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Music is a lively, vibrant department here at Accrington Academy. Every lesson includes performance, composition and listening skills, through the medium of a variety of genres, styles and themes. Musicians at Accrington are open-minded to exploring music from a variety of diverse genres and cultures, including: orchestral/vocal classical music, modern popular music, rap, jazz, world music and so much more.
The music department endeavours to bring out the best in everyone by not only developing musicianship, but also key “life skills” that are beneficial outside of the music industry. This includes: listening to others, team work, working independently, problem solving, co-ordination, co-operation, resilience, determination and so much more.
Our current extra curricular opportunities (which are open to everyone) include:
  • Vocal Adrenaline
  • Orchestra
  • Glee Club
  • Steel Pan Group
  • Jazz Band
  • Piano Club
  • Music Technology Club
  • Chamber Choir.

journey-musicYour Child’s Journey in Music

You can download this document to view a term by term, year by year breakdown for the journey your child will have when they choose Music.  


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Year 7 and 8 students develop their understanding of a variety of genres of music through whole school themes. The themes give us an opportunity to work cross-curricular with other subjects and help students make links on how all of the subjects link together and ultimately, support them in the wider world. We take a very practical approach to teaching music; in every lesson students will develop listening skills, performance skills and compositional skills whilst becoming problem solvers, good team workers, creative thinkers, and respectful, confident people.

GCSE music is a popular subject option at Accrington Academy. This involves developing the skills that are learned at KS3 to become well rounded musicians. Students will be expected to understand important features of classical music, recognize the many different styles of music within popular culture and to appreciate and value music from other countries.

This is what the course looks like:
Unit 1: Listening Exam (20%) – for this, students will sit an exam where music is played and students answer questions about what they can hear. We develop these listening skills from Year 7 to ensure that all students are capable and prepared for this unit.
Unit 2: Composition & Appraisal (20%) – this unit involves students creating a piece of music to fit a brief. The brief is set from the exam board and students get a set amount of time to create an imaginative piece of music which exploits specific features. Once the composition is finished, students will complete a controlled assessment to evaluate and reflect upon their work.
Unit 3: Performance (40%) – to be good performers, it is expected that all GCSE musicians dedicate time to mastering one instrument (or voice). At Accrington Academy, we offer free instrumental (or vocal) lessons to GCSE students because performance is an essential part of the course. Students will complete one solo performance and one ensemble performance, each weighing 20% of the overall course.
Unit 4: Composition (20%) – this composition is often our students favourite. Here they are not restricted to a specific brief, students can compose in any style that they like.

A level music is a perfect example of a course that is practical and academic. Students develop their understanding of music through exploring the history of music, learning about traditional theory rules and pulling apart modern music to gain a good understanding of how it has developed and is still developing. Alongside this, students are expected to prepare solo performances and compositions which demonstrate their deep understanding of music. Just like at GCSE, students studying A level music are expected to study an instrument (or voice) in detail, and so, we offer free instrumental/ vocal lessons to these students.

Enrichment in the music department is key to every musicians development. We offer a variety of enrichment groups during the day and after school that are open to everyone.

  • Monday – Steel Pan Group
  • Tuesday- Vocal Adrenaline and Music Technology
  • Wednesday- Orchestra
  • Thursday- GCSE catch up and Year 8 rehearsals
  • Friday- Glee Club & Jazz Band

Being involved in an extra curricular group at Accrington Academy can lead students to a variety of incredible opportunities – see performances

In the past year we have: 

  • Sang National Anthems at an international rugby league match between England & New Zealand. In preparation for this, students attended a number of rehearsals and also performed and interviewed for BBC radio Lancashire. The performance at DW Stadium was also aired on BBC1.
  • 12 dedicated students went to London to perform an African suite of music called Zimbe! on a West End stage with 1000 other United Learning students. This also involved a large number of rehearsals and an interview and performance for BBC Radio Lancashire. On the second day of this trip we made a visit to Warner Bros Studios to see the set and magic behind Harry Potter.
  • We are keen to get involved in local events. Recently we have performed for Accrington Mayor’s Charity Ball and jazz band are preparing for a performance at Hyndburn’s Jazz Festival at Clitheroe in May.
  • Performances in school happen regularly. We work alongside dance and drama to put on fabulous shows every term including: The Christmas Cabaret, Performing Arts Academy Awards and Shine. We also perform frequently in different events; for example, students are often keen to do lunch time performances and assemblies.

 If you have an interest in music, there are so many fantastic opportunities here at Accrington Academy!

Dance Studio


Subject Statistic coming soon!

Music is a new subject at the academy and once results are in from 2016 examinations we will display a statistic here.

In year 7 I never really enjoyed music as much as I do now and over the years of being in school I’ve seen the music department grow and grow into a greatly talented music community. The music department has given me so many opportunities such as Zimbe and singing at Wigan rugby stadium and learning bass guitar, violin and singing. I love music so much that it even got me to pass a grade 3 singing exam!

Thank you!

Lois Johnson

Year 10 pupil

Options Booklet


GCSE Music
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  • Music Specification

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