Music is one of the most expressive and creative subjects available on the National Curriculum. At MEPA Academy we want to allow pupils as many opportunities as possible to be creative and engage with music. We feel there is great value to be gained from combining creativity with emotion that enables personal expression, reflection and development. Pupils will be encouraged to set up and run groups themselves, allowing personal musical interests to be developed. Our vision for music learning at MEPA is that our students will:

  • Develop an ability to appreciate and listen to a wide variety of music.
  • Have opportunities to explore and express ideas and feelings about music in a variety of contexts.
  • Explore a range of musical elements, such as pitch, tempo and dynamics.
  • Create and develop musical ideas using both voices and instruments.
  • Develop a sense of togetherness through composing, rehearsing and performing with others and to an audience. 

By the end of KS3 we aim for our students to: 

  • Be able to perform/compose short pieces that demonstrate an understanding of the musical elements and structures as soloists or in small groups.
  • Be able to listen to music and describe how the elements and structures are used using basic musical terms.
  • Be able to read treble clef notation.
  • Be able to identify different instruments aurally and the families that they belong to.
  • Be able to identify if a piece is in a major or minor key.

By the end of KS4 we aim for our students to: 

  • Be able to perform as a soloist and as part of an ensemble.
  • Be able to describe how the elements and structures of music are used within given pieces using high level musical terms.
  • Be able to read treble clef notation, alongside notation that may be specific to their instrument.
  • Be able to demonstrate a wider contextual understanding through the comparison of unfamiliar pieces of music.
  • Be able to compose pieces that demonstrate an understanding of structure, instrumentation, use of musical elements and intention. 
  • Be able to identify keys, chords and cadence.

The GCSE music course is made up of three components:

  • Composing (30%) the writing of music is split into two elements; a composition to a set brief, and a free composition. The brief is released by the exam board, and will provide criteria or a theme for pupils to then compose from, such as music for film and tv, or music for a special occasion. The free composition allows pupils complete freedom in what they compose and how they compose. 
  • Performing (30%) pupils will have opportunities to perform during the GCSE course, both as a soloist and as part of ensembles. These performances will be recorded throughout the two years, and at the end of the course, one solo and one ensemble performance are submitted for assessment. There is no minimum requirement for the performance section, and external exam grades are not necessary to select GCSE Music. However, pupils are awarded higher marks for playing more challenging pieces. 
  • Appraising (40%) over the two year course, pupils develop their contextual understanding of music, as well as developing critical thinking and listening skills. This section of the exam covers music history and music theory, and culminate in a 1hr 30min exam at the end of the course. This comprises of a listening section (listening to and answering questions on unfamiliar music), and a written section (writing about specific pieces that have been studied during the 2 years).