Strategic Lead of Performance: Mr M Osborne |

Mission Statement

Music is a universal language which gives pupils the opportunity to express themselves and be creative through a variety of musical genres.

Music teaches pupils to work collaboratively, develop confidence and high self-esteem.  It encourages pupils to be sympathetic, sensitive and compassionate, whilst encouraging a love of music, engaging with music and appreciating music from a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.

Music forms a foundation for a fulfilling and interesting life. For some it is the beginning of a specialised career and for others it enriches their life as a leisure activity and promotes personal well-being.

All pupils have one lesson of Music each week and lasts approximately 55 minutes.

Lessons are entirely practical and involve developing the FOUR main areas of study, which are Performing, Composing, Listening and Evaluating.

Pupils are encouraged to understand the nature of music, communicate through creative music making and evaluate their learning to inform good practise.

Lessons focus on listening, singing, presenting class and group performances, creating music in groups (or using music technology), watching and listening to their own work and the work of others, by making observations about the different parts of their work. They suggest successes and suitable targets of improvement for future situations and development.

Pupils receive instrumental and vocal lessons through Musica Kirklees.  Pupils are offered free taster lessons on various instruments and voice at various times during the school year.

Music staff and Instrument Lessons

We have one full time music class teacher, Miss S Kaye and 9 peripatetic staff from Musica Kirklees who offer lessons on the following:

Tutor Instrument
Mrs L Pearson Piano and Keyboard
Mrs R O’Sullivan Woodwind
Mr A Kingham Brass
Mr J Hodgson Drum Kit and Percussion
Mr M Crone Electric and Bass Guitar
Miss H Roulson Classical Guitar
Miss K Chappell Upper Strings
Mrs J Worboys-Hodgson Lower Strings
Miss E Cully Voice

Over 80 students have weekly lessons from Musica Kirklees and many more have private lessons.

An application form for pupils wishing to ‘learn to play’ can be acquired via the School Office, Music Teacher, or to download from the Musica website at

How is the Department Resourced?

A specialist music classroom equipped with

  • Many Keyboards, 2 pianos, 1 Electric piano
  • Electronic and acoustic drum kits
  • Electric, acoustic and Bass Guitars
  • A set of ukuleles
  • A class set of African djembe drums
  • Lots of classroom percussion instruments (xylophones, glockenspiels, various drums, hand held percussion instruments etc.)

There are 5 well equipped music practice rooms with additional space in the main teaching room that are used as rehearsal spaces during lessons and used to teach instrumental and vocal tuition by Muscia staff to individuals or small groups.

Curriculum Overview

Year 6

Five units are taught, each lasting approximately 7 weeks.

Autumn Term

What is Music?
Know and understand some key element words. Develop singing technique. To be able to read a ukulele chord diagram and play C, F and A chords and strum simple patterns as part of a group performance. To recognise four note durations: Semibreve, Minim, Crotchet, Quaver.

Keyboard Kick-Off
Understand the layout of the Piano/Keyboard. Use a 5- finger technique when playing ‘Ode to Joy’ and Jingle Bells’ melodies and combine with chords. Develop reading of staff notation and play chords with good technique. Rehearse and perform with confidence.

Spring Term

I Got Rhythm
Read more complex rhythms, including semiquaver patterns. Explore body percussion and to develop performance technique on the Djembe drum including slap tone and bass. To create a structured group drumming composition and perform it confidently.

Composing for Film
To learn basic features of music sequencing software including searching for, selecting and arranging loops. To add automation to a music technology project. To create an effective soundtrack to a film trailer which includes leitmotif and other film music features.

Summer Term

Mash It Up
Further develop chord playing technique on both the ukulele and keyboard including learning more challenging chords. Performing a variety of 4 chord songs. As a group, create a mash-up of 4-chord songs and perform. Identifying major and minor tonalities.

Year 7

Five units are taught, each lasting approximately 7 weeks.

Autumn Term

Performing a Marching Song
Performing a Marching Song on the Keyboard. Review keyboard geography, 5 finger technique notation, chords and transposition. Identifying features and sounds when listening.

Pupils learn about the history and origins of the Blues. Pupils perform a 12-bar blues on the Keyboard showing key features of the style, blue notes, walking bass pattern and improvisation when composing. Structure of a Blues song.

Spring Term

African Music
Vocal and instrumental performances demonstrating the key features of the Music. Create a group composition within a given structure which includes some of the music’s key features.

Rock Band 1
Pupils form a band and perform a set song using Rock band instruments. Learn basic skills on electric guitar, bass guitar drums and perform Wild Thing.

Summer Term

Latin American Music - Samba
Recognising features of the Music; history and origins and instruments used. Reading more complex rhythms, some which include syncopation. Both vocal and instrumental Samba performances.

Year 8

Four units are taught each lasting approximately 7 weeks with the exception of Rock Band 2 which is 12 weeks.

Autumn Term

The Percussion Party
Pupils develop and practise performance and leadership skills. Review note names, signs and symbols and key words. Score reading and analysis. Reading from notation with some patterns including syncopation.

Rock Band 2
Pupils perform their own choice song developing skills from Part 1. To develop performance technique on electric guitar, bass guitar and drums and to rehearse more complex band performances. To develop understanding of the history of popular music. To explore careers related to being a professional pop musician. Exploring how to read guitar tab notation.

Spring Term

Advanced Piano
Revisiting and developing piano technique, including reading from notation, hand position, more complex rhythm reading. The pieces performed will draw on a range of previously studies styles, giving a chance to revisit key knowledge from previous units.

Summer Term

Composing with Mixcraft
Introduction to music technology, including manipulating sounds, recording using MIDI keyboards, adding automation, navigating the software interface.Composing for a set brief.

Enrichment Opportunities

Enrichment opportunities are offered for ALL pupils and are led by some of our visiting peripatetic staff from Muisca.

Autumn Term

Monday – Pop Choir (Head of Music – Miss Kaye)

Tuesday – String Group (Miss K Chappel)

Wednesday – African Drumming (Mr J Hodgson)

Thursday – Windband (Mr A Kingham)

Spring Term

Rock Guitar Club – Mr M Crone

Summer Term

Ukelele Club (Miss H Roulson)

Practise facilities are in use most days with pupils using them to develop skills, prepare for both instrumental and vocal exams and/or to form a Band.

Performance opportunities are given and pupils are encouraged to take part in events in school and in the community.  One of our first opportunities is our Showcase Evening in the Autumn Term.

Each year pupils perform at Kirkburton church where we hold our Carol Service.

Every Christmas Musica Kirklees’ Staff Orchestra and/or Staff Rock Band are invited to come and entertain pupils. These concerts are great fun and informative, with the ensembles playing diverse repertoire and introducing the different musical instruments together with giving our pupils access to high-quality live music.

Each term holds a Positive Awards Assembly where pupils are given the opportunity to perform.

Musical success of individual pupils and groups is celebrated regularly on our school website.


In June 2013 the school were very proud to present a production of Oliver which was one of its first scale productions in recent times. Many pupils from across the school worked for several months to put together a fantastic show.  In June 2017 saw the production of Guys and Dolls which again involved many pupils and was a great success.

MUSIC MARK – School Member

For a 2nd year, Kirkburton are extremely proud recipients of the ABRSM Music Mark Award 2019-2020.  This is awarded in recognition of a commitment to providing high quality music education for all children and young people (The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark – supported by ABRSM)

Links with the community

In the past musical groups have entertained the older generation of the community, at an ‘Old Folks Treat’ at the Junction Pub and Fox Glove, with some festive favourites and opportunity for audience participation.

‘We will remember them’

For several years now, local schools have been represented at the Cenotaph in Kirkburton, for a service of remembrance.  Children from Kirkburton and schools in the surrounding area respectfully present wreaths, read poems together with the Last Post and Reveille being played by the music teacher at the middle school.

At the centenary (2018) a group of pupils with their music teacher made a moving contribution in the school’s remembrance assembly sounding the Last Post and Reveille to mark the 2 minutes silence.

What career…?

The music industry is part of the creative and cultural industries, represented by the Creative and Cultural Skills Sector Skills Council, which also includes craft; cultural heritage; literature; design; performing arts; and visual arts. The creative and cultural industries currently employ over half a million people.

The music industry includes trade associations, businesses and employers in recording/labels companies; music publishers; musical instruments; audio production and retail; live events and promotion; specialist music retailers; not‐for‐profit music organisation; as well as music education and training providers.

Key facts:

There are over 100,000 people working in the music industry within the wider creative and cultural sector, of which:

  • 50,780 work in live performance
  • 21,930 in production, retail and distribution of musical instrument /audio equipment
  • 15,130 in retail and distribution of recordings
  • 10,190 in recording
  • 2,890 in composition of musical works and music publishing
  • 1,300 in promotion, management and agency related activities

The music industry contributes £4.2 billion to the UK economy.

Jobs in the industry include: agent, artistic director, classical musician, composer, DJ, lighting technician, songwriter, manager, music and audio manufacturer, music conductor, music teacher, performer, publicity and promotions, singer, sound engineer.

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