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  • Music at Pimlico Academy

    Overview of the Music Department

    The Music department offers a broad music curriculum as well as many extra-curricular opportunities. We are a department of 4 full time members of staff and 8 visiting instrumental teachers.

    Our ethos is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage with music while at Pimlico. All students have a music lesson once a week in year 7-9 as part of their Key Stage 3 curriculum. Within this curriculum, students will learn about the concepts of music, including a theoretical and practical understanding of Rhythm & Metre, Tempo, Pitch (including Melody, Harmony, Tonality), Sonority, Texture, Dynamics, Structure and Musical Style. Students will learn about these concepts by studying many styles of music, including Kpanlogo, Minimalism, Western Classical Music, Jazz and Blues, Samba, Film Music, Reggae, Funk and Popular Music. We believe that all musical learning and understanding needs to be developed through active engagement in music, either by listening, performing or composing.

    In year 10 and 11, students may opt to take GCSE music (Eduqas exam board). In years 12 and 13, students have the option to study A level music (Eduqas exam board) and A level music Technology (Edexcel exam board). 

    In year 7, all students will learn how to play an orchestral instrument as part of their extended day programme. The Music Tracks programme culminates in a large-scale concert which sees the students performing alongside the critically-acclaimed Kensington Symphony Orchestra. Following this opportunity, all students have the opportunity to continue learning their instrument as part of the instrumental programme.

    The instrumental programme gives students the opportunity to learn an instrument in addition to their music curriculum lessons. The instrumental lessons are subsidised by the school but do require a financial contribution. Students in all year groups can take part in the instrumental programme and learn any of the following instruments: piano, guitar, bass guitar, voice, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, drum kit, orchestral percussion and steel pan.

    This booklet will give you more information about the instrumental programme and how to apply for lessons.

    Part of learning an instrument is also learning how to perform. We run a number of concerts, trips and workshops for our students throughout the year. All students that learn an instrument should be a member of at least one musical ensemble. All of our ensembles perform in the large concerts at the end of each long term: the Christmas, Spring and Summer Concerts. There are also a number of smaller concerts and workshops throughout the year to give as many students as possible have the opportunity to perform regularly.

    The booklet will give you more information about the musical ensembles, concerts, workshops and partnerships in the music department.

    We highly value the support of parents to the music department and to the students’ musical education. We not only thank you for the financial contribution to the instrumental lessons but also for the encouragement you give the students to practice, of reminding them of their lessons, attending the concerts and much more. We look forward to welcoming you to many concerts this year.

    Ms Hawys Elis-Williams, Head of Music

    Instrumental Programme

    At the heart of the enrichment and extra-curricular activities offered lies the Academy’s instrumental tuition programme. Lessons are taught by our team of highly-qualified and experienced specialist peripatetic teachers, alongside the department’s permanent teaching staff. Teaching is mainly in small groups, with more advanced students having lessons in pairs or individually.


    Joining a musical ensemble is one of the best ways for students to improve as musicians. Students gain valuable skills such as aural awareness, ensemble playing, sight-reading practice and performance opportunities. All of our ensembles perform in our large-scale concerts throughout the year where their parents and friends can come to watch their performances.

    All students who take part in the Instrumental Programme are required to take part in the Academy’s musical ensembles and extra-curricular activities which are provided free of charge. Some activities are open to all and some require students to have a certain level of musical expertise; please ask a music teacher if you have any questions about an ensemble or extra-curricular activity. These activities complement and extend students’ learning in the classroom and in instrumental lessons. Here is a list of ensembles we currently run but we are always looking to develop our provision so you may find more next year!



    Open to



    Jazz Choir

    Students who have auditioned and must already be a member of the choir

    Year 7 Choir

    All year 7 students

    Wind Band

    Students who have been learning a wind or percussion instrument for at least a year


    Students who have been learning a wind instrument for at least a year

    String Orchestra

    Students who have been learning a string instrument for at least a year


    Students who have been learning an orchestral instrument for at least a year

    Junior Jazz

    All instrumentalists and vocalists who are at least grade 1 standard and have an interest in jazz and improvisation

    Senior Jazz

    Students who have completed the junior jazz course

    Synth Club

    GCSE and A level students with an interest in perusing music technology courses.

