"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent."

Victor Hugo


Music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music in education is widely recognised for helping students to develop critical analysis, problem solving, memory and cognitive and communication skills.

The Music department at Moulsham High School not only encourages students to make music in class, but also provides many extra-curricular activities. These include a Senior Choir, Las Estrellas, Boys' Vocal Group, Guitar Group, Flute Ensemble, Recorder Group, Reed Group, Jazz, Samba and Steel Bands, and an Orchestra. Weekly rehearsals take place during lunchtimes and many student bands rehearse regularly after school.

Opportunities to perform include the school's Carol Service at Chelmsford Cathedral; the highly successful and professional Annual Music Concert that is held in the summer term; school productions, the most recent of which was a performance of 'Guys and Dolls'; as well as during assemblies, award ceremonies and inter-Form music competitions.

All students at Moulsham have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

Audio Gallery

Click the above link to hear recordings from; Boys Vocal, Reed, Las Estrellas and Orchestra groups

Exam Information

Key Stage 3

At KS3, students learn by performing, composing and listening.  They have opportunities to work independently and with others on a range of different tasks.  They explore different genres, cultures and traditions, and understand the historical, social and political contexts of the music.  Music Technology is used by students to create, manipulate and structure sound in their own compositions and to aid the learning of traditional music notation.

Students develop critical skills, their ability to listen and make judgements about musical quality and the ability to appreciate a wide variety of music.  Music also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.

Key Stage 4

The five areas of study for the GCSE course are:

  • Rhythm/Metre
  • Harmony/Tonality
  • Texture/Melody
  • Timbre/Dynamics
  • Structure/Form

These are taught through the following strands of learning:

  • The Western Classical Tradition
  • Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • World Music

Composing and Appraising Music

Students compose one piece of music that explores two or more of the five Areas of Study and links to one of the three strands announced annually by AQA.  Students appraise the process and outcome.

Performing Music

Students offer one individual performance and one group performance.  The recordings can be made at any time during the course.

Composing Music

Students compose one piece of music that explores two or more of the five Areas of Study in any style or genre of their choosing.

Key Stage 5

The A-Level course extends the GCSE skills of Performing, Composing and Appraising.  It introduces students to a more in-depth analysis of a wide variety of musical styles, ideas and traditions and develops their general musicianship.


Performing Music

Students perform solo (on any instrument or voice) a programme of pieces that demonstrate representative features of the repertoire for the instrument or voice presented.  If it is appropriate to the repertoire being performed, students may improvise. They then demonstrate an extension to their ability by either performing on a second instrument, as a member of a small ensemble, as an accompanist, perform their own composition, or improvise upon a given stimulus.


Students are required to submit a portfolio that represents work undertaking throughout the course.  This should take the form of a set of stylistic exercises and a composition in a style of their choice for 4 to 10 instruments, lasting no longer than 3 minutes.

Introduction to Historical Study in Music

In this unit students will study six prescribed works, three from the Western Classical tradition and 3 from different Jazz genres.  The written examination will test their in-depth knowledge on the six works, in addition to their general aural awareness skills.


Performing Music - Interpretation

The performance will be a focused recital, performed as a soloist and lasting 12 to 15 minutes.  Students will be expected to research the content of their chosen recital and will be questioned on their listening and research as part of a 5-minute vica voce with the external visiting examiner.


Students must complete a portfolio that will be centre-assessed, containing a set of exercises and a single composition chosen from vocal music, programme music, or music for film or television.  Composition can be for any medium.

Historical and Analytical Studies in Music

A written examination will test students' understanding of two Areas of Study, Tonality and Interpretation.  Students will have studied the topic area Music for the Stage and will be expected to write two essays in response to two or three questions in the paper.  They will also be expected to answer in response to a set of aural questions.

Music Technology

Music Technology focuses on recording techniques together with creative arranging and composing utilising computer software.  Music Technology students should have a strong interest in contemporary music and an aptitude for both music and information technology.


The Music Technology specification involves a large volume of practical coursework and encourages the cultivation of a wide range of skills.  Students will have opportunities to

  • Sequence MIDI
  • Sequence audio
  • Record live instruments
  • Produce CDs
  • Compose original music with technology.

Students will cover both sequencing and recording, submitting a total of three coursework recordings on CD.  Work will range from sequenced performances and close-mic multitrack recording of pre-existing music set by Edexcel to more creative endeavours where your skills as an arranger will be put to the test.

Listening and Analysing

Students will be required to demonstrate their ability to listen to unfamiliar music and analyse musical, technical and stylistic features.  Under exam conditions students will be given an individual copy of the assessment exercise on CD and be able to listen to the material as many times as they require in order to answer the questions, which will be related to The Principles and Practice of Music and Popular Music Styles Since 1910.  Students will be asked to recognise musical features and elements and to consider the impact of music technology on the music being listened to.  They will also answer questions that put music in a broader cultural and social context.


Students develop the practical aspects of MIDI sequencing and recording at AS level and create their own compositions using music technology.  They submit a portfolion of recording and sequencing coursework.  Students develop a thorough understanding of music language and technological processes.  They learn to identify and correct mistakes in musical recordings to produce a final corrected mixdown of a given musical performance provided by Edexcel.

An A-Level in Music Technology can lead to further study in Music, Music Technology or Performing Arts at Higher National or Degree level.  It can also help students seeking a career in the music industry or to a technology/computer orientated career. 

Useful Websites