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music1The Music department is led by the Director of Music , Katherine Bamber, the Assistant Director of Music, Mea Jenkins and classroom teachers  Dominique Jones and Ben Marshall. It also consists of an administrative assistant, part-time Principal Consultants of Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, Piano and Singing and approximately eighteen visiting music teachers covering the full range of orchestral instruments as well as voice, piano, jazz piano, drum kit, acoustic, electric and bass guitar.

Dame Alice Owen’s School specialises in Music and ten pupils each year are admitted to Year 7 on the basis of aptitude in the subject.  At Key Stage Three, pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 receive one lesson of classroom music per week.  Year 9 pupils are taught in groups of no more than twenty-one pupils per class.  All pupils follow a National Curriculum integrated course in Performing, Composing and Appraising.

Music is often a popular choice at GCSE and A Level; currently (2020/21) there are 5 GCSE classes across 2 year groups, and sixteen students are studying A Level Music. Results are excellent, with many students going on to study Music at University (including Oxbridge) or at Music Conservatoires.



Topics covered Exam Board Specification name / number
Year 7 In Year 7, through a practical-based curriculum, students develop their skills in the three core areas of Performing, Creating and Appraising music through a series of topics, including:

• Introduction, Canon and Fanfare;

• Japanese Music;

• Klezmer and Jewish Music;

• Indian music

Year 8 Music In Year 8 students continue to develop their skills in the three core areas of Performing, Creating and Appraising music through a series of topics, including:

• Jazz and Blues;

• Modes. Medieval to Modern;

• Storytelling in Music;

• Indonesian Music

Year 9 In Year 9 students continue to develop further their skills in the three core areas of Performing, Creating and Appraising music through a series of topics, including:

• Riff, Ground Bass and Canon

• Latin Music of Cuba and South America

•Cover Versions (Pop music)

GCSE N/A Eduqas/WJEC GCSE Music C660QS
A level N/A Eduqas/WJEC A Level Music A660Pa / A660PB

Approximately four hundred pupils receive instrumental lessons in school and many more have private tuition outside.  Several pupils attend the Junior Saturday morning schools at the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.

The department is well resourced, with a dedicated concert hall, three specialist classrooms (one with networked Sibelius 7.5 and LogicPro X software), a fully-equipped state of the art recording studio, seven practice rooms, a rehearsal and recital studio, main office, store rooms and staff room.

The department runs an extensive range of extra-curricular activities including five orchestras, two concert bands, four choirs, two soul/jazz bands, an extensive range of chamber music and an annual musical production.  Access and involvement is encouraged for as wide a range of pupils as possible.

The Symphony Orchestra, Senior Strings, Soul Bands and Concert Band have performed in many   major concert venues, including in London and Birmingham.  Groups from the school, such as the Senior Strings, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra and Close Harmony Group, have frequently been selected to perform at  the National Festival of Music for Youth and have  also taken part in the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform at major concert venumusic2es, including several in London and also in Brimingham. Chamber groups from the school have been invited to perform in the finals concert, in all age categories, of the Chamber Music for Schools Competition, and Owen’s chamber groups, composers and soloists have also been prizewinners at the Spring Grove Music Festival.  Choirs from the school have also been prize winners  in competitive festivals.

Ms K Bamber (Director of Music)

Our school is very fortunate in being able to offer one string player a bursary from the Benslow Trust. Please contact the Music Department for further information.