The music department has grown from strength to strength over the last three years and is showing large increases in the amount of numbers at GCSE. Pupils have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and take part in a number of well- established musical ensembles. An extensive programme of extra-curricular activities is provided by the department, which is supported by its excellent body of peripatetic staff. Currently we have a number of groups available for pupils to enhance their musical skills. These are the Vocal Group, Woodwind Ensemble, Brass Band, Jazz Band, Rock Bands and Drum Group. The groups regularly perform in concerts within school, in the community, in local authority events and in competitions which are held further afield.

Music offers students the chance to express themselves in a unique way and develops students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music encourages collaborative working, developing students’ intellect and feeling helping to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness. Music incorporates different cultures creating essential links between home, school and the wider community.

Music learning enable students to develop crucial skills such as listening, reflecting and appreciating a wide variety of music. It develops, discipline, creativity and sense of self-worth and achievement. The department has established links and performance opportunities with many professional individuals and organisations in the music world that allows the student to gain invaluable experience.

The world famous Foden’s Band performs regularly at Little Lever School, at these concerts opportunities exist for some of our players to work with and perform as soloists with this incredible ensemble. This is truly a unique opportunity for any aspiring musician.

The department offers specialist tuition in a wide range of orchestral instruments in addition to classical and electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums and percussion. Our peripatetic tutors have a great record in progressing students and helping them to realise their full potential. As such we currently have a number of our pupils playing in county youth orchestras, local brass bands and music theatre groups. We currently have approximately 110 students receiving instrumental and vocal lessons.
Each year the Music/Performing Arts department take 40+ students on the trip of a life time to New York, USA. We also offer regular theatre trips to London for workshops, master classes and musicals.

“New York was the best trip I have ever been on in my life, it was such an amazing experience I want to go back now!” – Katie Hulmes Year 11

The Department aims to:

- To deliver outstanding standards in teaching and learning throughout the curriculum.
- To develop and utilise quality resources in a safe, positive and modern learning environment.
- Develop a high level of Music skills and knowledge.
- Provide a broad, balanced and differentiated Music curriculum to meet the needs of all pupils.
- Make students aware of the applications of science in the wider context.
- Develop mathematical and literacy skills.
- Offer guidance in relation to further education and career aspirations.
- Prepare students thoroughly for external exams and coursework.

Our students follow an exciting scheme of learning, which looks to give pupils increased musical skills and more knowledge of the genres and the inter-related dimensions of music. We aim to develop and encourage these skills throughout the key stage by offering a rich diverse scheme of learning that appeals to all pupils in order to progress to KS4. During Key Stage 3 pupils explore a number of topics to help develop the key values of Performance, Composition, Listening and ICT skills. When entering the latter part of year 8 and year 9 the work becomes more group related, focusing on the creation of rock groups in class and Band Skills.

“Whether we are doing Guitars, Keyboards or Listening activities, Music lessons are always fun and we always learn new skills” – Thomas Melbourne Year 9

AQA Music is suited to musicians who intend to/are considering taking this subject to further education. Musicians on the GCSE course will already have established skills on an instrument and will be taking instrumental tuition or will have displayed a large amount of flair during Key Stage 3. This option will give a broad overview of the Elements of Music - developing skills in all areas: Performance, Composition and Listening & Appraising.

At Little Lever we study the AQA GCSE Specification as we believe this enables us to get the best grades for our students. This course covers:
- Unit 1 – One hour Listening Exam 20%
- Unit 2 – Composition 10% and a written appraisal 10%
- Unit 3 – Solo Performance 20% and an ensemble performance 20%
- Unit 4 – Composition 20%

The four units are studied within 3 strands of learning:
World Music, 20th and 21st century pop music and the western classical tradition, constantly relating to the 5 areas of study:
- Timbre and Dynamics
- Structure and From
- Harmony and Tonality
- Rhythm and Metre
- Texture and Melody.

“GCSE Music was great fun over the two years and I found learning about the core values of Music really helped me develop my own musical skills. I enjoyed creating my own compositions but especially enjoyed the Listening and Appraising element as that is where I feel I learnt the most about Music.” – Rebecca Gardiner Year 11

As a department we have created our own revision website for pupils to access out of school. Please click here to access the website.