Music is a hugely important part of both life in general and the well-rounded education that John Lyon offers.

We have a large uptake for the subject in Year 9 and at GCSE, and offer about 20 extra-curricular clubs and ensembles. We also have about 15 staff, including many Visiting Music Teachers with whom you can learn all of the major instruments.

Year 7 and Year 8 | core subject

In the first two years, pupils study a broad curriculum including Folk Music, Medieval Music, World Music, Blues and Jazz Improvisation – as well as many aspects of classical music, in addition to music theory and notation. There are almost weekly opportunities to perform as part of these lessons.

Year 9 | option subject

By the third year Music becomes an option subject, giving pupils a further year of studying Music before making a decision about GCSE choices. In this year pupils broaden their knowledge further through study of Pop Music and Film Music, whilst also part-studying at least two GCSE set works to give them a flavour of the subject in Years 10 and 11.

Year 10 and 11, GCSE | option subject

GCSE Music develops skills in performing, composing, listening to and analysing music. It covers the study of a wide variety of musical styles including classical music, world music and popular music.

Pupils will learn to use technology in both the arranging and composition of music alongside editing recorded music. GCSE Music is a good preparation for further musical study and a solid foundation for the A-Levels in Music and Music Technology. Many pupils may study GCSE Music purely out of enjoyment for the subject.

– Pupils must be able to sing or play an instrument to the minimum level of Grade 3 or equivalent and have confidence in reading staff notation. Throughout the GCSE course, pupils must commit to one-to-one music lessons in at least one study, with the aim of reaching Grade 5 by the end of the course. Grade 5 Theory is not a prerequisite. However, pupils who have not studied theory up to this level will be required to attend the weekly theory class, which will aid skills in analysis and composing.

– Edexcel GCSE 1MU0 Music

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

This course offers the opportunity to develop musical skills and understanding. Through performing, composing and analysing music, knowledge and appreciation of the subject will deepen. We will study instrumental music (Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven); popular song (blues, jazz, swing and big band); instrumental jazz from 1910 to the present day; religious music of the Baroque period; programme music (1820-1910); and innovations in music from 1900 to the present day.

– It is useful to have taken (I)GCSE Music in order to progress satisfactorily to A-Level Music. Students considering taking Music should also be instrumentalists or singers of a reasonable standard (grade 6 minimum).

– OCR A-Level H543B Music

John Lyon Success

– 100% of A-Level Music students achieved A*-B grades.
– Eugene Rahbari (2019) left John Lyon to read Music at Durham University.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon pupils and students have many opportunities to practise their music outside the classroom and extra-curricular clubs and activities are popular among all pupils, whether they study Music academically or not. Useful activities include Brass Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, Guitar Ensemble, Flute Choir, Jazz Band, Motet Choir, Music Theory Club, Percussion Ensemble, R&B Group, Rock Jam Sessions, String Ensemble, The Pride of Lyon’s and Advanced Music Theory.

Beyond School

Students who choose Music are usually serious about their music-making, as either performers or composers. The A-Level course complements a variety of other academic subjects and gives further insight into the history and development of a number of genres, alongside promoting good listening, analytical and creative skills to an advanced level. University and conservatoire music courses are available for those who wish to study the subject as a gateway into professional music as a performer, composer, teacher, arranger or musicologist.

Pupils may wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of music or where they will need to use some of the skills developed during this course. These might include careers in the music industry, publishing, entertainment and teaching or any job that involves communication and expressive skills.