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Head of Department: Mr N Duff

The Music Centre has two well-equipped music teaching areas, a well-stocked music library, seven practice rooms, and a fully equipped recording studio. All students make full use of these extensive resources, from Key Stage 3 right up to Key Stage 5. 

 Our performance area has high quality keyboards (one per student), a huge variety of both tuned and unturned percussion instruments, enough ukuleles, xylophones, glockenspiel, djembes, and Mbira for individual and ensemble performances. The performance area is supplemented by practice rooms, a Cubase-based recording studio with a dedicated studio manager, pianos, and a wide library of contemporary music for performance. We also have a set of iPads for research and recording performances. 

 Our technology area has a full suite of 32 recently upgraded computers running Ableton and Cubase as well as cloud-based apps such as Music First and Soundation. They have high end Focusrite soundcards and Alesis midi keyboards for composing with. 

 Our music library of classical, popular, and traditional music’s spans the history of Music and is well stocked for a variety of instruments too. Our practice rooms are used for individual study as well as teaching from specialist teachers who visit the school weekly to deliver instrument-specific lessons on the piano, drum kit, guitar, voice, violin, wind instruments. 

Key Stage 3 Music Quick Link

Key Stage 4 Music Quick Link

Key Stage 5 Music Quick Link

Extra-Curricular Programme

In addition to many exam support classes, booster clubs for Key Stage 3 and drop-in revision sessions, the department also offers an extensive extra-curricular programme.

  • Warlingham Orchestra
  • Warlingham Wind ensemble
  • Warlingham Young Voices
  • Warlingham Singers
  • Music Technology 'Ableton' group
  • ‘School of Rock’ for Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9
  • Djembe, Djembe, Djembe!
  • Ukulele ensemble
  • Steel Pans ensemble

All of these activities are open to all students and students are actively encouraged to participate. There are concerts put on by the school throughout the academic year giving all students the opportunity to perform. Trips are also offered to those students who participate in the musical life of the school, ranging from trips to the West End to overseas tours.

Learning a Musical instrument

One of the most worthwhile, stimulating and enjoyable activities in Music is learning a musical instrument or having singing lessons and then performing in an ensemble. Warlingham School is able to offer tuition on a wide range of instruments and ensembles delivered by our own experienced and talented visiting music teachers or through Surrey Arts that employ experienced tutors here at school. All tutors are DBS checked and experienced on their specialist instrument and in teaching. Lessons will take place during the school day and after school on a rota basis. Please see the 'Letter' section of the school website for further information about applying for instrument or voice lessons

For further information, please contact the Head of Music, Mr N. Duff n.duff@warlinghamschool.co.uk so you can signposted in the right direction for lessons.

Key Stage 3 Music Curriculum

Lessons are practical based and offer students the opportunity to listen to, compose, perform and appraise music across a wide range of historical genres. We encourage students to bring their own headphones with a mini-jack socket for use on the computers. All students take Key stage 3 Music. It is a fun, enjoyable and accessible programme of learning allowing every student the opportunity to progress and become successful.

Year 7 Students will perform in small ensembles developing a knowledge of the key elements of music, compose music based on Film Music and perform Pachelbel’s Canon using Ukuleles.

Year 8 starts with a unit of study based around ‘Structures of Music’ – they will compose using Cubase software and perform on an instrument of their choice. After a unit on African music, students will then compose and perform using the 12 bar Blues.

Year 9 start with students exploring Popular music through composition, recording and performance, as well as exploring ‘Masterpieces’ where they get to choose from a range of established repertoire.

Students will be set homework tasks based upon the established Focus on Sound web-based package which is provided free for all students. Each student gets their own unique logon and password. Homework tasks are set every fortnight and can be completed on any computer/iPad/Kindle.

Key Stage 4 GCSE Music

Students can then opt to take Music as one of their GCSE options for Key Stage 4.

Students follow the EDUQAS GCSE Music course. This is a brand new GCSE course and is suitable for students of all abilities. We have a wide range of performance resources to support learners achieve the best performing grade possible. Composing is well supported with the Cubase suite being accessible throughout the day. A wide range of written and technology is used to support the learning of the Listening exam components. We have achieved excellent pass rates over the last 5 years.

Students are actively encouraged to attend the wide range of extracurricular activities and events, as well as signposting them to events and agencies in our musical community. We organise several trips a year and are looking forward to planning a foreign tour in the future.

Students will

Perform for 4-6 minutes - this is 30% of the course and 50% of the coursework

  • A minimum of two pieces – one in an ensemble, and one as a soloist.
  • Students can perform on any instrument they like. They can perform with backing tracks or other accompaniments, and in conjunction with their instrument teacher, they will practice their pieces and record them in the studio.

Compose 2 pieces of music - this is 30% of the course and 50% of the coursework

  • One is a free choice, where students can explore their own influences based upon a brief they write.
  • One is in response to a brief set by the exam board and is completed in Year 11. The compositions will be composed using Cubase through audio and midi keyboards. The Cubase suite is also linked to the studio for students to record vocal and live instrument parts.

