellectual and aesthetic stimulation;
  • a source of pleasure and an important part of life;
  • a subject in which to develop broader life skills and attributes, including emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation.

2. Curriculum:
Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils are taught how to:

  • Control sounds through singing and playing – performing skills
  • To create and develop musical ideas – composing skills
  • Respond and review their work – appraising skills
  • Listen and apply knowledge and understanding
  • To understand and appreciate a wide range of music from a variety of cultures.

All pupils in years 7 & 8 are timetabled to receive two periods of music per fortnight.
In line with the National Curriculum, a wide range of Western European and ethnic cultures is studied. Listening and applying knowledge and understanding in music are developed through the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appraising

Music is an optional subject in year 9, with pupils receiving 3 periods of music per fortnight. The curriculum has been designed to provide pupils with the skills necessary for success at KS4, providing a ‘foundation’ year for the GCSE course.

Year 7 Making Music Western Classical Traditions Jazz Programme Music Pop Music African Music
Year 8 Musical Arrangements Music in the C20th Blues Film Music Pop Music II Reggae
Year 9 Composers Notebook Western Classical Music Minimalism Musical Theatre Write it, Record it, Sell it! Indian Music

AQA GCSE Music (8271)

Component 1: Understanding Music - 40%

1.5 hour exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.

Section A: Listening - Unfamiliar music (68 marks)
*8 questions on unfamiliar music from each of the four areas of study.  Areas of study include the Western classical tradition (1650 - 1910), Popular music, Traditional music, Western classical tradition since 1910.

Section B: Study pieces (28 marks)
*2 sets of linked questions (short and extended).  Pupils must study the second movement from Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 (‘the Clock’).  The second study piece is selected from a choice of three options.  Pupils at St. Bede’s will study three tracks from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.  The three tracks include ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’, ‘Within You, Without You’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’.

Component 2: Performing Music - 30%

Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks)

Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks)

The performances must last for a combined minimum of four minutes.  The performance as part of an ensemble must last for a minimum of one minute.

Component 3: Composing Music - 30%

Composition 1: Composition to an externally set brief  (36 marks)

Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks)

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of three minutes.  Each composition must demonstrate selection and use of at least four types of musical element as follows:

*at least two of rhythm, metre, texture, melody, structure, form
*at least two of harmony, tonality, timbre, dynamics, phrasing, articulation.

Students must write a Programme note of approximately 150 words for each composition, which clearly informs the assessor of the compositional intention, including the intended audience/occasion.  Students must also identify the types of musical element selected and provide details of any software and hardware used in their compositional process.

AQA GCSE Music (4272)
NB.  This specification is for year 11 pupils (2016-2017) only

Unit 1: Listening to and Appraising Music - 20%

1 hour written paper (80 marks)

Candidates answer 12 questions that explore the five Areas of Study (AoS) through the three Strands of Learning.  Areas of Study include:

AoS1 - Rhythm & Metre
AoS2 - Harmony & Tonality
AoS3 - Texture & Melody
AoS4 - Timbre & Dynamics
AoS5 - Structure & Form

The Strands of Learning include:
a) The Western Classical Tradition
b) Popular Music of the 20th & 21st centuries
c) World Music

Unit 2: Composing and Appraising Music - 20%

Externally assessed composition (20 marks)
Candidates are required to compose one piece of music and must choose two or more of the five Areas of Study.  There must be a link to one of the three Strands of Learning.  For 2017, this should be The Western Classical Tradition.

Externally assessed appraisal (20 marks)
Candidates appraise the process and the outcome of the composition in relation to the Areas of Study and indicate the link to the strand.  Candidates have up to 2 hours of Controlled Time for the appraisal which must be undertaken as an individual exercise under formal supervision.

Unit 3: Performing Music - 40%

Solo performance (30 marks)

Group performance (30 marks)

Unit 4: Composing Music - 20%

Free composition (30 marks)
Candidates are required to compose one piece of music which explores two or more of the five Areas of Study.  This may be in any style or genre of the candidate’s choosing.


AQA AS Level Music (7271) and AQA A Level Music (7272)

Component 1: Appraising Music - 40%

Exam paper (96 or 120 marks) with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.  Students must study Area of Study 1: Western classical tradition 1650–1910 and choose two from Areas of study 2–7.

Areas of Study:
1. Western classical tradition 1650 – 1910 (compulsory)
*Baroque: the solo concerto
*Classical: the operas of Mozart
*Romantic: the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg – full A level only.
2. Pop music
3. Music for media
4. Music for theatre
5. Jazz
6. Contemporary traditional music
7. Art music since 1910

*Section A: Listening (49 or 56 marks)
Students must be able to listen attentively to unfamiliar music from each of the three strands of AoS1 and from all the named artists/composers in their selected areas of study.

*Section B: Analysis (17 or 34 marks) and
*Section C: Essay (30 or 30 marks)

For one (AS) or two (full A level) of the selected strands from AoS1, students must also be able to critically appraise music through analysing excerpts from the set works.  Set works include:

For two (AS) or three (full A level) of the named artists/composers from each of their selected areas of study, students must be able to appraise music and make critical judgements, using knowledge and understanding of:

1. How the artists’/composers’ use of musical elements for at least two published works reflects the style of the genre and their purpose and intentions for the work.
2. How the style of the artists’/composers’ music has varied over time through comparison of published works.
3. Musical vocabulary and terminology relevant to the work and Area of study.

Named artists include:
*Kurt Weill
*Richard Rodgers
*Stephen Sondheim
*Claude-Michel Schönberg
*Jason Robert Brown

*Louis Armstrong
*Duke Ellington
*Charlie Parker
*Miles Davis
*Pat Metheny
*Gwilym Simcock

Component 2: Performance – 30% (AS level) or 35% (A level)

Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist (50 marks).

