Music 11-16

Why become a teacher of music?

Becoming a music teacher is an exciting journey, offering the chance to inspire students and nurture their musical talents. In this role, you become a conductor of creativity, guiding students through the diverse language of music and unlocking their expressive potential. Beyond teaching musical concepts, you foster teamwork, discipline, and emotional intelligence, which are invaluable life skills;  you play a pivotal role in shaping not only skilled musicians but also confident individuals ready to resonate with the world around them, making every step of the journey rewarding and harmonious.


Being a teacher of music means you will support young people to: 

  • perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voice and through playing instruments, developing lifelong instrumental skills;
  • listen with discrimination to music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions;
  • identify and use the elements of music, and to understand staff and other notations;
  • create and compose music on their own and with others.


What are the key concepts that underpin our approach to the teaching of music?

  • Developing performing skills, both solo and ensemble to foster the importance of focused and repetitive practice
  • Developing improvisation and compositional skills to foster musical creativity
  • Understanding musical context, the musical elements and how music affects the listener

I thoroughly enjoyed the music subject specialist sessions which fit in very well with the curriculum sessions we also had. They were a great way of linking theory with practice and of benefitting from expert input from a successful classroom practitioner.

How is our music course constructed?

This course is built on an extensive research base in teaching music and it is closely interwoven with our Central Curriculum Sessions as part of our overall Integrated Curriculum approach. Each year we review all aspects of our courses to ensure that they cover the most relevant components of the subject as well as introducing you to the most commonly taught ideas and concepts. Mentors and specialist teachers in our partnership schools also play a crucial role in reviewing the programme to ensure that it gives the very best preparation for becoming a great music teacher.

Our carefully designed curriculum is structured so that you will have approximately one Subject Curriculum Session a week across the 2024-25 academic year. Alongside this, subject specificity is carefully woven throughout all aspects of the course, including the ongoing assessment process and the optional PGCE assignments, so that all content is relevant to you and your teaching. Subject Curriculum Sessions will develop on the ideas and theory raised in your general Central Curriculum Sessions so that you have expert guidance on how best to deliver strategies and techniques in your specific subject area. 

Our music course prepares you to teach across the 11-16 age range, and you will be formally assessed in those key stages. In addition you will also have the opportunity to observe and teach KS5/ A level in at least one of your placements and your Subject Curriculum Sessions will include training that prepares you to teach KS5/ A level.

The links below will provide you with information about the curriculum and programmes of study for Key Stage 3 and 4 that schools are expected to deliver, these shape the content that your Subject Curriculum Sessions will cover, to ensure that you are able and confident to teach across the full range of topic areas included.


Professional Subject Association

As well as introducing you to a wealth of relevant books, articles and research papers from our own resources and library, you will also have access to The Music Teachers Association, the leading professional body for music teachers. 

Membership will be set up and arranged for you at the start of the course and your Subject Specialist will guide you on how best to use the resources, professional learning community and events from the association to support your subject development and the lessons that you will prepare and deliver.

Meet the Subject Specialist

Rosie Breckon has worked as Head of Faculty for Creative and Performing Arts in a start-up music-specialist Academy, creating and embedding a flourishing GCSE and A level Music curriculum over 7 years before joining Cherwell as Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning. She has supported Ark in their Music curriculum development across the network of schools, has mentored and coached trainees and ECTs in Music and other subjects, and thoroughly enjoys seeing the incredible journey that new teachers go on in their first year of teaching. Rosie is a keen pianist, singer and flautist, and continues her own musical passions through singing in choirs and playing in orchestras.

Performing and writing music is one thing but being able to teach music is like a superpower. The feeling of reward when you see a student master something musical for the first time is incomparable, and the impact you can have on individuals can be life-changing for them. It’s the reason why I continue to teach music, as well as supporting other teachers to develop their superpower!

Rosie Breckon - Music Subject Specialist