musicThe Music department at Barlby aims to engage students in a variety of musical experiences. We aim to educate students to fully appreciate many aspects of music and develop skills in Performance, Listening and Composing. Students also develop their social skills by working in pairs and small groups. Students work on a variety of instruments including keyboards, ukuleles, guitars, and percussion

In addition to classroom music students have the opportunity to learn to play many different instruments by attending individual / small group lessons which are delivered by seven visiting peripatetic teachers. These include voice, woodwind, brass, keyboard/piano, percussion, guitar and strings.


At Key Stage 3 the music lessons are based around practical activities. Students explore all the major elements of music and also follow a three year keyboard course which encourages students to perform and compose with confidence and flair. All students also learn the basics of playing electric and bass guitar, ukulele and drum-kit. There is a strong emphasis on performing in ensembles during music lessons.

Year 7

Students learn: Pulse, rhythm, time keeping, elements and notation using different genres including Samba, Rock and Waltz.

Year 8

Students learn: Chromaticism, scales, performance, programme music, ternary form and film music using music from different genres and plays such as Pachelbel’s Canon.

Year 9

Students learn: Building on knowledge of pulse, chords, rhythm and notation using a wide range of genres including world, Indian, Pop, Dance and Blues music.  They also work on improvisation skills to encourage their own style and develop creativity.


At Key Stage 4 students may choose to continue their musical studies through GCSE music. The AQA GCSE Music course is designed for students who really enjoy music and have an interest in playing a musical instrument or singing. The course is divided into 4 sections, Performance (40%), Composition (20%), Listening and appraising (20%) and integrated assignment (20%).

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AoS1: Rhythm & MetrePulse.Simple & compound time.Augmentation,diminution, hemiola, cross-rhythm

dotted rhythms, triplets, syncopation.Tempo, rubato polyrhythm,

bi-rhythm.Drum fills.

Aural dictation crotchet, quaver, minims. Notes C’ & E

AoS2:  Harmony & Tonality

Diatonic, chromatic consonant, dissonant.

Pedal, drone

Cadences. Major, minor and dominant seventh chords.

Tonal, major, minor, modal. Keys up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. Modulation.

AoS4 Timbre & DynamicsSolo instruments & voices. Concertos, chamber groups, pop and vocal music. Families of instruments as found in world music.Timbre, including the use of technology, synthesised and computer-generated sounds, sampling, reverb, distortion. Instrumental techniques con arco/pizzicato/ con sordino/muted, tremolo.Vocal techniques  falsetto and vibrato

Sforzando ‘hairpins’

Common signs, terms & symbols


AoS3: Texture & Melody Homophonic, polyphonic/contrapuntal, imitative, canonic, layeredunison, octaves, single melody line, melody with accompaniment, antiphonal. Intervals conjunct, disjunct, triadic, broken chords, scalic, Arpeggio.

Diatonic, chromatic, pentatonic, whole tone, modal augmentation, diminution, sequence, inversion. Glissando

Ornamentation, riff,

ostinato, phrasing, articulation, pitch bend. Improvisation.

AoS 5: Structure & Form Binary, ternary, call & response, rondo, theme & variations, arch-shape, sonata, minuet & trio.Strophic, through-composed, da capo aria, cyclic

Popular song forms

Ground bass, continuo, cadenza



The Western Classical Tradition Baroque orchestral music: (Vivaldi ‘Spring’ from “The Four Seasons” Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. Handel Water Music)The concerto: (Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E flat. Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Op. 35, Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 in F)

Music for voices: (Gibbons ‘The Silver Swan’. Puccini ‘Nessun Dorma’ from “Turandot”. Orff Carmina Burana)



The Western Classical Tradition Chamber music: (Haydn String Quartet in C Op. 76 No. 3 ‘Emperor’Schubert Piano Quintet Op. 114 D 667 ‘The Trout’ Stravinsky 8 Miniatures for 15 Players)

The sonata: (Scarlatti Piano Sonata in G minor ‘Cat’s Fugue’ Beethoven Violin Sonata No.5 in F Op. 24 ‘Spring’ Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op. 35)


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AoS1: Rhythm & MetreRhythm-revision of note values from ks3 Addition of semiquavers and semibreve. Time signatures. Rhythmic compositionsAoS2:  Harmony & Tonality . Chord sequences. Major &Minor. Scales. Key signatures. Composing over chords.AoS3: Texture & Melody

Basics of  ‘Sibelius’. Rules of melody writing. Composing a short melody.


AoS3: Texture & MelodyTexture, adding a second instrument on ‘Sibelius’. 2 part compositionAoS4 Timbre & Dynamics The sections of the orchestra-changing voices.  Composing using  dynamics.AoS 5: Structure & Form

Choosing appropriate forms to compose with. Composition in ternary form.

Unit2: Composing and Appraising music.Start working on unit 2-(to be completed by end of term 3A)  Unit2: Composing and Appraising music. Self review-How to move up to the next grade.



Unit2: Composing and Appraising music. Finish unit 2 composition. Completion of scores.  Unit 2 appraisal.Practice paper questions.
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Practice diaries.Level of demand, accuracy, communication & interpretation.1st group performance.  Developing a sense of ensemble.1st solo performance. How to cope with nerves. Musical Language (Unit 2)Composer, Performer & AudienceIntention, use, purpose.Commission, patronage

Technical/emotional demands

Amateur professional performance

Practice, interpretation, Improvisation

The assessment criteria. Marking past performances.Occasion, Time & PlaceSacred, secular, utility

Private, public, concert.

Live, recorded, media. Internet.

Performing conventions

Ensemble performance-duets and trios. Solo performance. Marking each other’s work. Finalising recordings of solo and ensemble work



The music department, in conjunction with Performing Arts have put on many successful musicals which in recent years have included ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’ which was a huge success in April 2014.

Previously, students from the school have gone on to study A level music at college and music school and some have even gone on to study for a music degree. Many students have gone on to form their own bands. Most students, however, choose to study music because it a subject that they really enjoy and will continue to enjoy for many years to come!

Future career paths can include professional musician, youth music worker, DJ, music technician, theatre stage hand, sound recording engineer, concert promoter and talent scout.