Music

What is Music for at Meridian High School?

As a school we believe in, and promote, traditional British values of respect for all and the liberty of the individual, an understanding and celebration of diverse cultural and religious beliefs and the freedom to make the most of one’s talents. The music curriculum and enrichment programme at Meridian High School is therefore designed to nurture the skills and knowledge required to foster these beliefs amongst our students and to ignite their creativity.

Music lessons and extra-curricular activities provide students with the opportunity to experience musical sound through performing, composing and listening based learning tasks. By enabling our students to access and study a range of music from different cultures, historical contexts and styles, they are able to become intelligent consumers of music who have an appreciation for and awareness of musical and cultural conventions. Our students are provided with the opportunity to showcase their talents at a range of events throughout the academic year and are supported to improve and grow as musicians, and as well-rounded individuals, through the study of music. 

Why does Music as a subject matter?

Music is a universal language. It pervades our daily lives and whilst we do not all share the same musical traditions, tastes or values, music is present and, to varying degrees, has value in everybody’s life. Similarly to the way music itself can offer many things to us on many different levels, so too can music education. 

The music curriculum has been created to provide young people with a range of musical experiences that they may not otherwise be able to access in their lives outside of formal education. By studying music in school, young people are provided with a safe environment to explore their creativity and emotional freedom, to cultivate new skills and to understand how musical experiences can benefit them personally. Moreover, it provides them with a vital opportunity for simultaneous intellectual, social, personal and creative development that may not be accessed in the same way elsewhere in the curriculum. 

What does Music help young people to achieve?

Music education is widely considered to promote and nurture many of those desirable traits and life skills that young people are required to develop in order to become positive contributors to society, exceptional leaders and creative thinkers.

Beyond the intrinsic value of music to cultures worldwide, music education has been proven to equip students with the fundamental abilities to learn, for example enhancing fine motor skills and developing a superior working memory. It also assists student academic achievement in other subject areas by improving students’ ability to recall and retain verbal information and enhancing thinking skills.

Furthermore, it allows students to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge essential for lifelong success, such as fostering resilience, perseverance, creativity, confidence, self-esteem and the ability to communicate in different ways. Additionally, for those students who are passionate about music and wish to pursue a career in the arts, studying music at school prepares them for this and supports them in achieving this goal.


Topics covered in Year 7:

  • The building blocks of music (workshops)
  • Reading music
  • Musical moods
  • Film music
  • Music from around the world 1: India and Indonesia

Topics covered in Year 8:

  • Blues
  • Music in Advertising
  • Music from around the world 2: Africa and South America
  • Reggae
  • Club Dance

Topics covered in Year 9:

  • Listening to and understanding music - skills building
  • Composing music - skills building
  • Performing music - skills building

Topics covered in Year 10:

  • Listening to and understanding music - exploring set works and developing aural skills
  • Composing music - Composition 2: Free Composition
  • Performing music - skills building

Topics covered in Year 11:

  • Listening to and understanding music - exam revision and preparation
  • Composing music - Composition 1: Composing to a brief
  • Performing music - ensemble and solo performance 

Qualification title:

AQA GCSE Music (8271)

Additional learning resources:

  • www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/gcse/music/
  • GCSE AQA Music (For the Grade 9-1 Exams) - Complete Revision & Practice by CGP Books
  • GCSE Music Exam Practice Workbook - for Grade 9-1 Course (with Audio CD & Answers)