KS3 Music

Music classes at Alder Community High School currently take place once a fortnight in year 7 and once a week in years 8 and 9. Students study a variety of different topics to develop their understanding of different genres of music, music from different cultures/eras and general music theory. Music classes at Alder seek to give all students diverse musical opportunities and to enhance their individual understanding of music.

The following topics are covered at KS3:


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Autumn 1


Musicianship 2

Film music composition

Autumn 2

Blues music

Major and minor

Spring 1

Peter and the Wolf

Indian composition

History of music

Spring 2

Film music

Summer 1

Keyboard Skills (chords)


Solo music performance

Summer 2

Solo music performance

Band Project


KS4 Music

Pupils who take music as an option within years 10 and 11 have 5 lessons a fortnight. We currently offer the Edexcel GCSE music course which offers pupils the full range of 9-1 grades. The GCSE course is made up of 3 assessed components; performing, composing and appraising.

Performing: Pupils will undertake weekly instrumental lessons on an instrument of their choice to develop their music skills. This leads to pupils performing a solo and ensemble piece which will count towards 30% of their final GCSE grade.

Composing: Throughout the two-year course pupils will explore a number of different software programmes such as Cubase, band lab and noteflight in order to write two pieces of music themselves. One of these compositions will be completed in year 10 and can be in any style, the second is composed to a set brief given by the exam board in the September of year 11. Both of these compositions count towards 30% of the final GCSE grade.

Appraising: The final 40% of the Edexcel GCSE course is made up from a listening and appraising exam sat at the end of year 11. Pupils will spend time exploring 8 set works, how to answer questions on music they have never heard as well as understanding how to dictate and read scores. All of these skills will enhance their musical knowledge and prepare pupils for the final GCSE exam.


Extra Curricular

We currently offer a wide range of instrumental tuition from our vocal tutor Michael Jones and through AudioFace music. We hold several Music performance evenings every year including our annual carol service at Hyde Chapel. The full CEA department work together each year to put on a talent show showcasing the best music, drama, comedy and entertainment Alder has to offer.



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