Heads of Department: Miss J Onacko and Mrs M Palmer
The Music Centre has two large teaching classrooms and six practice rooms. Students have the opportunity to study music in Year 9, at GCSE and at A Level. Each classroom has facilities for the use of Music Technology (Sibelius and Cubase), and the practice rooms are designed to provide sound proofing for students working in the rooms as well as teaching areas for peripatetic instrumental staff. The Department encourages an inclusive approach allowing students to access the building and resources at break and lunchtime to further advance their abilities.
In Year 9 students will learn about the elements of music through performance and composition, studying units such as film music, exploration of Music Technology and popular songs. At GCSE students study a vast range of music from Beethoven’s Pathetique to Star Wars and Afro Celt Sound System. At A level students follow a two year course, during which they study eighteen pieces of music in detail, again varying hugely from Bach’s Cantatas to Danny Elfman’s Batman film score to Courtney Pine’s innovative Back in the Day album. Both GCSE and A level the Department currently follows the Edexcel specification, throughout which we aim to develop students’ performing, composing and listening and analysis skills.
The Department also provides a weekly peripatetic instrumental service through Central Beds ‘Inspiring Music’ and private teachers. Students have the opportunity to learn to play a variety of instruments including guitar, drums, bass, vocals, piano plus all wind, string and brass instruments. Full funding for instrumental lessons is available through the school for some students. There are a selection of lunchtime/after school groups that students are able to join, including vocal group, concert band and string group. Students also regularly rehearse in their own bands/ensembles during the school day. The Department holds a number of concerts throughout the year, including joint concerts with our feeder middle schools and recitals by our year 9, GCSE and A level students.