Music in S5-S6

Purpose and Aims of the Course

The purpose of the Course is to provide a broad practical experience of performing and creating music and develop related knowledge and understanding of music. Course activities allow learners to work independently or in collaboration with others, and can help learners to plan and organise, to make decisions and to take responsibility for own learning.

This Course is practical and experiential in nature and includes flexibility in the contexts for learning. It helps learners to develop and extend their interest in music, and to develop performing skills on their two selected instruments or on one instrument and voice. It also helps them to acquire more specialist skills in an area which may be of particular interest to them. The Course also provides opportunities for learners to develop composing skills and broaden their understanding of music concepts and styles. The Course enables learners to develop their skills and creative capabilities as a musician. It gives learners the skills they need to perform and create music and to confidently discriminate between music concepts and styles.


Performing music, for example, demands skills of autonomy, interpretation and creativity, as well as providing the opportunity to increase confidence and self-esteem. The practice required to develop these skills can promote perseverance, among other things, as well as helping learners to learn how to learn. The skills that learners gain throughout the Course will be valuable for learning, life and work.

The aims of the Course are to enable learners to:

  • develop performing skills in solo and/or group settings on their selected instruments or on one instrument and voice
  • performing challenging music with sufficient accuracy while maintaining the musical flow
  • create original music using compositional methods and music concepts creatively when composing, arranging or improvising
  • broaden their knowledge and understanding of music and musical literacy by listening to music and identifying a range of music signs, symbols and music concepts
  • critically reflect on and evaluate their own work and that of others

The Course enables learners to develop skills in performing, creating, understanding and analysing music. It enables learners to develop and extend their applied music skills in challenging contexts and to develop greater depth of understanding of music through listening.

It provides learners with the skills they need to perform challenging music with musical and technical accuracy and fluency, while realising the composers’ intentions. It also provides learners with opportunities to develop composing skills in sophisticated and creative ways. Further, the Course also helps learners develop advanced aural skills and demonstrate their understanding and analysis of music through researching and analysing complete movements or works.

The aims of the Course are to enable learners to:

  • develop autonomy and independent thinking skills
  • develop creativity through performing
  • develop self-expression when creating original music
  • develop advanced skills in musical analysis and aural discrimination
  • develop knowledge of music and musical literacy through in-depth study and analysis
  • evaluate their own work and that of others

In the Course, learners will plan, organise and make decisions and take responsibility for managing their learning. They will apply their critical thinking skills when reflecting on their performing skills and their own music compositions. They will review and refine their music performances and compositions.


Homework consists of mainly practice and acquiring skills on the instruments required for performance elements.  There will be some formal written assignments throughout the course. Most concepts will be covered through practical activity.

  • Building self-confidence in a supportive environment.
  • Developing responsibility, perseverance & resilience.
  • Enhancing literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Social awareness & cultural differences.
  • Communicating, evaluating & presenting in a constructive, meaningful manner.
  • Performance skills.

‘The music teachers are really supportive and helped me develop as a musician. The learning resources they provide are great too.’

Thomas Rae 6Cr

Is music for me? 

You will enjoy this subject if: 

  • You want to develop skills on 2 instruments or voice.
  • You like to perform and develop performing skills.
  • You like to be creative.
  • You like to work both individually and as part of a team.
  • You are interested in a variety of cultures.

Influential Musicians

  • Nicola Benedetti CBE – International violin soloist and advocate for music education in schools. Holds honorary doctorates from both Glasgow Caledonian and Heriot Watt universities.
  • Lewis Capaldi – Scottish singer-songwriter and well known for his social media presence, particularly humorous videos. ‘Loved’ reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first Scottish solo artist to top the US charts since Sheena Easton in 1981.
  • Calvin Harris –  Scottish DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter.  His collaboration with Rihanna, ‘We Found Love’, became an international success, giving Harris his first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. He has released five studio albums and runs his own record label, Fly Eye Records, which he founded in 2010.