Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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"Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882)

Department Vision

Students at Blessed William Howard develop a life-long love of music through a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental tuition and extra-curricular provision. The music curriculum provides every child with an opportunity to perform in-front of a public audience, learn to play a musical instrument (recorder, keyboard and classroom percussion), engage in creative music-making through composition tasks using music technology and listen to music from a range of styles.

Music Curriculum


In Year 7 and Year 8 students have one lesson of music each week, covering the three strands of music; performing, composing and appraising. All children in Year 7 are encouraged to complete the Arts Award, Bronze level certificate, performing on two occasions during the year; by leading the annual Carol Service and taking part in both a vocal and an instrumental role in the Music Festival which takes place at the end of the year. The silver and gold awards, which carry UCAS points, are also offered to older students wishing to specialise in the arts.



In Year 9, students may opt to study music, working towards a GCSE music qualification from the Edexcel examination board. GCSE music builds on work from KS3. Students submit two performances (one as a soloist and one as part of an ensemble) and two original compositions. In preparation for a terminal listening exam, students will study eight set works in detail, which cover a wide range of musical genres from the orchestral music of JS Bach to film music of John Williams. A study of music from around the world, as well as music for the stage and screen, develops a love of contemporary music.



Students may choose to study A-Level music (from the AQA examination board). A-level music is a logical progression from GCSE, bringing composition, performance and listening together in engaging ways whilst also linking music to the world around us.

Instrumental Lessons

Specialist instrumental tuition (violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, drum kit, piano, keyboard, classical guitar, electric guitar and singing) is available to all students.


Extra-Curricular music clubs encourage students to work together at a higher level than can be achieved in a classroom situation. Recent ensembles have included orchestra, choir, recorder ensemble, guitar ensemble, steel pans group, rock band, a music liturgy group, a Grade 5 Music Theory class and a school production team. There are no auditions for any ensembles and students from beginner standard to Grade 8 standard can join and work together culminating in several public performances throughout the year.


Curriculum Leader: Mrs Helliker

Miss Homer


Extra links to help study

Petrucci Music Library:

Naxos Records:

Dictation practice:

Bach chorale website: