Curriculum Leader: Mr A Goldsmith

We provide opportunities for all students to learn, develop and combine skills in performance and composition through both curricular lessons and extra-curricular opportunities.

Students are encouraged in lessons to listen widely and experiment creatively with musical ideas, performing to a high standard in every lesson. Each 10 week topic at Key Stage 3 culminates in an official assessment.

The Music Department is proud to support and extend the emerging skills and talents of our students through a broad extra-curricular programme and provision of peripatetic instrumental lessons. The Department fosters a sense of community cohesion through school concerts, extra-curricular activities and events with the wider community. The Department is also the proud home of the Fulford Music Academy which provides after hours music tuition for the entire York community.

The KS3 Music Curriculum at Fulford School

Every year group studies 2 different topics on the Department’s state of the art JamPod equipment. Students are taught to use this technology to work on ensemble projects where every student is able to learn and develop skills on electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, keyboard and vocals…all in a relevant rock band setting! Students are also introduced to the technical skills needed to manipulate and record their work.

Year 7

In addition to the JamPod topics, Year 7 also complete a notated composition topic based on Carnival of the Animals. They work on writing rhythm and pitch notation whilst developing their keyboard skills. Students also work on an African Drumming topic, working in groups to create polyrhythmic pieces centred around the skills of pulse, metre, improvisation and structure.

Year 8

The additional topics in Year 8 begin with Japanese Taiko Drumming which introduces them to fundamental musical concepts through focus, movement and sound. Students are also introduced to Samba and work in small groups to create authentic rhythmical textures using set rhythms and interlocking patterns of their own invention!

Year 9

Year 9 complement their JamPod topics with the study of Motifs. This project allows the students to experiment with melodic transformations and create a selection of scoring ideas that showcase clear development.  Year 9 students also delve deeper into the art of Taiko, creating dramatic pieces of powerful, tightly choreographed percussion work!

GCSE Music


To develop 3 areas of musical skills and knowledge.

  • Composing
  • Performing
  • Listening with understanding

Type of Work

Composition can be for all types of instruments (including drums, keyboards, guitar, etc.) and voices. You will learn how to create a musical score and recording using Sibelius software. The ‘JamPods’ will also be used to generate and record live composition ideas in lessons, as well as during composition workshops held during a weekly lunchtime slot.

Performance: you will perform two pieces on instrument or voice. Once again, any instrument may be used, including the guitar, keyboard or drums. You should aim for a standard of Grade 4 or 5 (Associated Board/Trinity Guildhall/Rock School) where possible.

Preparation for the Listening paper will involve learning about, and responding to, a wide variety of styles of music. There are 12 set pieces, ranging from classical to popular and world music and organised into 4 Areas of Study.


  1. Composition: 2 pieces, each approximately 2 minutes in length.
  2. Performance: One solo piece and one ensemble performance.
  3. Listening: Based around 4 Areas of Study.


  1. Written Paper (Listening) 40%
  2. Composition 30%
  3. Performance 30%


AS Level Music is made up from three separate units:

Performing Music (30%), Composing (30%) and Developing Musical Understanding (40%).


This unit will help you to develop your performing skills by providing opportunities to perform as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. You can perform music in any style, using any instruments (including voice). You will need to perform for 5-6 minutes and this work will be recorded and assessed by your teacher in school. The music you perform can be notated or improvised.


The composition unit allows you to explore your creative music skills! You will be given a selection of composition briefs to choose from and will be encouraged to work creatively using the department’s new JamPod equipment in order to create your final 3 minute piece. You will write an accompanying CD sleeve describing aspects of the music that you have written, explaining how other pieces of music have influenced it.


This unit will help you to understand how music works by building your listening skills. You will explore set pieces of music through listening to them and analysing their notated scores. This unit is the only part of the AS level which is assessed through a CD based listening exam. The exam has 3 distinct sections:

Section A) Listening

Section B) Investigating Musical Styles

Section C)  Understanding Chords and Lines



A2 Level Music is, once again, made up from three separate units:

Extended Performance (30%), Composing (30%) and Further Musical Understanding (40%).


This unit gives students with opportunities to extend their performance skills as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted. This work will be recorded and assessed by your teacher in school.


The composition section further develops students’ composition skills, leading to the creation of a final three minute piece in response to a chosen brief. There are four composition briefs from which students will select two as the basis for each three-minute composition. This work is completed under controlled conditions and is externally assessed. Students use the school’s Sibelius Suite in order to complete this work and additional tutorials and workshops at lunchtimes are offered.


This unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works. Set works from the anthology provide the focus for much of the unit and students are able to take the anthology into the exam in order to complete the written tasks. The exam is divided into three distinct sections:

Section A) Aural analysis

Section B) Music in context

Section C)  Continuity and change in instrumental music

Fulford Music Department Lunchtime Activities






Concert Band
All year groups – Beginners +

(Mr Hunt)

Year 12 Set Works
All Yr 12 A-Level

(Mr Goldsmith)


Jazz Orchestra
All Yr groups – Grade 3+

(Mr Goldsmith / Mr Hunt)


String Group
All string players – All year groups

(Miss Laverick)

Year 13 Set Works
All Yr 13 A-Level(Mr Hunt)
Yr 10 Composition Workshop
Year 10 GCSE Students(Mr Goldsmith)


All Yr Groups – Grade 4+(Mr Hunt / Mr Goldsmith)

Theory Class
Ask Music Staff for details

(Dr Pearson)

AS/A2 Composition Workshop
Sixth Form Students(Mr Goldsmith / Mr Hunt)


All Yr Groups(Mr Goldsmith)

Booked by Students

(Student Leaders)

Yr 11 Composition Workshop
Year 11 GCSE Students(Mr Hunt)

The Music Department is open to all students of the school who want to make music!

Sixth Form Students may also sign up for the role of Music Technician, fitting this into free periods where possible. This role involves maintenance and upkeep of guitars, drums, amps, guitar leads and rehearsal facilities. Training can be given!

Call down and speak to the Music Department staff if you are interested in any of our activities.