"Music is what feelings sound like…"


Key Concepts of Music

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of music. You need to understand these concepts so that you can improve your level of musical knowledge, skill and understanding.


1. Practice

Developing your knowledge, skills and understanding through the integration of performing, composing and listening activities. Participating, collaborating and working with others as musicians, adapting to different musical roles and respecting the values and benefits that others can bring to musical learning.


2. Cultural understanding

Understanding musical traditions and the part that music plays in national and global culture and in personal identity. Exploring how ideas, experiences and emotions are conveyed in a range of music from different times and cultures.


3. Critical understanding

Engaging with and analysing music, developing views and justifying opinions.

Drawing on experience of a wide range of musical contexts and styles to inform judgements.


Subject content

Key Stage 3

You will build on your previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. You will develop your vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness; and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. You should listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform your practice as musicians. You will use technologies appropriately and appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.


You will be taught to:

·        Play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using your voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression

·        Improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions

·        Use staff and other relevant notations appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions

·        Identify and use the inter-related dimensions of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices

·        Listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians

·        Develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history

Key Stage 4

The specification of AQA GCSE Music has been designed to encourage candidates to draw on their experiences at KS3 and recognise the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing and realising, composing and appraising.

The specification will provide candidates with the knowledge and experience required for all forms of further and higher education beyond GCSE. it will give them understanding and encourage appreciation of all music genres in all contexts.

The specification offers:

  • A greater weighting given to performing. Most candidates choose music because they want to perform; the course will reward and recognise ability and enthusiasm

  • There is opportunity to perform individually and in groups of any size

  • There is a choice of music technology and/or acoustic performing and composing

The course provides:
  • More flexiblity for students by offering choices that enable them to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in a way that suits them best
  • A solid foundation for AS and A level as well as preparation for a music-related career

  • More straightforward assessment for candidates

GCSE Music

GCSE Music helps students to develop subject knowledge, understanding and skills, through listening to a variety of music, playing music and creating their own music.

The specification places a strong weighting on practical aspects of music (70 per cent), with choices catering for a wide range of interests and abilities. This four-unit GCSE assesses students' skills in listening and appraising, composing and performing.

GCSE Music offers a solid foundation for progression to other music studies, including A-Level Music, and often to music-related career. Our course provides the opportunity for students to develop valuable transferable skills such as self confidence, concentration, creativity, evaluation and team work.

UNIT 1: Listening to and Appraising Music Written paper - 1 hour - 80 marks - 20%

UNIT 2: Composing and Appraising Music Externally assessed - 40 marks - 20%

UNIT 3: Performing Music Controlled Assessment - 60 Marks - 40%

UNIT 4: Composing Music Controlled Assessment - 30 - 20%

Areas of Study 

The five Areas of Study for all the units in this specification are:

AoS1 Rhythm & Metre
AoS2 Harmony & Tonality
AoS3 Texture & Melody
AoS4 Timbre & Dynamics
AoS5 Structure & Form

These will be explored through three Strands of Learning:
a) The Western Classical Tradition
b) Popular Music of the 20th & 21st Centuries
c) World Music

Music GCSE could be for you if:
1. You play a musical instrument
2. You enjoy singing
3. If you have an interest in music technology
4. If you have been a part of any extra curricular music activity including productions     or concerts

This is a very flexible curriculum that provides you with a range of options to realise music and get a GCSE result.

Summer Concert 2014

STARS  2014

After more than sixty acts auditioned for Stars 2014, the twenty four winning groups performed over two nights in front of  packed audiences on Monday 30th June and Tuesday 1st July.

From across the school, these fabulous performances covered a range of modern popular songs, proving once again that singing talent and performance is alive and well at the Cooper School.

The judging panel on Monday consisted of Poppy Copper, Chloe Coleman and Alex Jacques. All agreed on the winners of the year 7-9 year Stars competition as Megan Beard and Laney Smith singing 'Kiss it all Better'! The runner up prize went to Kasim Thomas singing 'Love never felt so good', and the audience voted for Jake Collins, Reece Chamdal and Liam Richards singing 'Twist and Shout'. 

The judging panel on Tuesday consisted of Ian Elkington, Charlotte Roberts, Charlotte Edwards and Alex Jacques. The ten acts on the Tuesday night were of a phenomenal quality and made the judging process very difficult and much debate was had to make sure the right decision was made. Finally, we came to the decision that the winner of the year 10 and 12 Stars competition was the trio Poppy Cooper, Jenni Sowerby and Chloe Coleman singing 'She Said'. The runner up prize went to Charlotte Franklin who sang 'I won't give up'.

A wonderful evening of singing talent, and a superb selection of overall winners for STARS 2014!

On July 15th a selection of pupils took to the stage again to perform in front of the year 6’s on their induction day.


Winners of the year 7-9 Stars Competition: Megan Beard and Laney Smith

Winners of the year 10 and 12 Stars Competition: Jenni Sowerby, Poppy Cooper and Chloe Coleman

Runner up of the Year 7-9 Stars Competition: Kasim Thomas 

Runner up of the year 10 and 12 Stars Competition: Charlotte Franklin

Head teacher : Mr B J Baxter BA (Hons), Chair of Governors : Mr M Waine, Telephone : 01869 242121, E-mail : headteacher@thecooperschool.co.uk 
The Cooper School is in an academy managed by Bicester Learning Academy, which is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with registered company number 09053713 and its registered address at Churchill Road, Bicester, Oxon., OX26 4