Leeds East Academy



Curriculum Intent – Music  

 “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” Alphonse de Lamartine 

Powerful Knowledge

Our intent is to enable all learners to develop their confidence and communication skills whilst increasing their cultural capital and fostering a life-long appreciation for The Arts. Students will explore amazing sounds of the worlds, through the academies ‘Creativity Strand’, that they have never encountered before and go on a journey of discovery throughout all that music has to offer. The music curriculum will be under pinned by the philosophy of High Performance Learning through the embedding of the Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics and Values, Attitudes and Attributes.

Powerful knowledge in music:

  • Provides our students with a platform to explore and learn various musical instruments, and to apply them in a compositional framework using strategic planning.
  • Allows students to explore various musical styles from a wide range of cultural and geographical backgrounds.
  • Enables students to master key playing techniques whilst developing fundamental communication/ensemble skills, essential for success within both the professional sphere and the creative arts in general.
  • The students will learn to read basic and advanced staff notation appropriate to relevant styles e.g. traditional staff notation for western classical, tablature/chord charts for pop/rock.
  • Enables our students to take ownership over their creative development, both through critical self-assessment and peer support from learning mentors.
  • Literacy and key Vocabulary: Subject specific vocabulary is explicitly taught through the form of ‘Power words’, students are assessed on the spelling and definitions of these words each half term. The use of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is applied both verbally and in written tasks. 

Fundamentally, music knowledge and practice develops our students’ resilience and the rewards of hard work, as well as their socials skills when working with others.

Curriculum Features

The curriculum is designed to build the core skills necessary to succeed as a musician. These include performance, composition and listening/knowledge. Students will have to opportunity to learn piano, ukulele, guitar and percussion within lessons as well as develop their singing. This learning can be enhanced through the attendance of extra-curricular activities and receive personalised tuition. By KS4 students will specialise in an instrument of their choosing and explore music in styles of their choice, to hone and develop their skills as a composer, performer and music scholar.

Students begin their compositional journey in Year Seven by writing music to run along slide cartoons before progressing onto composing for films in Year Eight. Students also develop their improvisational skills in learning Indian music and Blues. By KS4 students study genres of their own choice, utilising masterful compositional techniques to submit as their coursework. Students will learn the basics elements of music and reading music from a stave, as well as recognising different instruments and compositional techniques. By KS4 students will use advanced musical terminology to reflect on and develop their musicianship.

By revisiting these core skills in various musical frameworks through Years 7-11, students perfect their craft and are able to access and study advanced musical disciplines over time. This enables our students to succeed in their vocational music coursework in Year 10 and 11, and equips them for their musical study beyond school.

Our curriculum equips students with the skills to access a range of careers in the music industry, and we will always signpost these within lessons, allowing students to see the clear pathway between our curriculum and the path that they wish to follow.

Cross Curricular & Wider Experiences

Through attending extra-curricular activities, students will also have the opportunity to perform in assemblies and at events within the wider community. Thus enabling students to explore and experience music’s application in the wider world. Each year the academy will host a full-scale musical theatre production, allowing students of all age groups and abilities to act, sing and dance in front of a live theatre audience. For our more technical and instrumentally talented students; roles within the lighting design arena, stage management and band are also available. In addition, twice a year the performing arts department will also host showcase events, allowing students to perform work of their own creation. They will explore a wide range of musical styles, broadening their cultural horizons and producing students with a greater understanding of the world that they belong to. This opens a variety of cross-curricular opportunities linking with:

  • Maths – Through graphic scores, rhythm and tempo awareness, note values, time keeping and harmonic values demonstrate the fact students apply logic and numeracy in music lessons.
  • Humanities – Through the study of music there are clear links to significant events in our history such as the slave trade, the World Wars and the industrial and technological revolutions. Equally, students must study music is various geographical contexts when exploring Jazz/Blues, African drumming, Indian raga and Chinese/Eastern music. Music is fundamental to the history and culture of these locations.
  • MFL – As well as the use of Italian vocabulary in musical notation, music in itself is a global language that all cultures use to communicate with one another.
  • Literacy – Students will broaden their musical vocabulary and use these within their writing around a range of different genres of music. They will be able to write critically about the music that they encounter within the curriculum.

Students will utilise these skills with each other in lessons, developing their social confidence and interactions, for use both in musical and non-musical contexts within the wider world.

For further information regarding the music offer at Leeds East Academy, please contact Ms Rawson-Beanland - rawson-beanland.c@whiteroseacademies.org 

Curriculum Journey - Key Stage 3

Music Curriculum Learning Journey - Key Stage 3

Curriculum Journey - Key Stage 4

Music Curriculum Learning Journey - Key Stage 4