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St Peter's
Catholic School



Miss O Myatt

Head of Music

Mrs A Hanford Teacher of Music

The Music Department is at the heart of the school’s Catholic ethos and culture of academic success and community involvement.

Music is taken very seriously by our students and the practice rooms are always full during break and lunchtimes with students rehearsing their class work. The department is extensively resourced with two large well-equipped music rooms, one smaller Sixth Form teaching room and a computer room equipped with MuseScore (KS3), Sibelius and Logic music software for composing.

The department runs an extensive extra-curricular programme including four Choirs, String Ensemble, Folk Band, Jazz Band, Guitars and Ukuleles, and Orchestra and Rock School. For Sixth Form students only, Vic Cox, professional bassist, runs the Sixth Form Enrichment Band which puts on termly concerts. Over 150 students are currently involved in some form of extra-curricular music. There is at least one formal concert every term and a Chamber Concert each October and February, taking place in the Theatre and Liturgy space. Biannually, over 50 students take part in a week-long international concert tour where choirs and instrumental groups perform concerts to the local public. The summer of 2018 took us to Oberhammersback in the Black Forest with concerts in Strasbourg and Obernai.  

The Music Department works alongside the Drama Department to put on a school musical biannually and provide music for “straight” plays too. The department contributes regularly to masses, liturgies, worship sessions and the school’s annual open air Feast Day Mass and Carol Service.

Why study Music?

Studying Music at A Level gives you the power to engage with music more deeply as a performer, composer and listener. It extends and develops your ability to communicate as a musician and this also builds your confidence as a person. Whilst studying A Level Music you will be encouraged to work creatively and will have the opportunity to learn about and use/apply music technology for composition work.

Future academic and career pathways

Music students are extremely attractive to universities, conservatoires and employers and can follow a course and subsequent career in almost any field thanks to the transferable skills they acquire on this A Level course. Although there is a significant creative element to A Level Music, the theoretical study of music history, harmony and tonality is sufficiently rigorous that it is accepted as a serious academic subject for entry on to Russell Group university courses. Previous students have continued onto, for example, Performance at the Royal North College of Music, Music at Cambridge University, Maths at Exeter, Economics at Bath, Biochemistry at Kings,  Architecture at Portsmouth, Classics at Durham and Philosophy at Royal Holloway.

Possible careers in music include performing, composing and arranging, education and music therapy, music administration and management, music production including music for gaming and the wider creative industry.

Course content

Students will be studying the Edexcel syllabus.

Music A Level is a two year course. In Year 12 you will study composition techniques through the analysis of the set works and set tasks. You will work towards the completion of free coursework composition one so that the focus is on the set brief composition in Year 13. We will aim to thoroughly analyse nine of the set works in the first year competing and revisiting all 18 in the second year. Throughout the two years you will work on your recital pieces with a trial recital in Year 12.


30% Performance: student’s work towards an eight-minute recital that can combine solo and ensemble playing.

30% Composing: students either compose to a given brief or complete a free composition. They also complete a technical study such as a Bach chorale.

40% Appraising: students develop an understanding of musical analysis through the study of 13 set works, including Film Music, Western Classical Music and Popular Music and Jazz. The exam combines both listening and essay questions.

Extracurricular opportunities

• Termly visits to concerts and recitals

• Extensive extracurricular music clubs

• Onsite concerts and shows

• Music tours abroad

Course requirements

• Ability to read and compose music

• Minimum level 6 in GCSE Music

• Minimum level/grade 6 performance by end of Year 12

• Working knowledge of grade 5 theory or above

• Basic keyboard skills