In the Music Department, we believe that Music has the power to transform lives and therefore want a department that fosters a life-long appreciation for Music.

For some, that will mean equipping students with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in music. For others it will mean equipping students with the skills and knowledge to pursue music as a hobby, but for all it means equipping students with the understanding that music will enrich their existence throughout their life.

Musically, we wish to equip all students with the skills and knowledge to be able to create music that has an emotional impact upon their audience.


You will be introduced to the world of music through listening to a range of artists and styles. You will develop your key performance skills through using your voice, and instruments such as keyboard and ukulele. You will begin to develop your music technology skills through using Garageband, and composition skills by writing song lyrics.

You will continue to explore the world of music through further listening, with a particular focus on reggae, film music and hip-hop. You will continue to develop your performance skills on vocals, ukulele and keyboard, and use Garageband to compose and record, as well as writing hip-hop lyrics.

Embarking on a journey of ‘Music Through Time’, you will learn about influential genres, artists and songs from the world of popular music. You will focus on your keyboard playing skills, learning an influential piece of music from each decade, and also use your music technology skills to record a podcast about a chosen genre of music.



The BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice builds perfectly upon the skills and knowledge you have learnt in Years 7 to 9, allowing you to develop your skills in performing, composing, reviewing & evaluating and music technology even further. The course is specifically designed to reflect the variety of skills and knowledge required to succeed in today’s music industry.

Whilst studying the course, you will complete three components, as listed below:

Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles

Component 2: Music Skills Development

Component 3: Responding to a Music Brief


Studying Music can lead to a career in the UK’s vibrant music industry, where there is a variety of job roles, either on stage or behind the scenes.

Crucially, by studying Music students learn key skills that are vital for any career – especially creativity and communication, which are stated time and time again as key traits that employers in every industry are looking for.

There is a wide variety of careers in the UK’s Music Industry, not all to do with performing. These include:​

  • Music Performer​
  • Session Musician
  • Music Producer
  • Studio Engineer
  • Sound Technician
  • Music Teacher
  • Songwriter
  • Composer (e.g. Film or Computer Games)
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Journalist
  • Broadcaster
  • Promotions/Marketing
  • A&R Representative


This course is 100% coursework based so there are no written exams, but rather practical coursework with written elements. All assessments are carried out under controlled conditions.


Students picking Music need to have a passion for the subject and a desire to learn more about it.

Students must have basic skills on at least one instrument (including vocals) as well as the willingness to practice daily to improve their skills.

Students must be willing to perform to an audience, and due to the music technology elements of the course, must have good ICT skills. All students must have good standards of literacy.


Shireland Collegiate Academy has a strong relationship with the Sandwell Music & Arts Service and is able to provide instrumental tuition free of charge. Instruments on offer include voice, keyboard, guitar, drums, violin, woodwind and brass.

We have a vibrant extra-curricular music scene including Choirs and Drop-In Music Clubs and present an Annual Music Showcase to show off the talents of our students in the department.

Mr Hughes

Head of Department

Mr Hughes studied Music Production at the University of Liverpool, subsequently gaining his PGCE in Secondary Music from Edge Hill University. A semi-professional singer, Mr Hughes was previously signed to Sony Music, releasing an album in 2010. As well as teaching, Alan volunteers for a national singing charity, judges national singing competitions, and teaches at music summer schools in the UK and abroad.