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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College



“Music lets you explore another world and experiment with different instruments.”

Tutsi Y8

“I have enjoyed playing the keyboard and testing my music skills. I have learnt to make new pieces of music.”

Patrycja Y7

“I love the wide range of music that we are given at Sir Jonathan North. It encourages people to try new things.”

Emma Y8

At Sir Jonathan North our Music curriculum aims to develop effective and independent learners with enquiring minds. Our teaching staff demonstrate a genuine passion and enthusiasm for music and aim to inspire the students to develop their own ability to engage actively in the process of music study.

Music is delivered for one hour per week in Key Stage 3 and can be chosen as a GCSE option for KS4. Performance, composition and listening are the three key components upon which the schemes of work are based. Within the purpose built classrooms, the practical emphasis is on using Yamaha electronic keyboards with built-in multi-track sequencers, iMac computers, percussion and voices to develop musical awareness.

There are many opportunities at Sir Jonathan North to participate in extra-curricular activities which develop students’ musical ability. Weekly, the college choir and orchestra meet to rehearse and perform. Concerts at Christmas and in the summer term showcase the students’ exceptional ability and demonstrate the hard work they put in.

Peripatetic tutors teach individuals and small groups in College for an agreed charge set by the tutor and subsidised by the College depending on level of skill and financial circumstances.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Autumn - Introduction to music, Introduction to keyboards, Performance skills, Graphic and notation scores
  • Spring - Performance skills, Composing skills Western and Gamelan orchestra, Descriptive orchestral, Listening tests, Performance skills
  • Summer - Performance skills, Composing skills, Listening tests, Vocal skills/score reading, Listening tests

Year 8

  • Autumn - Pentatonic – based music, Rhinegold listening tests, Latin – American music
  • Spring - Bhangra – listening/composing, Rhinegold listening tests, Vocal scores and skills, Rhinegold listening tests
  • Summer - Performance, Modes – Rock music, Rhinegold listening tests, Ternary Form – composing/arranging/performing, Rhinegold listening tests

Year 9

  • Autumn - Whole tone, Rhinegold listening tests, Impressionist Rhinegold listening tests
  • Spring - Blues Music Performance /Composition, Rhinegold listening tests
  • Summer - Club Mix Music, Rhinegold listening tests, TV and Film themes performance, Film Music Scores


“I enjoy the practical elements and learning about the different genres of music.”

Joanne Y10

GCSE Music progresses students with an aptitude, enthusiasm and interest in music. The course broadens their musical experience and interests, developing their imagination and fostering creativity. It involves considerable practical rehearsal time, composition-building skills and a thorough knowledge and understanding of various types and genres of music.

Students choose the instrument they wish to study, which can be singing or music technology in addition to tradition instruments. They will choose an instrument in which they already have skills. In total there are 5 areas of study: their chosen instrument; The Classical Concerto; Rhythms from Music around the World; Music for Films and Popular Music (from the 1950s onwards).

The GCSE course is assessed on 2 performances (30%) and 2 compositions (30%).  At the end of the course there is 1 written listening paper (40%). There are no written essays for this subject. Additionally there are many enrichment activities built into the course in order to build skills.

Additionally GCSE music students are encouraged to participate fully in extra-curricular activities within the college including the choir, orchestra and end of term concerts.

Programme of Study

Year 10

  • Autumn 1 - Spotlight on My Music, Performance in main area of study, Ensembles performance, Listening skills
  • Autumn 2 - Ensemble skills, Listening skills – rhythms from around the world
  • Spring 1 - Concerts through time (listening), Composing skills
  • Spring 2 - Composing skills, Pop anthems (listening skills)
  • Summer 1 - Composing skills, Music for films (listening)
  • Summer 2 - Performance skills, Listening

Year 11

  • Autumn 1 - Performance skills
  • Autumn 2 -  Ensemble skills
  • Spring 1 - Composition task 2
  • Spring 2 - Rhythms from around the world revisited
  • Summer 1 - Concert revision, Music for films revision
  • Summer 2 - Practice listening papers, Exam

Useful Resources

Classic FM Radio

BBC Bitesize OCR GCSE music

OCR GCSE Music for Grade 9 – 1 Exams (Phinegold book with CD)

Listen widely to all types of world and orchestral music via radio stations and television

Top Tips

Encourage your daughter to get involved with extra-curricular music at school or in the community.

Encourage your daughter to listen to a variety of music and engage with it by telling you about its composition.It is acceptable to dislike a piece but they need to be able to explain why they dislike it.They should also be able to recognise the genre of the music, its style and tradition

Additionally for GCSE Music

Ideally your daughter is having private lessons with their chosen instrument outside of college.

Your daughter should practice their chosen GCSE instruments for at least 10 minutes daily.