The Music Department comprises two full time Music staff and one part time Music teacher. These are assisted by 14 visiting teachers who teach a range of orchestral instruments. In addition, saxophone, acoustic guitar, voice, piano and percussion are taught.
Each pupil has two lessons per cycle at Key Stage Three, after which the subject becomes optional at GCSE and A Level.
Many concerts take place each term, either at school or in venues such as local churches or the Royal Northern College of Music. Our choirs and orchestras have performed with other schools and we have commissioned our own music from a variety of composers.
Occasionally we run a Music Tour at the end of the Summer Term. Destinations have included the Rhine, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, China and the English cathedrals of Salisbury and Durham. Every 2-3 years, Music, Drama and Dance Departments combine to produce a Musical. Past productions have included ‘Annie’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and â€˜Oliverâ€™.
The music Department at AGGS is a vibrant place in which musicians of all ages and standards can flourish.
Follow AGGS Music Department online:
AGGS Music blog:
Sixteen ensembles / orchestra / choirs meet weekly to rehearse for the termly concerts. Involving over 200 pupils. They are:
- Junior Choir (Y7 and Y8)
- Senior Choir (Y9-Y13)
- Chamber Choir (All years, auditioned)
- First Orchestra
- Second Orchestra
- String Orchestra (by invitation)
- Wind Band (Student-led)
- Jazz Band
- Cello Choir (Student-led)
- Guitar Ensemble (Student-led)
- Recorder Ensemble (Student-led)
- Saxophone Ensemble
- Flute Ensemble (Student-led)
- Junior Strings (Student-led)
- Folk Band (Student-led)
Y7 & Yr 8
|Tuesday||12.40 – 1.20||Room 9||Mrs Boyd|
Yr 9 â€“ 13
|Monday||12.45 – 1.20||Room 10||Ms Mayall|
|Chamber Choir (Auditioned â€“ any years)||Tuesday||3.30 – 4.45||Room 10||Ms Mayall|
|1st Orchestra||Wednesday||3.30 – 4.30||Main Hall||Ms Mayall|
|2nd Orchestra Y7 â€“ 9 (No audition!)||Thursday||12.45 – 1.20||Room 9||Miss Wright|
|String Orchestra (Invited players)||Friday||3.30 – 4.30||Room 9||Mrs Janes|
|Jazz Band||Monday||3.30 – 4.45||Room 10
|Ensembles (Student Led)|
|Flute Ensemble||Wednesday||12.45 – 1.15||Room 10||Student led|
||12.55 – 1.20||Room 10||Student led|
|Junior Strings||Wednesday||12.45 – 1.15||Room 9||Student led|
|Recorder Ensemble||Tuesday||12.45 – 1.15||Room 10||Student led|
|Saxophone Ensemble||Tuesday||12.30 – 1.00||Connexions Room||Miss McCallum|
In addition, AGGS Music Department is frequently approached to provide music for external events. Recent examples include:
Providing a choir for Safe film company, together with singers from Altrincham Boysâ€™ Grammar School, aired on an episode of a Netflix (2018) series – Read all about thisÂ and listen to the choir here
- Choir tours to Germany and France
- Performing at our Centenary Concert at the Bridgewater Hall (2010). Over 700 pupils were involved singing/playing a really complicated work by Sasha Johnson-Manning
- Invitation to collaborate with Withington Girls’ School, Manchester High, singing ‘Manchester Carols’ by Sasha Johnson-Manning at the RNCM
- Performing in the presence of HRH Princess Anne – our newly commissioned school hymn was performed
- Year 7 winners of an Olympic competition performed their song in Manchester (2012) at the opening ceremony of the East Manchester games.
Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9
Each Y7 and Y8 pupil has three periods per cycle at this level. Topics covered include aspects of western and nonâ€“western classical music, popular music and jazz, and world music (Indonesia, India and Latin America).
Y9 pupils have two periods of music per cycle. Topics covered include composing and listening to film music, and composing ‘Counting Songs’ – MFL project.
We have 20 computers equipped with â€˜Sibeliusâ€™ software which gives an introduction to music technology and assists with composition.
All girls in Key-stage 3 are encouraged to join Junior/Senior Choir and any of the many instrumental ensembles available.
Outreach Projects Which Link with the KS3 Curriculum
Year 7: Samba Drumming; attending a HallÃ© Orchestral Concert at the Bridgewater Hall.
Year 8: Opera workshop.
Year 9: Song writing workshop.
Key Stage 4 – GCSE
Understanding Music (40%)
This unit is based on 4 areas of study, with 4 topic areas within each AOS:
AOS 1 Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910
AOS 2 Popular Music
AOS 3 Traditional Music
AOS 4 Western Classical Tradition since 1910
One Listening exam takes place in June of Y11 year. Externally assessed.
Performing Music (30%)
One solo and one ensemble are recorded in Y11 and the complete performance must last 4 minutes minimum.
Composing music (30%)
2 pieces of music are composed in Y10/Y11.
One in response to a brief sent in September Y11.
The other is a free composition.
2 pieces together last no less than 3 minutes.
Sibelius Software is used to write both compositions and student must submit a composing log also.
Our most recent set of results were 5A* 6A 1B in 2017.
Key Stage 5 – A Level
Full A level MUSIC (AQA) – AGGS pathway
Component 1: Appraising music (40%)
- Contextual understanding
How it’s assessed
- Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.
- Section A: Listening (56 marks)
- Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
- Section C: Essay (30 marks)
Areas of Study
Area of Study 1: Western Classical Tradition
- Strand A: Baroque solo concerto
- Strand B: The operas of Mozart
- Strand C: The piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg
Area of Study 4: Music for Theatre/Music for Media
Area of Study 5: Jazz
Component 2: Performance (35%)
How it’s assessed
Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).
A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required (no more than twelve minutes).
This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners.
Component 3: Composition (25%)
How it’s assessed
- Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
- Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)
A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required (no more than six minutes).
This component is worth 25% of A-level marks (50 marks in total).
This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed by 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA.
* The AQA specification is taught.
* Both Sibelius and Cubase software are used in our keyboard suite.
2014 –Â SaffiyahÂ Keig-Momin, awarded an A grade, is now reading music at Somerville College, Oxford.
2016 – Harriet Wates awarded A* and reading Music at Manchester University.
2017 – 1A* 3A 1B – Miriam Blackburn studying voice at the RNCM, Beth James and Chi Yu Yu both studying music at University. Ruby Jones (A*) gained full mark on her composition module.