The music department vision is to instill a love of music in every student through regularly making music, critically evaluating music just by listening, and to introduce a new appreciation of how to write music through learning basic music theory. Students must be able to demonstrate their understanding of music theory through applying knowledge to a practical musical task, such as, playing the keyboard. Students will listen to a wide variety of pieces and be coached on how to interpret the sounds and formulate responses based on what they hear. In addition, through engaging with music in this way, it is hoped that students will grow in confidence and general student wellbeing will flourish in a musical environment.

The Key Stage 3 Music Curriculum at KAA has been designed to encompass elements of the GCSE Music syllabus, allowing our musicians to be immersed in ‘junior versions’ of advanced musical concepts and disciplined forms of thinking. Working back from the key content that students need to be able to achieve the highest grade at A Level and in turn the key content that students need to achieve the highest grade at GCSE. 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 at GCSE and A Level.

The music curriculum at KAA explores the key concepts of music, focusing on melody, articulation, dynamics, tempo, structure, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm and texture, through the skills of performing, composing and listening.  A deep understanding of these concepts are essential in order to achieve excellence in GCSE and A-Level Music. 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.

Curriculum Map

The entire Music curriculum has been designed, and is structured around a series of ‘fertile questions’ which explore over a period of lessons.

In year 7 pupils start by developing their singing skills and their understanding of the musical elements. They also undertake a project on the keyboards, learning two-handed technique as well as learning about djembe drumming in the Summer Term.

In year 8, pupils build on the knowledge and skills they developed in year 7 and start to undertake more challenging and thought-provoking fertile questions. In year 8 pupils undertake projects on the keyboard, learn how to play and tune the guitar, and compose music using loops in GarageBand on MacBook Pros.

In year 9, students follow a course designed to ease the transition into GCSE Music. The first term, students develop their keyboard skills and perform solo before Christmas, then students undertake a two term composition project exploring the software Logic Pro and developing their own composition skills.


Students sit a practical music assessment at the end of each term. The table below outlines the focus of each assessment.


Students are not set homework on a formal basis in music although homework can be set occasionally at the discretion of the teacher. As musicians, we are always looking to further develop and refine our performance skills, and we encourage  all pupils to practice at least 3 times a week (30 minute sessions). The music area on KAA Online includes website links, videos, worksheets and other resources to support practice for each fertile question.

Music Tuition

We strongly encourage all students to learn a musical instrument at KAA. We offer a comprehensive music tuition package that substantially enhances the experience of our students and prepares them well for GCSE and A Level Music.

Every week, a team of professional instrumental tutors visit the school and deliver 1-1 lessons in our suite of fully-equipped practice rooms to students who have opted into the programme.

We offer lessons on the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Drum Kit
  • Guitar
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • French Horn
  • Singing

Learning an instrument or singing is an invaluable skill that stays with you for life. Students should start learning an instrument as early as possible and our team of professional tutors are here to make that happen. Please email Mr Trewen for more information including our pricing plan:

Our Music Partners

KAA is a Music Mark School Member in recognition of the value the academy’s places on music.