Music is an enriching and valuable academic subject. Research evidence shows that a quality music education can improve self-confidence, behaviour and social skills, as well as academic attainment in areas such as numeracy, literacy and language. In music we seek to develop a focus for creative energy. Our music curriculum is very practical. It aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all students so they can develop musicianship skills in relation to their own musical interests. In addition, we aim to broaden the horizons of our students so they can appreciate the music of other places and cultures. In the department we have a wealth of resources to support a wide range of musical styles and skills. The group nature of much of our Key Stage 3 work is also aimed at developing wider skills in our students, such as teamwork, participation and performance/presenting skills. 


At KS3 students will follow a split curriculum of practical musicianship and music technology, developing both in preparation for KS4 options. The following areas are covered:

  • Workshops on the basic elements
  • Popular song
  • Music of the Caribbean
  • Hooks and riffs
  • Dance music
  • Classical remix
  • Samba
  • African drumming
  • Music of India
  • Ballads
  • Rock and roll
  • Creating a band
  • Music for film
  • Keyboard skills

Students produce two assessed pieces of work per term.  Each assessed piece is practical and covers the strands of performing, composing, listening and appraising. Music can lead on to music and performing arts courses at both KS4 and 5.  In addition, the skills students develop in presenting themselves to an audience can be invaluable across a range of subjects.  We aim to encourage as many students as possible to be involved in extra-curricular activities, which run throughout the school year. These include concerts/gigs, talent contests, trips to live performances, instrumental lessons and annual productions.


At City Academy Norwich in GCSE Music we study Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice

Who is the qualification for?

The Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice is for learners who want to acquire sector-specific applied knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying and developing their musical skills and techniques. The qualification enables learners to develop their skills, such as using musical elements, music creation, performance and music production, using realistic vocational contexts, and their personal skills, such as self-development, responding to a brief, planning and time management through a practical and skills-based approach to learning and assessment.

What does the qualification cover?

 The Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific applied knowledge. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • development of key skills that prove learners’ aptitude in music, such as responding to a musical brief using musical skills and techniques
  • processes that underpin effective ways of working in the music sector, such as the development of musical ideas, and using skills and techniques for rehearsal, creation, production and performance to respond to a music brief
  • attitudes that are considered most important in the music sector, including personal management and communication
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes in the sector, such as musical skills and styles.

This Tech Award complements the learning in GCSE programmes by broadening experience and skills participation in different types of musical techniques for different musical styles. The Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in a practical way through exploration and development of techniques and styles.


Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles

Non-exam internal assessment set by Pearson, marked by the centre and moderated by Pearson. The Pearson-set Assignment will be completed in approximately 12 hours of supervised assessment. 60 marks

Component 2: Music Skills Development

Non-exam internal assessment set by Pearson, marked by the centre and moderated by Pearson. The Pearson-set Assignment will be completed in approximately 15 hours of supervised assessment. 60 marks.

Component 3: Responding to a Music Brief

Task set and marked by Pearson completed under supervised conditions. Learners will be given the set task in January, 12 weeks before the supervised assessment period, in order to carry out the development of creative ideas and rehearsal for the final music product. The set task will be completed in 3 hours within the period timetabled by Pearson. 60 marks.


Students will have the opportunity to access a wide range of enrichment activities including clubs, trips to see live performances, performance opportunities and workshops with visiting musicians.

Every year we put on a Christmas concert, winter pantomime, Spring talent contest and Summer showcase.


Studying music gives you a broad range of skills which can be applied in any career path. These skills include:

  • good physical dexterity, memory and concentration – developed in practice and performance
  • communication skills – developed through performing and engaging listeners
  • teamwork – through working in bands or orchestras as a player, leader or manager
  • self-management – physical and mental self-discipline achieved through regular practice
  • performing under pressure – overcoming nervousness in order to perform well during exams, concerts and auditions
  • planning – organising and working towards a project/performance
  • technical skills and expertise – using technology to create and record music and studying acoustics
  • critical reflection – giving and receiving criticism, learning from mistakes and striving for improved performance

Examples of possible jobs include: music therapist, musician, music teacher, session musician, composer, producer, sound technician, studio manager, roadie, broadcasting/film/video, arts administration, events organisation, sound engineer, manager, radio broadcaster/assistant.