Music at Da Vinci Academy is taught throughout Key Stage 3 with the option to continue this into Key Stage 4 at GCSE or BTEC in Years 10 and 11. At Key Stage 3, students will be encouraged to develop key performance, composition, instrumental, contextual and listening skills. This in turn will allow them to have key skills covering a broad range of genres, styles and interests as well as developing confidence with individual and team contributions.

Students will always be given the opportunity to take part in the various extra-curricular areas including; Urban Choir, talent competitions and shows, concerts, primary links and music festivals and instrumental tuition.


During Year 7 students will develop foundation skills to ensure they can access a broad range of styles, skill sets and genres as they progress through their time at Da Vinci.

At present this includes;

  • Composing using structure through African drumming workshops,
  • Learning how to read notation and apply these to keyboard performance skills,
  • Developing composition and notation skills to a more advanced level through the use of music technology and notation software

Year 8 students will enhance skills learnt in Year 7 by developing a range of cultures and styles, including;

  • Individual and ensemble performance and listening from folk cultures around the world
  • Band, composition and historical context through American Blues and Jazz
  • Revising the use of music technology and software notation through Minimalist composition traits

Year 9 students will refine their skill base in preparation for uptake at GCSE/BTEC by;

  • Developing advance knowledge of a specific instrument of their choice and style and traits of this instrument in the music industry today
  • Exploring the characteristics of the music industry through popular/rock band workshops where they will use their new found instrumental/vocal skills to perform popular song choice in a band
  • Advancing skills of composition using their experience of popular music culture by composing their own band pieces through music software and notation software


During Key Stage 4 students who chose to take music will be placed upon the Edexcel GCSE or BTEC course, the course they take is dependent on their own interests and which course best suits their current strengths.

GCSE – This course covers a broad skills base and areas of study, right from Musical Theatre through to Concerto’s from the Baroque era. It is well suited to students who have studied an instrument to a good standard and who are interested in a broad range of genres and general music context.

At GCSE students will be expected to complete various components including;

  • Component 1: Performing (30% of the qualification) as a soloist and as part of an ensemble
  • Component 2: Composition (30% of the qualification) through one composition set to a brief and one free composition
  • Component 3: Appraising (40% of the qualification) by analysing and listening to scores of music under the headings of – instrumental music (1600-1820), vocal music, music for stage and screen and fusions. This part of the course is a written examination at the end of Year 11.

BTEC – This course covers experience working in the Music Industry today. It allows students to develop work experience in running live events, using sound equipment and gaining knowledge of the opportunities available in the music industry today. This course is well suited to students who have an interest in popular trends and popular performance as well as an interest in developing management and team skills.

During the BTEC course students will be expected to complete the following units;

  • Unit 1 – The Music Industry Exam (25% of the qualification); here students learn about job roles, record labels, publishing and promotion, venue management and health and safety.
  • Unit 2 – Managing a Music Product (25% of the qualification); here students will be expected to plan, promote and run their own music concert.
  • Unit 4 – Introducing Music Composition (25% of the qualification); students will compose work from 4 different starting points.
  • Unit 5 – Introducing Music Performance (25% of the qualification); students will perform on their chosen instrument/voice two contrasting pieces and create rehearsal logs to support their development


At Da Vinci, Music plays a huge role in involving students outside of the classroom in order to develop a whole Academy experience and confidence to take forward to other aspects of their life. As many opportunities as possible are put forward to all students; below are some of the most recent events.

Da Vinci’s Got Talent – July 2016

This is a competition ran each year where students of any age and background can compete to be the champion of Da Vinci’s Got Talent! They begin by auditioning before competing in the final performance where parents and members of the community are invited to celebrate in their hard work and determination.

Instrumental Lessons – On going

Students are invited to have one to one of paired instrumental lessons with fully qualified instrumental teachers on piano, keyboard, flute, clarinet, guitar and drum. This allows students to develop key knowledge of their instrument to support their enjoyment of music and support their music education.

Urban Choir – Every Friday after school

All students are welcome to join in in our fantastic Urban Choir! This is where Zee, an industry professional, comes in to teach exciting vocal exercises and develop the group to create choir performances including songs by Drake and Justin Bieber. Already she has invited some of most promising students to audition to Baby Peoples Derby City Choir where they were all accepted and have been attending rehearsals ready for upcoming performances.

Primary Music Festivals – Spring 2017

Here our students develop performances and workshops for our local primary schools over 4 days. Performances included the singing of Disney’s songs and piano performances as well as the students then teaching the primary visitors how to play their first tunes on a range of different instruments. Involved in this were Year 11 BTEC students who ran monitor and Front of House mixes using music technology during the performances.

Scheme of Work