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Welcome to the Music Department
2022 - 2023

Mr Matt Farris
Music Curriculum Leader


The Music Team:

Melina Nicolaou Teacher 
Richard Anderson Peripatetic Keyboard/Piano
Krzysztof Stasiak Peripatetic Woodwind
Dave Thomas Peripatetic Brass
Amy Thompson-Kenny Peripatetic Vocal
Simon Mellish Peripatetic Drums
Sim Jones Peripatetic Guitar/Violin
Peter Thompson Peripatetic Cello

Introduction to the Department:

In the Music Department we aim to help all students build up their confidence in musical understanding and musical communication and to develop their creative thinking.  We firstly endeavour to help make the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth as possible.  Learning will be a continuous process, building on knowledge gained during Key Stage 2. Curriculum lessons aim to build the musical capacity of all students regardless of ability and the extensive extra-curricular programme offers every student in the school the opportunity to participate.

Key Stage 3 Information:

In Key Stage 3 we are constantly developing our curriculum to make it dynamic and relevant to the students we teach.  We use a wide variety of resources to make lessons as diverse as possible, within the context of a range of musical styles. Music technology plays an important part in Music lessons and students experience this to create their own music and gain an understanding of how technology is used throughout the music industry.

Year 7:

The following areas are explored in Year 7 through a wide variety of practical tasks within units of work delivered each half term across the year:

The elements of music, pentatonic scales, rhythm and pulse, texture and timbre, song structures, chords, major and minor, using ostinato, basic musical notation, graphic notation, melody writing, individual and group singing, composing using technology, and the music of other cultures. Units of work currently include Minimalist music, Rock and Roll, Japanese Music, Samba and Reggae.

Year 8:

The following areas are explored in Year 8 through a wide variety of practical tasks within units of work delivered each half term across the year.  Each unit of work strengthens and reinforces topics covered in Year 7:

The elements of music, melody writing, theme and variation, improvisation, blues scales, rhythm and pulse, sequencing, simple time signatures, conventional notation, individual and group performance, composing using technology, and the music of other cultures. Units of work currently include Theme and Variation, Dance music, Music for film, Blues song and African drumming.

Key Stage 4 Information:

Music in Year 9 is used as a foundation year to prepare students for the GCSE Music Course in Years 10 & 11.

The following Units of work are explored across the Year during Year 9:

Unit Title


Musical Performance

Group and solo performance based tasks designed to improve confidence.


Practical based compositional tasks covering keys, chords, cadences and melody writing. The year ends with students composing their own original piece.

Music Technology

Sequencing and multi-track recording. Using Sibelius to develop skills and confidence in notation.

Music Theory and Appraising skills

Responding to live and recorded music to develop music theory and appraising skills, relating where possible to the set works in the GCSE Anthology. Theory skills are developed throughout composing tasks.

Examination Board used:

We follow the Edexcel exam board.

Qualification to be obtained:

GCSE Music (9-1)

The course is delivered through four Areas of Study.  Each Area of Study requires students, through the skills of performing, composing and appraising, to develop aural perception and musical knowledge and understanding. These are delivered through 8 set works.

Area of Study 1:        Instrumental Music 1700 - 1820
Area of Study 2:        Vocal Music
Area of Study 3:        Music for Stage and Screen
Area of Study 4:        Fusions

Composition (30%) Students start work on their ‘free’ composition in the Autumn Term of Year 10, ready for final submission in the Summer Term. The completed composition must be recorded and submitted with a score or commentary. Students may develop ideas for this composition outside of controlled conditions as part of their research time, but a minimum of 5 hours work must be completed under controlled conditions in the classroom. In the Autumn Term of Year 11 students start work on their ‘commissioned’ composition in response to a brief set by the examination board. This is submitted at the end of the Spring Term. The combined time for both compositions is a minimum of 4 minutes.

Performance (30%)
Students submit one solo and one ensemble performance. The combined time for the 2 performances must be a minimum of 3 minutes. Opportunities for performance are given in each Area of Study and whole class performance of set works is completed where possible. To encourage solo performance confidence students complete two assessed performances in class time.  Assemblies, concerts and extra-curricular activities provide further opportunities for both solo and ensemble performing.

A GCSE Music support class runs after school each week to help students work on any aspects of coursework or class work. Students are encouraged to attend this on a regular basis in order to monitor progress and support home study.

Appraising (40%) The listening examination, taken at the end of the course asks questions based on the 8 set works studied throughout the GCSE. In addition to this they must answer questions relating to an unfamiliar piece and complete an essay style question where they compare and contrast 2 pieces before drawing conclusions. Theory skills are continually developed throughout Year 10 and 11 with an emphasis on keys, chords and cadences, melody dictation and score reading. The 8 set works are completed in class by the end of the Autumn Term in Year 11 to allow plenty of time for revision. Pupils sit a Practise Paper during the Year 10 exam week and a Mock Exam in the Autumn Term of Year 11.

Assessment method:
The assessment comprises three papers: -

Unit 1                      Performing                          30%      internally assessed, externally moderated
Unit 2                      Composition                       30%      internally assessed, externally moderated
Unit 3                      Listening & Appraising   40%      externally assessed

We are very proud of the extra-curricular music opportunities we offer students at Eggar’s:

  • United Voices – this is open to all students from all year groups who enjoy singing and can sing in tune! The repertoire is varied and includes two and three part songs.
  • Voices in Harmony – this is for singers who wish to be challenged further with two, three and four part songs as well as unaccompanied songs.  Entrance is by audition/invitation.
  • Concert Band – this is for students in all year groups and to all students who play a brass, woodwind, string or percussion instrument.  Audition is not required although an ability to read music is important.
  • Big Band – this is for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute and drum kit players of the concert band who wish to be challenged further with both modern and standard big band repertoire. Guitar, bass guitar and piano players are also needed to complete the line-up!   Open to all year groups by invitation.
  • Wild West Folk Band – this band is for anyone interested in learning folk music. All instruments and singers welcome.
  • String Orchestra – open to all students in all year groups who play a string instrument.
  • The Rhythmatists – open to students in all year groups.  A great sense of rhythm is     essential!

We have regular concerts throughout the school year as well as a biennial Music Tour to Europe.

Instrumental Tuition

Individual and group tuition is currently available for the following instruments: all brass, all woodwind, all strings, piano, keyboard, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, and singing. Students receiving instrumental tuition are expected to take part in at least one extra-curricular activity once an adequate standard has been reached. Further details are available from the Curriculum Leader.