Listen to music in an Exam

Students will sit a 1 hour 15 minute exam – this is 40% of the course.

This is a Listening Exam with extracts of music on a CD, and written responses in an exam paper. There are 8 questions in total, 2 on each of the following 

  • Area of Study 1: Musical Form and Device
  • Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble
  • Area of Study 3: Film Music
  • Area of Study 4: Popular Music

The extracts of music used in the exam will be taken from a random selection from Classical, Popular, World and Folk in addition there are two set works which will be studied as part of the examination.

  • Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Movement 3, Minuet: Mozart (1787)
  • Since You’ve Been Gone: Rainbow (released 1979)

Further details from http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/music/gcse/

Key Stage 5 Music

Warlingham is very lucky to offer both Music A-Level and Btec Level 3 in Music Performance.

A-Level Music

The school follows the Eduqas Course. In order to be accepted onto the course, candidates are required to have achieved a minimum GCSE Grade 5, or to have a GCSE Grade 4 and be a minimum of ABRSM Grade 5 standard on one instrument. We will interview all candidates for this course to determine suitability and competencies. We have achieved a 100% pass rate over the last 5 years.

There are three components to the Eduqas A level Music course. The coursework is 60% and the exam is 40%.

The coursework element can be a major in Performing and a minor in Composing, or vica-versa.

Major Performance - 35% of qualification.

  • A broad repertoire with a minimum of 3 pieces
  • 10-12 minutes as a soloist with an ABRSM Grade 5 minimum.
  • Minor Composition – 25% of qualification. 2 compositions – one classical and one free choice.


Minor Performance – 25% of qualification:

  • A broad repertoire with a minimum of 2 pieces
  • 6-8 minutes as a soloist with an ABRSM Grade 5 minimum.

Major Composition – 35% of qualification. 3 compositions:

  • One classical, one from a brief and one free choice.

The Listening examination element is a 2 hour 15 minute exam in Year 13

  • There are three areas of study
  • Western Classical Tradition – the symphonies of Haydn or Mendelssohn
  • A choice from Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre or Jazz
  • A choice of either 20th Century or 21st Century classical
  • Questions in the exam will
  • require extended writing responses
  • Analysis of the set works score
  • Unprepared extracts with and without a score

Further details from http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/music/as-a-level/

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music

This course is aimed towards popular musicians and is the equivalent of 1 A level. We do not have strict entry requirements, just the ability to perform on one instrument, huge amounts of passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of Music. It is 100% coursework and is highly successful and can lead to employment in the Music industry or further study at University. We have achieved a 100% Distinction* overall grade for many years

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Music Performance

  • 360 Guided Learning Hours
  • Equivalent in size to one A Level. 2 year course
  • 4 units, of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are externally assessed. 1 free choice of a unit to support your own musical adventures!
  • Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (58%).
  • Gains UCAS points.

Mandatory Units

Unit 1 Practical Music Theory and Harmony

In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the signs and symbols associated with the notation of pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics and expression. You will learn how to interpret both traditional and alternate forms of notation with a high degree of accuracy. You will learn how scales are constructed, and apply them to compose melodies, and how to use chords and progressions in different ways when making music. You will learn to select and deploy various devices to create melodic lines that are creative and convincing. Through a composition or arrangement, you will gain a secure and thorough understanding of a variety of types of chords and learn to apply them with high levels of skill and proficiency in the use of harmony. You will use this learning to produce a piece of musical notation that fully articulates your intentions so that they can be efficiently realised and interpreted in a performance situation.

Unit 2 Professional Practice in the Music Industry

In this unit, you will gain an understanding of what is meant by the term ‘professional practice’ as well as what it means to be a freelancer working in the music industry. You will understand the professional skills that are important in the industry and learn the importance of financial management, effective interpersonal skills and working with others.

Unit 3 Ensemble Music Performance

In this unit, you will become part of a musical group and will develop your ensemble skills by taking part in rehearsals. As an ensemble, you will be given a list of songs from which you must choose three. You will then learn, rehearse and perform these songs to an audience.

Optional Units – It is most likely Unit 6 will be the chosen unit, as we are all performers!

Unit 4 Composing Music

Unit 5 Music Performance Session Styles

Unit 7 Improvising Music

Unit 6 Solo Performance

In this unit, you will explore and practise the specific skills associated with performing as a soloist. These will include: how to engage your audience, stagecraft, as well as musical practice and rehearsal required. There are many hours of preparation and practice involved and you will develop the process – that all successful musicians undertake – of creative reflection in order to improve. This unit prepares you for studying performance as a soloist as well as for performing live.

Further details from https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-nationals/music-2018.html

For further information, please contact the Head of Music, Mr N. Duff n.duff@warlinghamschool.co.uk so you can signposted in the right direction for lessons.

October 2020