Music

Introduction and benefits

Why do so many students, parents and staff love Music at Colston’s Girls’ School? We have a vibrant music curriculum, a fantastic range of instrumental groups and choirs, tailor-made individual music lessons and exciting opportunities to perform in school and in major venues around the city and beyond. Music is delivered by highly-qualified and inspirational staff in a stunning new Music Pavilion complete with spacious classrooms, a Music Technology suite and practice rooms, with a brand-new theatre in the neighbouring Arts Block.

What do our parents say? “Music is the heartbeat of the school.”

What do we say? “Read on to find out more, and come along to see for yourself what makes Music at Colston’s Girls’ School so special.”

Curriculum outline

Year 7

We focus on the key skills of listening, composing and performing. Topics include:

  • Musical elements
  • Orchestral families
  • Pentatonic round the world
  • Music from Africa, India and Indonesia
  • Rhythm Recycled
  • Students are introduced to music technology and use GarageBand on the Apple computers to build up their compositions. They use classroom instruments for group work, composing and performance, where they are encouraged to work together and share ideas.

Year 8

We focus on the key skills of listening, composing and performing. Topics include:

  • Modes
  • Musicals
  • Grand Designs in Music
  • Minimalism

Students use GarageBand on the Apple computers to create their compositions and refine their techniques. They use classroom instruments for group work, composing and performance, where they are encouraged to work together and share ideas. Fluency and confidence in performance are key targets.

Year 9

We focus on the key skills of listening, composing and performing. Topics include:

  • Film Music
  • Blues and Jazz
  • Dance Music

Students use GarageBand on the Apple computers to create their compositions using both audio and visual media. They use classroom instruments for group work and class performance, where they are encouraged to work together and share ideas. Fluency and confidence in improvisation are key targets.

Year 10

We follow the Edexcel specification. In Y10 topics include:

Listening and Appraising: study of set works from Area of Study 1 (Western classical music 1600-1899)

  • Handel ‘And the Glory of the Lord’ from Messiah
  • Mozart Symphony no 40, 1st Movt
  • Chopin Raindrop Prelude

Listening and Appraising: study of set works from Area of Study 3 (Popular Music in context)

  • Miles Davis All Blues
  • Jeff Buckley Grace
  • Moby Why does my heart feel so bad?
  • Solo and ensemble performance
  • Composition and Controlled Assessment 1

Year 11

We follow the Edexcel specification. In Y11 topics include:

Listening and Appraising: study of set works from Area of Study 2 (Music in the 20th century)

  • Schönberg Peripetie from Five Orchestral Pieces
  • Bernstein Something’s Coming from West Side Story
  • Reich Electric Counterpoint

Listening and Appraising: study of set works from Area of Study 4 (World Music)

  • Capercaillie Skye Waulking Song
  • Rag Desh
  • Koko Yiri
  • Solo and ensemble performance and recording
  • Composition and Controlled Assessment 2

Resources

  • GarageBand
  • Logic
  • Sibelius
  • Classroom and Own instruments
  • Keyboards
  • Edexcel GCSE Music anthology
  • Edexcel GCSE Music textbook

Extra curricular

  • Show Choir – a non-auditioned choir for all
  • Rock Band
  • Concert Band – intermediate wind band
  • Strings Aloud – intermediate string orchestra
  • Chamber Orchestra – for advanced instrumentalists
  • Senior Strings – advanced string players
  • African Drumming Group
  • Flute choir – organised by students
  • String Quintet
  • Chamber Choir – an auditioned choir of 28 singers
  • Grade 3 and Grade 5 theory classes

Our students say:

“Music GCSE broadens my understanding and therefore my love for the music I play and listen to.” – Year 10 student

Staff contacts

  • Mrs E Mumford – Teacher of Music
  • Mrs N Barnes (Flute)
  • Mr A Bennett (Cello)
  • Mr R Cordrey (Guitar)
  • Mr B Groenwelt (Double Bass)
  • Mrs A Howell (Piano)
  • Mr D Kenna (Piano)
  • Ms M Krawiec (Flute)
  • Mrs D McAdam (Voice)
  • Mrs L McCabe (Violin)
  • Mr J Newman (Drum Kit)
  • Mr M Packman (Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone)
  • Mrs C Sorensen (Bassoon)
  • Mrs J Walton (Voice)
  • Mr R Webb (Brass)
  • Mrs R Whitworth (Violin)