Music

Overview

A level Music allows our students to be creative, independent intellectuals who are able to articulate their ideas with confidence, write with style and flair, understand historical and social contexts of the music they study and perform and make informed, exciting choices about composition.

An enormously well-respected subject, the study of Music requires an analytical mind (perhaps with a strong understanding for Mathematics), a creative spark, a maturity and motivation to practice and compose, a discipline to approach wider reading and listening and a fluent writing style.

It is for this reason over the years half of our Sixth Form Musicians have gone on to study the subject at top universities including Oxford and Cambridge, Bristol and Nottingham, as well as the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music. Although it is not strictly necessary to have taken a GCSE in Music, students embarking on the A level course should have a sound basis in music theory, ideally having taken the Grade 5 Associated Board examination, and be proficient in performing instrumental or vocal music.

Curriculum

AS Level

The young musicians that study music at AS level explore an enriching and stimulating course, that further develops the skills they gain at GCSE level. By the end of the year our students have developed a more profound understanding of musical harmony and analysis, are producing complex compositions informed by a wide range of listening and performing experiences, and give outstanding performances. Students continue with the Edexcel examination board and the three main elements of Performance (30% of the overall AS mark), Composition (30%) and History/Listening (40%) act as a basis to develop the talents of our students.

A Level

The ethos we hope to instil in our students from Year 7 should now be embedded in the musicians who study at this level. Our students conclude the Edexcel GCE course with its three main elements of Performance (30% of the overall A2 mark), Composition (30%) and History/Listening (40%), and should leave Eltham College as musicologists, eager to continue to develop their love of the subject.

Trips, activities and clubs

The music calendar is extremely active with over 50 performances taking place every academic year, ranging from small intimate performances within the College, to large scale concerts in external venues such as Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St Alfege Church.

Eltham College is one of the few schools to have exclusive use of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on a Saturday lunch time slot, which is testament to the quality and ability of our musicians.

Staff

  • Mr P Showell BMus (Hons) (Director of Music)
  • Ms L Swadkin (Head of Academic Music) BMus (Hons), PGDip, QTS
  • Mrs J Lewis (Music Administrator & Assistant to the Director of Music) GTCL (Hons), LTCL, FTCL, ARCM
  • Mr N Miller BA, MMus, ARCO (Musician In Residence)
  • Miss D Gibbs BA (Mus) and PhD