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Coombes Girls School


The Music Department at Coombe Girls’ School is young, exciting and vibrant with the main aim to give every student the opportunity to flourish in their musical endeavours.

We offer a wide range of musical activities for every student which caters for all ability levels, musical background and interest. As well as classroom music there are numerous extra-curricular ensembles: year 7 wind band, federated orchestra, junior singers, string orchestra, main choir, ukulele band, KCW federation choir and the Coombe consort which all perform to a high standard throughout the academic year.

Students have numerous opportunities throughout the year to perform at school and to the local and wider community which include Carols by Candlelight, House Music Competition, Lower & Upper School concerts, Summer Concert and the annual music tour. In July 2017 42 students and 5 member of staff are going on tour to Lake Garda.

The Music Department also collaborate with the Drama Department and put on whole school musicals.  Bugsy Malone was an outstanding success and took place in February 2017. 

what to expect in year 7 

Students develop skill, knowledge and understanding to be musician, through a series of practical units and keyboard topics. Whatever musical experience a student has had at primary school, we aim to build on this with an intensely practical course that includes singing, playing instruments such as keyboards, ukuleles, and guitars, composing, improvising and arranging music.

A firm understanding of the standard conventions of staff notation underpins all of the practical work undertaken.

Listen to the work Year 7 students have been composing

what to expect in year 8 

In Year 8 students further develop their skills at performing, arranging, composing and listening. Students study a diverse range of units which include Electronic Dance Music, African Drumming, Space Flight and Samba music to name a few. Students level of theoretical knowledge is developed throughout the year through both the practical and keyboard based topics.

Listen to the work Year 8 students have been composing

what to expect in year 9 

Students in year 9 will combine their musical skills learnt in Years 7&8 in their final year of compulsory music education. At this point in their education students will have developed their confidence in performing, composing, listening and appraising and will start to make their GCSE options choices. Their musical theoretical knowledge is further developed with more practical and keyboard based topic which is all based on staff notation. Student study units based on genres of music such as Minimalism, arranging Rather Be by Clean Bandit in a Reggae style and also a Ground Bass remix which is based on Canon in D.

Listen to the work Year 9 students have been composing

why choose music for GCSE? 

What does studying MUSIC involve? 

GCSE Music is a very varied and exiting option to take. There are a wide range of activities tied up with the subject, including performing, composing and learning about different styles of music, why they are distinctive and how they are ‘put together’.

60% of the overall qualification comes from coursework, and over the course of Year 10 and 11, Students are encouraged to explore music from many different times and places.

Music lessons at GCSE are very different from the lessons in Lower School. The groups are usually smaller than KS3 classes, and the learning environment is much more informal. Students learn a lot by studying the music of others (and their own work) and discussing it within the group. This enables them to see what can be effective in musical composition, and also, what doesn’t work. We endeavour to perform music regularly either as a group or as individuals.

How will I know if I will be good at it? 

I can’t read music. Can I do GCSE?

Yes! You can access much of GCSE music even if you can’t read musical notation.

Do I have to be able to play an instrument?

If you don’t already play an instrument, we have teachers coming in to school who can teach you a variety of instruments, or voice.

Do I have to write long essays?

Not very often. The listening exam generally asks you for information in short answers or bullet points. There is one extended writing question, but this is quite straightforward as it always follows a similar pattern.

What skills will I develop? 

  • confidence
  • self-discipline
  • teamwork
  • social skills
  • time-management
  • organisation
  • capacity for independent study

The broad skills base acquired by musicians is also highly favoured by employers outside of specifically ‘musical’ disciplines.

Where could this subject lead? 

Possible courses at university or

music college

Possible careers


Music Composition

Music Performance

Popular Music Performance

Jazz Performance

Music Performance and Production

Music Technology

Music Technology and Astrophysics

Music Performance and Physics

Music Performance Management

Sound Technology and Digital Music

Sound Engineering

Sound Production

Multimedia Design and Music Production

Musical Theatre

Music Education

Music and English

Music and Languages

Music Business

Music Journalism

Music Management





Teacher (classroom)

Teacher (instrumental)

Music Promotion

Music Production

Music Publishing




Music Therapy

Orchestral Administration

Theatre Production

Music Journalist

Sound Production

Music Management

Music retail





Lake Garda, Italy Music Tour 2017