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We have a thriving Key Stage 5 Music department offering Music IB at both Standard & Higher levels. Class sizes range from 5–10 on average.

We have 3 music ICT suites with excellent facilities: powerful computers running Sibelius, Cubase, Musition & Auralia, as well as a dedicated ICT suite and recording room for Sixth Form use only.

Music is a valuable and challenging subject to study, the value of which is recognised by highly academic universities. It develops a range of valuable cross-curricular skills, including in-depth analysis, creativity, dedication, collaboration to name but a few! Music works well in combination with many different subjects — it works well as a creative option amongst Sciences/Maths, but also fits very well with artistic subjects (English / History / languages etc). You can take two arts subjects from Group 6 if you choose ‘Environmental Systems & Societies’.

The course is suited to students who have studied Music GCSE, and achieved a 6 or higher. It is expected that students will be about Grade 4+ in performance at the beginning of the course, and will have some ability to read music. Music technology will be used for composition purposes, primarily using Sibelius and Cubase.

Students who have not taken GCSE music, but have passed Grade 4+ on their instrument, and have also passed, or are currently studying for Grade 5 Music Theory / Musicianship / Jazz grades, will be eligible to take Standard Music as part of their IB diploma, and may also be considered for Higher Music on an individual basis. Please contact the Head of Music to discuss this further.

The IB Music course started with a new syllabus in 2020. There will be a clear emphasis on students to portray three key roles as researcher, performer and creator. In addition, students will experience music from a personal, local and global context across four key themes: 

  1. Music for sociocultural and political expression
  2. Music for listening and performance
  3. Music for dramatic impact, movement and entertainment
  4. Music technology in the electronic and digital age

For this course, there is no exam, but you are required to complete 3 to 4 portfolios on the following themes:

Exploring music in context (30% SL / 20% HL)

 Students must submit a portfolio of 2400 words, covering:

  • Written work demonstrating engagement with, and understanding of, diverse musical material from at least two areas of music
  • One composition
  • An arrangement of a piece for your instrument taken from another style, tradition or genre.

Experimenting with music (30% SL / 20% HL)

Students must submit a report containing a rationale and commentary for creating and performing. Students cover:

  • 3 compositions
  • 3 performances

Presenting music (40% SL / 30% HL) Students submit a collection of the following:

  • Programme notes for a recital or collection of performances (600 words)
  • One composition
  • Performances

The Contemporary Music-Maker (HL ONLY - 30%): Students submit a continuous multimedia presentation documenting a real-life project based on music.