A minimum of six (AS) or ten minutes (A level) of performance in total is required.

Unit 3: Composition – 30% (AS level) or 25% (A level)

*Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)

*Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.  Students must write a Programme note of approximately 150 words for each composition, which clearly informs the assessor of their compositional intention.  This must include how it relates to the selected audience/occasion.  Students must also provide details of any software and hardware used in their compositional process.


AQA AS and A Level Music (2270/1271/2271)
NB.  This specification is for year 13 pupils (2016-2017) only

Unit 1 - MUSC1: Influences on Music
30% of AS Level
15% of A Level

Exam paper (80 marks)

*Section A (40 marks)
Structured listening questions with or without a score

*Section B (20 marks)
Historical Study: The Western classical tradition (compulsory)
-One essay question from a choice of two based on set work: Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 in D major - 1st and 3rd movements

*Section C (20 marks)
Historical Study: Music Theatre: a study of the Musical from 1940 to 1980
-One essay question from a choice of two.

Unit 2 - MUSC2: Creating Musical Ideas
30% of AS Level
15% of A Level

A response to one of three briefs (60 marks):
Brief A: Compositional techniques
Brief B: Free composition or pastiche in response to a given genre
Brief C: Arranging

Unit 3 - MUSC3: Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas
40% of AS Level
20% of A Level

Candidates offer two performances chosen from the following:
(a) a solo performance on an instrument
(b) a solo performance on voice
(c) a solo performance on a second instrument
(d) an ensemble performance
(e) a technology-based performance 1 – Sequencing
(f) a technology-based performance 2 – Multi-track/close microphone recording.

Each performance should last 5-8 minutes.

Unit 4 - MUSC4: Music in Context
20% of A Level

Candidates should acquire, explore and apply musical language and context by the consideration of two Areas of Study (AoS) from:
AoS1: The Western Classical Tradition (compulsory)
AoS3a: English Choral Music in the 20th century
AoS3b: Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to Debussy
AoS3c: Four decades of Jazz and Blues 1910–1950 (selected for students at St. Bede’s).

*Section A: Listening
Structured listening questions with or without a score

*Section B: Historical Study: The Western Classical Tradition – compulsory Area of Study (AoS1)
Candidates answer one essay question from a choice of two.
-Set work: Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 in Ab Major (complete)

*Section C: Historical Study – Areas of Study 3a–c
A second AoS from three set by AQA as follows:
AoS3a: English Choral Music in the 20th century
AoS3b: Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to Debussy
AoS3c: Four decades of Jazz and Blues 1910 –1950 (selected for students at St. Bede’s).
-From Dixieland to the culmination of the Swing era:
-twelve-bar blues
-music for Big Band
-orchestral/instrumental music drawing on Jazz and Blues influences.
-Composers/artists of the genre might include: Jelly-Roll Morton, Ravel, Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong.

Two essay questions will be set on each of the AoS3a–c.  Candidates will answer one question on the selected AoS.

Unit 5 - MUSC5: Developing Musical Ideas
15% of A Level

Candidates demonstrate their ability to create and develop musical ideas with technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources in response to one of three briefs as follows:
Brief A: Compositional techniques
-Question 1: Harmonisation of a Bach Chorale melody
-Question 2: The Classical String Quartet
Brief B: Free composition or pastiche in response to a chosen brief
- Candidates compose a substantial, single, piece in any style or genre, for any voice/instrument or combination of voices and/or instruments using acoustic and/or electronic sound sources.  The piece should last 5–8 minutes.  It can consist of a single movement or may consist of up to three separate, related sections, but the total playing time should not exceed 8 minutes.
Brief C: Arranging.
-The brief will consist of arranging a piece of popular ‘classical’ music selected by AQA from any musical period from the baroque onwards.  The arrangement should be in a recognised pop, rock or jazz style and should last 5–8 minutes.

The review (500 words max) should be an evaluation of the success of the final submission in relation to the brief and with reference to the contextual aspect of the composition.

Unit 6 - MUSC6: A Musical Performance
15% of A Level

Candidates offer two (or more) contrasting pieces to form a short programme for either acoustic performance and/or performance via music technology chosen from:
(a) solo acoustic performances – lasting 10–15 minutes
(b) technology-based performances
(c) one solo performance and one technology-based performance – the solo performance to be at least 5 minutes.

The pieces will be chosen to show variety of style, technique, period and/or approach.

3. Extra-Curricular Opportunities

In aiming to extend the curriculum, the music department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities:





Jazz band (C29) and Flute choir (C32)


TUESDAY Band (C29) GCSE and A Level Music revision and coursework session


Senior choir (years 10-13)



Junior choir for pupils in years 7-9 (C29) and Clarinet group (C33)

GCSE Coursework Club


Glee club (C29)


STBCC Grade 1-athon!

The music department is currently running a project in which staff are taught to play an instrument under the direction of ‘Pupil Peris.’ This has proven to be an exciting scheme, gaining local and national recognition and  providing a large number of pupils the opportunity to experience the responsibility of a ‘teaching’ role.

The college has a vast number of talented musicians and pupils are always extremely keen to share their instrumental skills. It is incredibly encouraging for them to see staff experiencing the difficulties and rewards involved when learning to play an instrument; pupils are flourishing with the opportunity to facilitate their teachers’ new musical talents. This project is proving to be a fabulous opportunity for staff and pupils to switch perspectives.

4. Instrumental Tuition

Instrumental tuition is available to all pupils at St Bede’s. The numbers of pupils receiving peripatetic lessons is continuing to grow and, at present, 25% of pupils at the college opt to study an instrument outside of curriculum time. The present range of instruments taught at the college includes:

Musical Theatre
Drums Acoustic
French Horn