Aims of the Department

The music curriculum is designed to help all students experience an in-depth and varied musical education, to prepare them towards KS4, KS5 and further musical study.

Each year the curriculum is balanced between practical performance work, composition and learning how to listen to and appraise music.

We encourage the students to develop their musicianship through a wide range of musical experiences and genres.

Strengths of the Department

Music at Trinity benefits from small group sizes enabling students to learn through practical ensemble based sessions or individual piano or composition study.

We teach using a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help all learners excel in Music. The resources in the department are excellent.


We have many extra-curricular music ensembles ranging from choirs to orchestras to a steel pan group which are thoroughly enjoyed by all the students who attend.

The students in our extra-curricular ensembles take part in annual performances at several prestigious venues across Manchester, including the RNCM, the Bridgewater Hall, St Ann’s Church and Manchester Cathedral. We most recently performed at the ‘Manchester Together – One Voice’ event in Albert Square.

The department has produced sell-out performances of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! and The Wizard of Oz.

Many of our students take advantage of our extensive extra-curricular music lessons including piano, strings, brass, woodwind, guitar, percussion and many more, and successfully take graded exams on their instruments. All lessons are timetabled on rotation during the school day and are free of charge.

Many of our students have gone on to study Music at university and conservatoire level, including the RNCM and University of Manchester.

Our activities and performances can all be seen by following our Twitter page: @TrinityHighMusic

Pictures from The Wizard of Oz

Pictures from 2017 Anniversary Concert at the RNCM

KS3 Music Curriculum

Students study a very wide and exciting range of musical genres throughout KS3 at Trinity. These units teach not only context and knowledge of a wide variety of musical styles, but are underpinned by the essential composing, performing, and listening and appraising skills for examinations at KS4 and 5.

In year 7 the students are introduced to the fundamental elements of music, and then go through to study the instruments of the orchestra. Keyboard skills are focussed on during the second term, as well as experiencing a large variety of world percussion music including steel pans, African drumming and Brazilian samba. Programme Music is studied in the final term.

In year 8, units of work include Reggae and British Folk music, and furthering keyboard skills by studying Pachelbel’s Canon in D. The use of music technology and GarageBand is introduced during this year, with regular use of the school’s state of the art Apple iMac suites and recording studio. Students study Blues music and have the opportunity to write their own Blues songs having studied the structure and function of the harmony of the genre.

The summation of the KS3 programme in year 9 sees the students use the skills they have developed over year 7 and 8 to produce their own, mature music within the genres of Music and the Media, Film Music, Minimalism, The Beatles and Electronic Dance Music. Students learn how to use more advanced music software, including Logic Pro X. The music they study is examined in more detail regarding harmony, structure and social contexts.

KS4 Music Curriculum

Students study Edexcel GCSE Music at KS4. The course is structured in the following way: 30% performance, 30% composition, and 40% on a listening and appraising exam based on Areas of Study. There is an academic focus for the written exam, which encourages increased levels of literacy and listening skills. All GCSE Music students celebrate their performance successes at the end of year 11 with a Recital Evening, showcasing all of their hard work over the two year course.

KS5 Music Curriculum

Students study Edexcel AS and A Level Music at KS5. In each year, the course is broken down into the same areas of focus as the GCSE: 30% performance, 30% composition, and 40% on a listening and appraising exam based on Areas of Study. The composition styles and requirements are more in depth at A Level than at AS Level, and the performance time increases from 6 to 8 minutes. The set works are divided across 6 Areas of Study including Instrumental Music, Fusions, Music for Film, New Directions, Vocal Music and Popular Music and Jazz. The works include pieces by the Beatles, Stravinsky, Vivaldi, Kate Bush and Mozart.

Topics to be covered during year 7.

Topics to be covered during year 8.

Topics to be covered during year 9.

This course includes resources, printed and audio musical examples and revision guidelines for each of the four areas of study. You will also find useful information about composing and performing.