Opened in 2008 by saxophonist Courtney Pine, Kingsdale Foundation School’s Music Department is a place full of energy and enthusiasm. Students are regularly encouraged to reach their full potential, and they enjoy making music in a fantastic first-class environment. 

The state-of-the-art Music Department offers:  

• 4 Music teaching rooms, 3 of which are equipped with iMacs with Logic Pro X and MIDI keyboards.  

• Purpose-built recording studio including control room, vocal booth, mixing desk, Apple Pro, iMacs, professional monitors.  

• 7 practice rooms and two performance areas with recording capabilities (Steel Pan Room and Music Performance Hall).  

• A full-range of instruments to use.

To see a playlist of our virtual concerts please click here.

All pupils in Year 7 & 8 (Key Stage 3) attend weekly Music lessons and from Year 9 they may opt to study GCSE Music through until Year 11 (Key Stage 4). At Key Stage 5, two different A-level courses are offered - Music and Music Technology. In addition to classroom Music lessons, there are a huge amount of ensembles and groups to get involved with both at lunchtimes and after-school. Further details can be found below.


Year 7 & Year 8

In Year 7, pupils study musical elements and repeating patterns as a starting point for their ongoing musical learning during Key Stage 3. They learn to recognise and understand pitch, dynamics, duration, tempo, timbre and texture. Pupils then learn how these elements are used to create contrast in music. Pupils also learn how music is organised through different methods of notation. Through listening, pupils learn to identify basic musical structures such as binary, ternary and rondo forms. Pupils are then able to compose within these structures using musical elements. Pupils will also learn about the instruments of the orchestra and how to recognise them in pieces of music.

Pupils then begin to study styles from different countries and cultures. Pupils learn about the relevant country, including its history, geography, culture, religion and traditions. All learning takes place in the context of practical music making, where pupils are encouraged at all times to develop their solo and ensemble performing skills. Furthermore, pupils will learn to compose their own music and evaluate their work.

In Year 8, pupils begin to develop their keyboard skills and are encouraged to use these in a creative manner. This is done particularly through the Pop Music scheme of work where pupils work towards writing their own songs. Pupils are also greatly encouraged to bring in their own instruments and use these during sessions.

Homework tasks are set every other lesson via ShowMyHomework, and these tasks allow pupils to consolidate and extend their knowledge. Homework for each topic consists of a musical features quiz, a spelling test of musical terms and a self-evaluation of the pupil’s performances within the topic.

Year 9

In Year 9, in preparation for studying the 8 set works in Year 10 and 11 (GCSE Music | Edexcel) pupils will work on many different topics which would enhance their knowledge and understanding of music. They would continue to explore musical structures, different genres and composing techniques. Through listening and analysing they would be able to evaluate and make a critical judgement about the use of musical conventions. They will show their understanding through performing and composing. They will also learn to use music technology (Logic Pro X) to enhance their performance and compositions.

Students will continue to study music theory and traditional notation. All learning takes place in the context of practical music making, where students are encouraged at all times to develop their solo and ensemble performing skills as well as composing and evaluating their work.

Homework tasks are set every other lesson via ShowMyHomework, and these tasks allow pupils to consolidate and extend their knowledge. Homework for each topic consists of a musical features quiz, a spelling test of musical terms and a self-evaluation of the pupil’s performances and compositions within the topic. Furthermore, pupils are given homework to improve their music theory knowledge.


Year 10 & Year 11

In Year 10 and Year 11, pupils begin to study the 8 set works in Edexcel’s GCSE Music course. Pupils begin the year by building on knowledge and experience at KS3. They consolidate basically musical vocabulary and knowledge, study exemplar performances and compositions and look at the assessment criteria for the coursework tasks. One of the two hours per week is dedicated to the continuation of both written and aural music theory skills. This one hour also includes time spend on composition coursework - the first composition is due to be completed in July of Year 10 and the second by April of Year 11.

During the other hour of Music, pupils will study each of the 8 set works in detail, one after the other. Pieces are explored by using the students’ own knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music. Once each piece has been studied, pupils are able to use comparative and evaluative skills to study each in piece in the context of the wider canon.

In the Summer Term, pupils explore ‘unseen listening’ works - pieces in genres related to the eight set works. In each case, pupils relate the  new music to the set works already studied through their use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language. The works studied here give a background to the set works already studied. Pupils also develop their exam skills during this term and finish their coursework through extra studio sessions.

Homework tasks are set every lesson via ShowMyHomework, and these tasks allow pupils to consolidate and extend their knowledge.


A-level Music

Component 1: Performing

Students are given the opportunity to rehearse and refine performances on their chosen instrument or voice, developing technical control, expression and interpretative skills. This component will encourage students to develop critical awareness, self-confidence, self-motivation and their own musical interests and skills. They will make music individually and in groups, learning to perform with phrasing and dynamics appropriate to their chosen styles and moods of music.

Component 2: Composing

Students will learn of the processes involved in creating music through developing the skills needed by a composer. Students will be encouraged to explore a range of compositional starting points and investigate a range of techniques for developing and manipulating ideas. They will then turn their ideas into completed pieces of music.

