Head of Music - Mr R Jones

Lower School

Outline of Subject

Here in Thornden Music Department we believe that Music is a subject that is accessible, enjoyable and educational for all. Students are taught to understand Music through the activities of performing, composing and listening. Students study a wide range of musical styles and genres from both popular and classical traditions from around the world.

Skill Development

We teach skills in Performing and Composing. Students work individually, in pairs and in larger groups and there are opportunities for students to involve their own instruments. They learn to perform existing music and then compose their own music in a similar style. They listen to recorded examples of related pieces and aurally scrutinise / answer questions on what they hear. Electronic keyboards are widely (though not exclusively) used in our teaching. Students are taught to read music notation and how to use the computer program Mixcraft for recording and editing their composition work. Many students take additional instrumental lessons beyond the classroom, and we encourage these students to use their more advanced skills in class.

Assessment Styles

At the end of each Topic, usually at the end of each half term the teacher will listen to the students work and give an assessment level. The levels are taken from our Music department assessment criteria that we have developed as part of Thornden’s assessment policy. We give students targets for progress, telling them how they can improve and develop their skills as well as move their learning and understanding forward; which they can then apply to future topics. 

Additional Information

All music lessons take place in specialist classrooms equipped with keyboards, percussion instruments and computers linked to MIDI keyboards. The department runs many extra-curricular activities on a weekly basis that are suitable for all abilities of students.  There is also an extensive programme of vocal and instrumental tuition. Details are available from the department on request and are published in the Music area of the school website.

Home Learning Timetables

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Upper School

Exam Board: Eduqas (WJEC)

Outline of Subject

GCSE Music aims to develop the core elements of performing, composing, listening and appraising in a practical and fully integrated manner. In doing so students develop many skills which are essential for the workplace and Further Education whether in a music related environment or not. If you do not continue with music at college etc… this qualification still shows that you have a wide range of practical and creative skills.

Course Content

Skill Development

You will develop and improve your composing skills by composing pieces of music in different styles. You will learn how to use music technology to aid composing. For homework you will be continually practise your instrument to improve your technique. Composition coursework and performance coursework can be in any style/ genre you wish, that suits your skills and interests. The course focuses on practical music making (composing and performing) as much as possible. You will gain confidence as a performer and composer as the course progresses through listening to and learning about different styles of music.


Performing and Composing coursework is worth 60% of your final mark. There is only one written exam; a 1 ¼ hour listening exam at the end of year 11 which is worth 40%.


Component 1: Performing - Coursework 30% (One solo and one ensemble recording)

Component 2: Composing - Coursework 30% (Two compositions)

Component 3: Examination - 40% (1 ¼ hr listening exam)

Additional Information

 This course is suitable for instrumentalists and vocalists who already have music lessons in or out of school and are at least grade 2-3 standard.  Being able to read music notation to a basic level would be an advantage. This is a flexible course in terms of musical style/genre and we allow as much free choice as possible and students can choose their own performance pieces (component 1) as well as their own chosen style to compose in (component 2).

Extra-Curricular Music

Timetables for Instrumental and Vocal lessons

We are currently able to offer lessons on all orchestral instruments plus vocal, piano, keyboard, guitar and percussion. There is a strong demand for lessons particularly vocal, guitar, piano/keyboard and drum kit. We do our best to fulfil requests, but it is often not possible to fit in everyone who would like lessons. We do operate a waiting list system.

If you have any questions or enquires about School Music Lessons please email Mrs Laird (Performing Arts Administrator) e.laird@thornden.hants.sch.uk 

Music Extra-Curricular Activities 2019-2020


Concert Dates for 2019-2020

Sadly due to Thornden Hall still being closed and out of action we have slightly fewer concert dates for this academic year. 


Christmas Concert (Sports Hall) Tuesday 17th December 7pm


Wind Band Concert (also featuring; Jazz Band, Sax Mad & Percussion Ensemble) (Gym) Wednesday 11th March 7pm


Summer Concert (Sports Hall) Wednesday 6th May 7pm


Rising Starts concert Yr 7 - 9 (Gym) Tuesday 16th June 7pm 

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