The Year 7 course involves a study of a wide range of musical topics from the Elements of Music, Instruments of the Orchestra, Medieval Music to World Music. There are opportunities to perform individually and as a group throughout the year whilst pupils are also introduced to the use of GarageBand and Sibelius. In Year 8 the emphasis is on Listening/Understanding and Composition. Over the year, the changes from Baroque to the present day are studied. Pupils continue to use the music computer program Sibelius and GarageBand.In Year 9 girls are taught in half form groups. They develop their use of music technology through composition. The course involves listening, composition and performance.

Key Stage 3

Year 7: Rhythmic Composition / Medieval Music
Year 8: Melody Writing / Baroque Raps
Year 9: Song Writing / Playing the Ukuleles / Musical Theatre

Instrumental Lessons

Individual lessons on all standard orchestral and band instruments plus piano, guitar and percussion can be arranged with the experienced peripatetic music staff. These lessons are timetabled between 8.20am and 3.40pm with rotation of times across teaching periods. Thirty lessons are offered over the full year; details of music fees are given in a separate leaflet available from the Music Department.

Extra-Curricular Activities

There is a wealth of extra-curricular musical groups to join and where girls enjoy playing, learning and performing together. Sessions can be before school, at lunchtimes or after school. Examples are: Middle School and Senior Choirs, Pop-up Choir, Chamber Choir, Brass Ensemble, String Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, Folk Ensemble, Harp Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, Flute Choir, Stage Band, Garage Band, Middle and Senior Orchestra, String Group, Musical Theatre Group.

During these more unusual times the Music Department has been determined to keep Music ‘alive’ at Withington. Every ‘Year Group Bubble’ had the opportunity to participate in either a Voice Ensemble and / or Instrumental Ensemble. Recordings/Filming took place, tracks edited and mixed and ‘Virtual Concerts’ delivered – an exciting time to experience being a ‘session musician’.

Examples are: GCSE Composition; Summer Music Festival 2020; Junior Production of the musical Olivia; 11 Recital Evenings; St Ann’s Carol Service 2020; Senior Citizens’ Christmas Tea Party; Senior Christmas Concert 2020, the Junior Christmas Show 2020 Scrooge, ‘A Night at the West End’ and the Junior summer production, ‘Peter Pan’.

“I really like creating and performing our own pieces and then getting feedback, because it shows us where we need to improve.”

A Year 7 pupil

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