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music1The Music department is led by the Director of Music, Katherine Bamber, the Assistant Director of Music, Mea Jenkins and the teacher in charge of Music Technology, Matt Grimstead. It also consists of a part-time music technician, an administrative assistant, part-time principal consultants of strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano and singing and seventeen 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.

There are large option groups at GCSE and A Level; currently (2017/18) one hundred and three pupils are studying GCSE Music in four sets per year group, twenty-one students are studying A Level Music and fourteen students are studying A Level Music Technology.  Results are excellent, with many students going on to study Music at University (including Oxbridge) or at the 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 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 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 has performed in all the major London Concert Halls and has toured in France and Italy.  It has taken part in the National Festival of Music for Youth on four occasions wheremusic2 it has been Highly Commended and has taken part in the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.  The Concert Band has also taken part in the National Festival receiving a Highly Commended. The Junior Chamber Choir, the Senior Choir, the Senior Chamber Choir and the Close Harmony Group have all achieved 1st place in their categories at the Mid-Somerset Competitive Festival held in Bath.  The Senior Chamber Choir has competed at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales on numerous occasions, most recently achieving fourth place against eighteen international choirs.

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.