Component 3: Appraising

Students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. Students reflect on, analyse and evaluate music in aural and written form. Pupils will learn to use their understanding of musical elements and language to make judgements about music. These judgements will use specific music vocabulary associated with a particular style or genre.

A-level Music Technology

Component 1: Recording

Students learn to capture, edit and mix sounds to produce audio recordings with increased sensitivity and control. Students will develop the skills to capture and manipulate sounds in creative ways in order to communicate effectively with listeners. They will then produce a completed mix.

Component 2: Technology-based Composition

Students learn to create, edit and structure sounds to develop a technology-based composition. Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for developing ideas. They will then turn their ideas into completed technology-based compositions.

Component 3: Listening and analysing

Students develop listening and analysing skills through the study of a range of production techniques used in music. The production stages of capture and creating sounds, editing and arranging sounds and mixing will be covered - from the 1950s until the present day.

Component 4: Producing and analysing

Students demonstrate their knowledge of the techniques and principles of music technology through a series of written and practical tasks. The production stages of sound creation, audio editing and mixing will be covered.

Past & upcoming concerts (2019-2020)

Concerts held at Kingsdale are marked in bold:

  • 12th November - Guitar - 6pm
  • 13th November - Cello - 6pm
  • 14th November - Strings - 6pm
  • 18th November - Woodwind - 6pm
  • 20th November -  Musical Theatre - 6pm
  • 22nd November - Percussion - 6pm
  • 25th November - Brass - 6pm
  • 26th November - Electric Guitar & Bass Guitar - 6pm
  • 28th November - Steel Pans & African Drumming - 6pm
  • 2nd December - Piano - 6pm
  • 3rd December - Singers - 6pm
  • 8th January - LSSO Concert at the Barbican (LSSO features pupils of Kingsdale)
  • 28th Jaunary - Winter Ensembles Concert - 6pm
  • 30th January - Percussion Festival at the Royal Festival Hall (Junior & Senior Percussion Groups)
  • 6th February - Orchestral Day at the Royal Festival Hall (Workshop & Concert)
  • 11th February - Brightsparks Concert at Royal Festival Hall (30 Year 11 students attending)
  • 25th February - Valentine's Concert - Staff, pupils and sixth formers performing - 7pm
  • 22nd March - Kingsdale Big Band playing Youth Makes Music at the Royal Festival Hall - 7pm
  • 14th May - Dulwich Youth Festival for all schools in Dulwich - 7pm
  • 25th June - Kingsdale Music Festival - for Kingsdale pupils and local primary school pupils - 7pm
  • 2nd July - Senior Scholars Concert - 7pm

One of Kingsdale's most important musical ensembles, the Steel Pan group is led by Kishan Ashmeil-Shorter and features students ranging from Year 9-13.


The Senior Steel Band have been very successful within London's music community. Classorama is London's premier Steel Pan competition for secondary school students, and Kingsdale have won Classorama in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  In order to consistently win this event, our pupils have shown great determination and musical aptitude.


The Senior Steel Band have also had the privlege to have been invited to perform nationally and internationally:

- At the Music for Youth event in London

- At the Youth Makes Music event in Birmingham

- At the Royal Albert Hall (!) for the School Proms

- On a Music Festiva Tour in Hannover, Germany



Music Department Staff

Mrs M. Graham: Director of Performing Arts            

Mr O. Williams: Acting Head of Music

Mr J. Jones: Music Teacher / Head of Year 11

Mr S. Mielniczuk: Head of Composition

Mr T. Karp: Music Teacher

Ms S. Rajuan: Music Teacher

Instrumental & Singing Teachers

Mr Ashton - French Horn

Ms Ashton - Chamber Music

Ms Black, Ms De Geer, Ms Lopez, Ms Qiu - Piano

Ms Bastick-Vines, Ms Byrne, Ms Heard, Ms L Marshall, Ms M Marshall, Ms Sharp, Ms Vaughan - Singing

Mr Brito & Mr Pickering - Drum Kit

Mr Burnett & Mr B Glasser - Electric Guitar

Mr Brown - Lower Brass

Mr Cardew & Ms Cawley - Clarinet, Saxophone

Ms Dyer - African Drumming

Ms Evans - Harp

Mr Fowler - Jazz Trumpet

Mr A Glasser - Harmonica, Jazz Piano

Mr Graham, Ms Melvin, Ms Watts - Violin, Viola

Ms Jones - Oboe

Mr Keen - Singing, Guitar

Mr Lochrane - Flute

Ms Mackrell - Cello

Mr Maguire - Bass Guitar

Ms McLoughlin - Accordion

Mr Melovski & Mr Tonks - Classical Guitar, Spanish Guitar

Mr Musk & Mr Sharp - Trumpet

Ms Ryall - Clarinet

Mr Shorter-Ashmeil - Steel Pans

Mr Simmonds - Percussion, Drum Kit

Mr Somervell - Double Bass, Bass Guitar


A warm welcome to all visitors on site today as part of our Year 6 Open Events for September 2022 entry. More info…