Team Leader / Main Teacher: Mr Anthony Chamberlain

Welcome to Dartmouth Academy’s Music Department. Practical music making is a very important part of life at Dartmouth. Through the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities we actively encourage youngsters to have fun through performance and composition activities. Concerts are regularly put on both at the Academy and in the wider community and often include over 100 students taking part. The reputation of the Steel Band is known county wide.


The department boasts a wide range of differing musical clubs which include:

  • Choir
  • Jazz Band
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Samba Band
  • Bell Ringing
  • Steel Bands

Instrumental tuition is available on all instruments including voice and we have a good success rate in practical exams, particularly in Musical Theatre. These lessons are provided by professional peripatetic staff and take place during the school timetable. Lessons are on a rota basis so as not to disrupt other learning and work very effectively.

In 2009 the Music Department collaborated with the Drama department to write our own musical ‘Other World’ which received high praise from writer, and director at Plymouth ‘Theatre’ Royal, Nick Stimson.

At present all students in KS3 follow a music curriculum which involves singing and practical music making.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • Rhythm and Beat
  • Keyboard skills
  • Folk music of the British Isles
  • African music
  • The Blues

AQA GCSE Music 4272

  • GCSE music is likely to be chosen by students who are learning an instrument or who enjoy singing and are already in an extra curricular music club either in or outside of the Academy.
  • The new GCSE syllabus focus is on the elements of music which have been grouped into 5 areas of study as follows: Rhythm and Metre; Harmony and Tonality; Texture and Melody; Timbre and Dynamics; Structure and Form
  • These are to be studied through the 3 strands of; Western Orchestral Music, Popular Music, and World Music.


There are 4 controlled assessed units which are set out below.


Unit 1: ‘Listening to and Appraising Music’

One hour written paper

20% of overall mark

Unit 2: ‘Composing and Appraising Music’

An externally assessed composition followed by a written appraisal which has equal marks to the composition. This task is set by the exam board.

10% + 10% = 20% of overall mark

Unit 3: ‘Performing Music’

One solo performance and one group performance.

20% + 20% = 40% of overall mark

Unit 4: ‘Composing Music’

A composition of your own choice within the written guidelines.

20% fo overall mark


As you can see although the highest percentage of marks now lies with Performance, much of your time in the classroom will be spent on composition. Once the compositions are completed they need to be performed, recorded and notated before being sent off to the examination board.

  • The Academy also uses software including; ‘GCSE Music’, ‘ACE’ and ‘Musition’.
  • If you are considering taking Music in Further Education either as ‘A’ level
    Music; ‘A’ level Music technology; or a BTEC course you may wish to purchase a Music Dictionary.
  • To access these courses your practical ability needs to be approximately at the level of Grade 6 with Grade 5 theory.


Useful Links