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Introduction to the Subject & Team

The Music department is staffed by a highly committed team of teachers with an extensive musical experience from a wide spectrum of musical genres.

Mr A Delaney

Mr Andrew Delaney (adelaney@ossettacademy.co.uk)
Curriculum Team Leader of Music

The focus of music lessons is placed firmly on learning through active and engaging practical experiences. The department ethos is ‘Music for All’ in both the classroom and beyond.

Ossett Academy students are actively encouraged to involve themselves in the wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities provided by the music team. Instrumental ensembles include Ossett Academy Orchestra and Ossett Jazz Orchestra for students already developing instrumental skills and Senior Choir and Vocal NRG for those keen to develop their experiences in singing. Additionally, the department offers a variety of clubs designed specifically to include students at the start of their musical journey and with perhaps a more limited experience of playing musical instruments. These include both the popular Ukulele Group and Team Guitar, String and Percussion groups. All ensembles receive regular opportunities to perform in a variety of concerts throughout the year, both within the Academy and the wider Ossett community.

An active experience of music making will support individual students in developing a wide set of personal and interpersonal skills in areas such as analysis, research and presentation. It can promote the ability to successfully self-manage and to play a comprehensive role in team work activities. Additionally, music can support the enhancement of an individual’s self-confidence as well as developing successful planning and organisational skills.


Course Content at Key Stage 3

Students receive one hour of Music each week in Year 7 and Year 8. These sessions are taught in mixed ability learning groups. Students in Year 9 can opt to study Music as part of the Enrichments programme which also includes a Musical Theatre option.

In Year 7 we look to develop understanding of The Elements of Music through practical activities in performing, composing and listening. Our aim is to extend musical language and notation skills and further develop the musical skills of the individual student.

The Year 7 course has a strong emphasis on practical experience. Students will have opportunity to use a varied assortment of classroom instruments, including keyboards, ukuleles and tuned and untuned percussion. A differentiated learning programme will enable the development of individual skills in performance and composition and to encourage creativity and self-expression.

In Year 8 we take a close look at the developments of Jazz and Pop styles. The programme of study continues to develop a wide variety of musical skills, with an emphasis on practical experience. Activities include modules such as ‘Rock n’ Roll’ and ‘The Beatles’ and composing activities such as ‘Work songs’ and ‘The Blues’. Students will also have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of classroom instruments. As well as continuing to extend keyboard skills, guitars are introduced to develop skills in chord playing. Differentiated learning programmes are used to ensure that students are able to further develop their individual practical skills.

The Year 9 programme of study takes the form of a ‘Music Workshop’ with a strong emphasis on practical experience through performing, composing and listening activities. Students work individually, in small groups as well as in larger ensembles to further develop their musicianship.

Students have the opportunity to extend their practical skills in the bass guitar and drum kit modules through a differentiated learning programme. Music Technology skills are extended through composition work using a variety of music software and they are encouraged to make many of the musical decisions about their performances themselves. The course promotes the opportunity for Year 9 students to participate in activities designed to enhance their individual musical strengths.

Performance to a wider audience is encouraged through opportunities to play in public where appropriate. Listening activities are varied, using music from different cultures, eras and styles. We aim to develop aural awareness, composition and performance skills that are needed for the GCSE course should the students choose to take Music in years 10 and 11 in a fun and practical way.

The Music department consists of two classrooms equipped with a full suite of computers to promote the use of specific music software in every Key Stage. These facilities are used to extend the individual student’s knowledge of music and enhance practical and composition skills.


Course Content at Key Stage 4

GCSE Music (AQA Specifications)

The GCSE Music course consists of four main components. The marks are as follows:

Listening & Appraising Music: 20%: Written exam (1 hour)

Composing & Appraising Music: 20%: 20 hours of supervised coursework with 2 hours for written appraisal.

Performing Music: 40%: One individual and one group performance.

Composing Music: 20%: 25 hours of supervised composition coursework.


Students are introduced to the vocabulary connected with the Unit 1 Listening Paper through a variety of practical activities which link with the course components; Rhythm & Metre, Harmony & Tonality, Texture & Melody, Timbre & Dynamics, and Structure & Form and drawing from the three learning strands: The Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music of the 20th & 21st Centuries, and World Music.

All students are required to demonstrate the ability to sing or play individually and in an ensemble of two or more players on their chosen instrument(s). Regular private practice is essential to ensure the development of performance skills to the highest possible level for each individual student. Liaison with peripatetic or private instrumental teachers is important in order to choose the most appropriate repertoire. It is advantageous if the student has regular lessons on an instrument but not imperative. Performance standards are monitored at regular intervals throughout the course.

Two original compositions are to be submitted by all candidates over the course. Pieces need to be recorded and scored. Students are encouraged to use the Cubase 5 or Sibelius software available in the Music Department to develop, realise and notate their compositions which can be developed in any musical genre.


Career Opportunities and Progression within the Subject

Studying music can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. In addition to being a practising performer or teacher, opportunities can be found in a variety of related careers. These include:


  • Sound Technician and recording.
  • Sound Engineering
  • Radio & TV presenting and production
  • Camera Person or Video Editor
  • Stage management
  • Music Therapist
  • Administration

Marketing and advertising as well as many others.


How Parents Can Support Learning

  • Encourage your child to play an active role in practical music making activities. Ossett Academy Music department organises a variety of extra-curricular opportunities for all levels of musical experience throughout the week.
  • Encourage your child to listen to a wide and varied selection of musical styles to inform and suggest ideas for inclusion in future practical tasks.
  • Encourage your child to undertake revision of subject specific music vocabulary and music notations such as treble clef, guitar and ukulele chord patterns etc.
  • For those students in receipt of instrumental tuition, encourage regular and detailed practice of their chosen instrument.

For further details on how your child may access instrumental tuition at Ossett Academy, please contact Mr Delaney in the Music Department.

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