Music FAQ





The Music Department aims to build the confidence of our students to present and communicate their creative ideas to an audience. 

At Darwen Vale High School we believe the Performing Arts provides essential cultural knowledge to our students and develops a wide range of talents to help them become confident, expressive communicators. Universities increasingly require applicants to demonstrate these skills and provide examples of success that are not purely ‘academic’.

Emma Jones (performing Arts).jpg

Miss Jones

Head of Performing Arts

What can a student expect from the Faculty?

  • Qualified and enthusiastic teaching staff
  • Help, guidance and support
  • Quality first teaching designed to challenge, inspire and ensure progression
  • An interesting and relevant course for the future

Vision & Aims


  • Students give secure performances with conviction
  • Students understand and observe composers’ expressive and musical direction.
  • They can improvise whilst exploiting potential musical resources, styles, genres and traditions.
  • Students demonstrate a high level of responsiveness to other performers and show a good understanding of the nature of ensemble performing.


  • Students produce compositions that are musically stimulating, interesting and satisfying.
  • They demonstrate a coherent development of musical ideas, consistency of style and a sense of individuality.
  • There is successful and imaginative creation of ideas.
  • Students are able to develop different interpretations of the same stimulus and express their own ideas in a personal style that exploits instrumental possibilities.
  • They can present their work using appropriate notational styles which are accurate and professional.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Students can recognise, and describe complex musical forms and structures making reference to standard musical conventions and time periods.

Key Stage 3 - Curriculum Overview

The Key Stage 3 Music Curriculum has been designed, working back from the key content that students need to achieve the highest grade at GCSE, to encompass elements of the BTEC and GCSE Music syllabi, allowing our musicians to be immersed in ‘junior versions’ of advanced musical concepts and disciplined forms of thinking. From this it is possible to identify what a student needs to be able to do by the end of each year, starting from year 7, in order to reach this end point and achieve the highest grades. Students explore the key concepts of music, focusing on rhythm, melody, harmony, pitch, dynamics, texture, tempo, sonority and structure, through the skills of performing, composing and listening. A deep understanding of these concepts are essential in order to achieve excellence in GCSE and beyond. We believe that our programme of study will develop confident and musically articulate musicians, who possess the desire to become excellent at everything they do.

Key Stage 4 - Curriculum Overview

Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music

The rationale for all qualifications in the BTEC First suite in Music is to:

● inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the music industry, rather than

to participate in music only recreationally

● give learners the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of, and

develop skills in, the music industry, e.g. the live sound industry, solo or group

professional performance, or music promotion and publishing

● support progression to a more specialised level 3 vocational or academic music

course or an apprenticeship

● give learners the potential opportunity to enter employment within a wide range

of junior job roles across the music industry, for example runner, roadie (backline

technical support), stage crew, venue staff, music promotion, and retail and sales


There are two compulsory units:

Unit 1: The Music Industry – which provides an overview of the industry, particularly

Unit 2: Managing a Music Product – which covers essential aspects for progression.

This unit looks at the development a music product. As well as providing a vehicle

for demonstrating skills and learning, it also introduces the role of planning and

promotion in the management of a music product. Learners can base their work on

a live concert, event, a CD or online product, providing opportunities for both music

performers and technologists.

Learners can then select two units from a number of other options, usually these are a Performance and Composition unit.

Extra-Curricular Clubs

1. School Shows

2. Choir

3. Keyboard Club

4. Drama Club

5. Dance Clubs

Knowledge, Skills & Organisation

Music & Drama KS3 KSU