    Junior Samba


    Senior Samba

    Students who have completed the junior samba course

    Music Technology Club


    Music Theory Club




    The Academy hosts regular concerts throughout the year. All ensembles perform at the large concerts held at the end of the Autumn, Spring, and Summer terms, while small chamber groups and soloists are presented at Chamber Concerts, Jazz Nights, and Open Mic Nights. All students that are members of an ensemble, must perform in any concert that the ensemble will be performing in.

    Here is a list of the concerts and workshops planned for 2019-20, any changes or added dates will be advertised on the school website and music department social media accounts.




    Tuesday 10th September 2019

    Auditions for Hairspray Musical

    Drama Department

    Open to all

    Thursday 19th September 2019

    Year 6 Open Evening: Steel Pan performance

    Assembly Hall

    One steel pan group

    Wednesday 16th October 2019

    Open Mic Night

    Room 109, Music Department

    Singers/bands who have signed up

    Thursday 31st October 2019

    Year 11 Chamber Concert

    Room 109, Music Department

    Year 11 GCSE students

    Wednesday 11th December 2019

    Christmas Concert

    Assembly Hall

    All students in ensembles

    Monday 16th –Wednesday 18th December 2019

    Hairspray - Musical

    Assembly Hall

    Hairspray cast

    Date to be confirmed January 2020

    Brass Day

    Pimlico Academy

    All Brass Players

    Wednesday 5th February 2020

    Arts Showcase

    Pimlico Academy

    Art, Drama and Music Year 11-13 students

    Thursday 6th

    February 2020

    Jazz Night

    Room 109, Music Department

    Junior and Senior Jazz Ensembles

    Wednesday 12th February 2020

    Pimlico Idol

    Assembly Hall

    Audition Process

    Wednesday 25th February 2020

    Composers Day

    Music Department

    Year 8 and 9 students

    Wednesday 4th March 2020

    KS3 Chamber Concert

    Room 109, Music Department

    KS3 instrumentalists who have signed up

    Thursday 19th  – Friday 20th March 2020

    Year 11 GCSE solo performance final examination

    Room 104, Music Department

    Year 11 GCSE students

    Wednesday 1st April 2020

    Spring Concert

    Assembly Hall

    All students in ensembles

    Wednesday 13th  May 2020

    KS3 Chamber Concert

    Room 109, Music Department

    KS3 instrumentalists who have signed up

    Wednesday 20th  May 2019

    Concerto Completion

    Room 109, music Department 

    Open to all students but you must sign up

    Date to be confirmed

    June 2020

    String Day

    Assembly Hall, Music Department

    All string players

    Thursday 2nd July 2020

    Music Tracks Concert

    Sports Hall

    All year 7 students

    Thursday 9th July 2019

    Summer Festival

    Pimlico Academy

    All students in ensembles


    Whole-school Musical

    The Music and Drama department put on a whole-school musical each year which is performed in the last week of term before the Christmas Holiday. All students and parents are invited to come to watch the performance. 

    This year, the production will be Hairspray and auditions will be held in September.


    We organise a range of trips for our students. In the academic year of 2018-19 we went to The Royal College of Music for a workshop; the Samba group went to perform at Waterloo Carnival; steel pan groups performed at Waterloo Festival, Jubilee Primary School and Churchill Gardens Primary School; a band performed at Millbank Primary School; and a number of ensembles performed in Hyde Park for the British Summertime Festival.

    At the end of the 2018-19 academic year we also took 50+ students on tour to Belgium. The department usually goes on tour every other year, meaning the next tour will be in July 2021.


    We organise bespoke workshops for students throughout the year including a Composers Day, String Day and Brass Day, as well as workshops with outside organisations including the Royal College of Music, Youthsayeres and Kinetika.


    Image result for royal college of music

    We will continue to be a partner school of the Royal College of Music in 2019-20. The Royal College of Music will send some of their students to support in a number of workshops throughout the year as well as invite us to workshops at the College. We also hope they will be able to support students who have an interest in applying to study music at the RCM or similar in the future.


    Image result for kensington symphony orchestra logo

    The Music Department continues to have a close relationship with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra. The KSO come to perform with our year 7 students every year for the Music Tracks Concert.

    The Music Department has been awarded The Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for the sixth year in a row and is a member of the Schools Programme. In 2019-20 the department will embark on a research project to become an Associate Department.

    Image result for prince's teaching institute logo


    Pimlico Academy

    Pimlico Academy, Lupus Street, London SW1V 3AT
    Tel: 020 7828 0881