Music at Key Stage 3

Students in Year 7 study a range of topics and develop a breadth of skills in music:

  • They look at 3 songs: I ‘Believe I Can Fly’, ‘Valerie’ and ‘I’m A Believer’ and learn these in 2 part harmony.
  • They focus on the elements of music, using percussion instruments to describe these.
  • They study the music of Indonesia and incorporate the elements into a Gamelan performance.
  • They study a wide range of keyboard techniques and look at popular keyboard pieces.
  • They study ‘Stir It Up’ by Bob Marley and develop their keyboard skills by learning the parts to this piece.
  • They look at guitar riffs and hooks from popular songs.

In year 8 students:

  • Study Blues music; looking at the contextual elements and learning a piece of blues on the keyboard.
  • Look at the music of South America.
  • They form a class Samba band and learn the different rhythms and grooves from this music.
  • Study Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’.
  • They learn the riffs from this then incorporate music technology to record a sequenced version into ‘Cubase’.
BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice

Why study this subject?

Music is a very varied and exciting option to take. You will study a wide range of activities including performing, composing and learning about different styles of music. Studying music can give you a great mix of social, technical and business skills, which can all help in acquiring great employability skills. Furthermore, studies have shown that those who study music perform better in a variety of subjects, including maths, sciences, reading, and languages.

What will I learn?

You will acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by exploring and developing musical skills and techniques, and by responding to a music industry brief. The main foci are:

  • developing key skills that prove your aptitude in music
  • processes that underpin effective ways of working in the music industry
  • attitudes that are considered most important in the music industry, including personal management and communication
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes such as musical skills and styles.

How will I be assessed?

Regular feedback on your work will ensure you know how to improve your progress and attainment. You will always know what grade you are working at and how to improve your performance and progress. There are three assessments; all are coursework based and two of the components are assessed by your teacher and one is assessed externally. Your overall grade will reflect your combined achievement in the three assessments.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

The successful completion of the course will lead to a qualification graded Pass, Merit or Distinction which is equivalent to a GCSE 9 - 4 grade, whilst the successful completion of the GCSE course

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

A Music qualification will show employers you have a wide range of interests and skills, as well as demonstrating that you have shown dedication and commitment to learning a musical instrument and to studying music. Music can also help with confidence and performance skills needed in situations such as job interviews. Potential careers include performing, teaching, composing, working with film, TV, radio or computer games.

Post-16 Progression

A good grade in your music qualification will support you in continuing with your music studies Post-16.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

You can speak to Mr Jennings, Head of Music.



King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Tel: 0121 472 1147.

King Edward VI MAT

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