We view music as an essential element in a balanced education, allowing personal expression, personal development, creativity and real practical involvement in the arts. Students gain confidence, skills and an appreciation of each other's talents.
Please explore these pages to find out more about what we offer.
Our aims are:
The Music area comprises of four well-equipped teaching rooms, an instrumental teaching room, two practice rooms and a recording studio. We are situated next to the Avro and drama halls, which allow us to complete group work in performing arts.
The two main music rooms are equipped with 15 Yamaha MM6 synthesizers with USB and internet capability and 15 PC's running Sibelius 7 and other score writing packages, enabling students to record, edit and print out compositions of professional quality. The interactive whiteboards are in use during all lessons and are a fantastic resource tool, bringing the world of music into the classroom. There is also space in each room to organise small rehearsals or for small groups of dancers to work in front of mirrors.
The third classroom is also equipped with 15 Yamaha PSR 1500 keyboards. The room is also set up with percussion instruments including a set of samba and African drums. Students are able to develop different skills and learn about different cultures whilst in this room.
The fourth classroom is a specialist room for Sixth Form students and is situated in Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College. It has 9 Yamaha MM6 synthesizers linked to PC's running Sibelius 7, Pro Tools, Cubase, Guitar Pro 6 and aural packages, providing industry standard studio software. We also have new Yamaha electric pianos in the practice rooms.
The department has always been well supported and is well stocked with orchestral instruments.
Concerts are held regularly and students are invited to perform at recitals and concerts in the wider community.
In all of the classrooms wall space is positively used to create informative and stimulating displays that reflect modern practices, support students' projects and create an expectation for achievement.
Key Stage 3
All students follow a varied programme of music which involves performing, composing and listening. Each half term students work on a different musical topic. These are updated regularly, are stimulating and involve all students being involved in music making each lesson. Topics currently include: Basic musical theory and introduction to keyboard skills and the reading of music; Film Music; The Voice; Caribbean Music; Samba; African Drumming; The Blues and Jazz Music; Popular Classics and 1960's Popular Music.
Key Stage 4
Students have the opportunity to continue the study of Music at GCSE level, following the AQA specification. Performing and composing accounts for 60% of the final mark, with the final listening exam being the remaining 40%. During the course, students study 4 set works covering music from The Classical Period to the present day. The set works are Haydn's Clock Symphony and 3 tracks from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band ('Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds', 'With A Little Help from My Friends' and 'Within You Without You'). In the final exam, they are expected to be able to answer questions based on information learnt in the set works, but broader listening skills across all genres will be tested too.
Performing Arts (Dance)
Students can take a BTEC in Performing Arts following the Edexcel specification.
Unit 1 - Individual Showcase (externally assessed);
Unit 2 - Preparation, Performance and Production (internally assessed);
Unit 3 - Dance Skills (internally assessed).
This course is very popular as it enables students to use their talents in dance.
In Performing Arts students develop the necessary skills in order to present themselves well in auditions, interviews and presentations. We build confidence and develop communication skills.
Students work in production companies, each with their own role. They have to research, plan and present an idea for a performance. They have to work to a budget, consider health and safety in the workplace and finally perform at an event. All their work is industry related.
Key Stage 5
Students are able to choose Music at A Level. To be accepted on these courses, students need to have a grade B in GCSE Music or be able to perform on an instrument at grade 5 standard; they must be able to read music scores. It would also be beneficial to have some theoretical knowledge.
Instrumental / Vocal Examinations
Students that are taking singing or instrumental lessons are encouraged to work towards grade exams with ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall or London College.
This group of musicians meet once a week to rehearse for concerts. All students who play a brass or woodwind instrument are encouraged to come along. Students develop skills in this setting that they do not get by just attending a lesson each week. It is also much more fun to perform in a larger group.
Tollbar Chamber Strings:
This group of violinists rehearse each week with their violin teacher. They also regularly perform at concerts. This year they have been once again invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, for the Barnardos Charity Event. They also compete in local festivals.
Members of this group also meet once a week under the direction of the string teacher. They play in a number of concerts as well as the Carol Service and Christmas Victorian Fayre at All Saints Church, Waltham.
This is open to anyone that enjoys singing in a group. Students from Years 7 to 11 are involved. There is always opportunity for students to take on solo parts in the concerts.
Students studying guitar at Tollbar Academy enjoy meeting to learn new songs and play as a group.
This group meet once a week and participate in concerts. Most players also perform with the Tollbar Band. The group is open to any student playing a brass instrument.
Inter-House Music Competition:
This takes place during January each year. It is open to any student in Years 7 to 11 that can play an instrument or sing a song. It doesn't matter if they are at grade 8 standard or have taken no exams at all - anyone can represent their tutor group!
Visits to shows and workshops:
Performing Arts students have attended dance workshops with the Northern Contemporary Dance Company, in partnership with students at Cleethorpes Academy. We also invite professional musicians in to the Academy to perform to students throughout the year.