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Mr R Dennis
Teacher of Music


Contacting the department

If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Performing Arts department by leaving a message with Reception or by emailing our enquiry address.

We aim to respond to phone calls and emails as quickly as possible, and certainly within 48 hours. Please bear in mind that members of staff may have a day of teaching and may not be able to respond to non-urgent matters until the end of the Academy day or the following Academy day.

By telephone:      0121-464 2737 (main school switchboard)
By email:    

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Why study Music?

The Music Department at Harborne Academy is exciting and vibrant aspect of school life that has a priority to give every student the opportunity to experience music in a way that gives them the skills to flourish in their musical endeavours.

We offer a wide range of musical activities for every student that caters for all ability levels, musical backgrounds, and interests. In addition to classroom music, there are numerous extra-curricular ensembles; Choir, Garageband Sessions, Ukulele. Our music department works in collaboration with the Services for Education Music Service and offers a range of instrumental lessons including drums, dhol, piano and guitar.

Students have numerous opportunities throughout the year to perform in school, but also in the local and wider community, with previous trips  including performances at the local nursing homes and a Christmas performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

KS3 Music

Our music curriculum at Harborne Academy aims to engage and inspire students to develop a love of music. Developing a range of skills from transferable skills including creativity and team work to music specific skills in line with the national curriculum such as performance, compositional and appraisal-based skills. Learners will have the opportunity to develop all of these skills through the use of our school’s range instruments (including keyboards, percussion, guitars, ukuleles and more)  and  iMac suite with music software at an industry standard for them to use.

Year 7 – Students study topics that allow them to develop performance and compositional skills. The contexts of their units of work will differ between units that are focused on a specific instrument such as Keyboard Skills, Vocal Skills and Ukulele Skills or a specific genre of music such as Reggae. Students will also be introduced to musical elements which not only gives them the vocabulary that helps them evaluate and appraise music, it can also be used to develop their own performances and compositions for this year.

Year 8 – Students will build upon their knowledge from year 7 in order to compose and perform more complex pieces with improved accuracy, fluency, and expression. Some areas of study will have vary in cultural contexts like the origins like Blues Music and the influence of Minimalism in modern music. Students develop their knowledge of the elements of music in order to evaluate their own musical works.

Year 9 – Students will be expected to take a more autonomous approach in their last year of KS3. Much importance is placed upon the students’ creativity in which they will be expected to generate musical ideas using a wider range of musical equipment. Also, exploring texts in much more depth will allow students a deeper insight into contextual information. Students will start to prepare for GCSE exam style questioning through appraisals of music in Dance Music, assessed performances in Music for the Stage and Screen and coursework style compositional tasks in Video Game Music.

KS4 Music

Students continue their musical studies through one of two pathways; Performancea GCSE qualification provided with OCR or a Level 2 qualification for music practitioners provided by Rockschool. Both sets of students will be expected to perform as part of their qualification with OCR students being graded on the performance itself, while RSL students will plan, produce, and evaluate a live performance of their own creation. Compositions will continue to be developed for OCR as their compositional brief will be handed out to them at the start of this year. RSL students will compose on the same software as OCR but through an approach that highlights the uses and functions of a Digital Audio Workstation. Appraisal & Listening skills will be demonstrated by RSL students through an analysis and comparison of two separate genres in popular music, whilst OCR students will study topic areas such as “Rhythms of The World”, “Conventions of Pop Music”, “Concerto Through Time” and “Film Music”.

Learning Journey

Useful Resources

Reading List

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