George Salter Academy

George Salter Academy in West Bromwich, Sandwell, is a mixed comprehensive school for 11 to 16 year olds.

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follow the Music department on twitter @GSA_music
The Prince's Teaching Institute Mark 2014 Music logo

Our Music Department has one foot in both camps - straddling both the academic and vocational areas of the curriculum, providing pupils with the skills necessary to access the highest level of qualification.

The department is fortunate to have the services of three specialist music teachers:

  • Mrs H Jones – Director of Performing Arts
  • Mr C Niblett - Teacher of Music and Music Technology
  • Mrs C Penn – Head of Department
  • Mr D Callaghan - Performing Arts technician

The Music Department has 4 specialist classrooms with 3 practice rooms and a recording studio.

The Department has 25 Apple iMac computers running Logic Studio, Sibelius and Pro tools. These are used in BTEC, GCSE, AS and A level Music and Music Technology lessons as well as some Key Stage 3 lessons whenever they are available.

The recording studio is a state of the art Power Mac based, 24 track pro tools system and is fully equipped with "Ozone" mastering software. The studio is primarily used for the delivery of KS5 courses but is also used to teach engineering and production skills to KS3 and 4 students.

Study Support

Instrumental Lessons

The Academy employs a team of expert tutors and professional musicians to deliver instrumental teaching alongside our own staff specialist areas. Most students are taught individually or in small groups on a weekly basis. Lessons are available on strings, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as guitar, bass, keyboard, piano, voice and drums.  The Academy subsidises instrument lessons for aptitude students or those pupils taking a KS4/5 course in Music and requests a contribution of only £40 per term for other students. A commitment to practise for performances and attend rehearsals regularly is essential.


Extra-Curricular music

There is a thriving programme of extra -curricular music in the academy. Ensembles meet on a regular basis to rehearse. Groups include:

  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Junior Orchestra
  • Dynamix vocal group
  • Yr 7 Choir "Destiny"
  • Guitar group
  • Saxophone group
  • Strings group
  • Brass group
  • Swing Band (pupil and staff players)

The Academy’s annual Musical production is held in the Spring Term.

Recent shows have included:

  • We will rock you
  • Fame
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Hairspray
  • Fame Forever
  • Our House
  • Oliver
  • Grease
  • This years production is "Les Miserables"



Trips to support learning are a priority in the Music Department. Recent trips have included:

  • Theatre trip to see The Beatles "Let it be"
  • a visit to Birmingham Symphony Hall to listen to the CBSO perform Beethoven’s 1st Symphony as part of the AS level work
  • a trip to the LG Arena to see behind the scenes for the Music Industry unit
  • a tour to Venice last summer
  • performances in the community throughout the year


Music Scholarship

Entrants can apply for one of twenty music places available each year.


Future Events

Download a list of future events 2016-2017 [pdf, 214 KB]



Mrs C Penn (Head of Department), e-mail:
Mr C Niblett, email:


Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

music room and equipmentMusic is a compulsory subject in Year 7 with students having one lesson of music per week.

Students who opt for Music in Year 8 as their Performing Arts choice, receive two periods of teaching.

Students cover a wide range of topics including Blues, Reggae and Film music composition and have the opportunity to develop musical ensembles through group work. Over two years of fast-paced, exciting lessons, students will develop the key skills of performing, composing and listening through a variety of instruments including keyboards, percussion, guitars and voice. The department also has access to two suites of computers and a studio, giving students the opportunity to experience music making in the modern industry.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

BTEC Music Technology

music studentsThe department offers BTEC Level 2 Music Technology and consistently achieves a 100% pass rate in this subject.

GCSE Music

The Department follows the AQA course that develops students' performing, composing and listening skills in a flexible and creative way. Students work both in groups and individually on their instrument or voice. They learn to perfect performances from a variety of styles over the duration of the course and they learn to record these to a professional standard. Students also compose pieces using Music Technology and their own instruments. Students will also prepare for a listening exam by studying a variety of western and non-western musical styles. This is a fast paced course that prepares the students for A Level Music or Music Technology.

Exam results 2014 2015 2016
GCSE 100% A-C 100% A-C 64% A*-B;
91% A*-C (including 72% A*-A in free choice composition
Table of Music exam results 2014-2016

Post 16

A-Level Music

music technologyAS Music (AQA) is an exciting and lively course for students, aiming to build on the knowledge they have gained through GCSE. The challenging course is aimed at students who enjoy performing as a soloist or in an ensemble, composing and studying and analysing music. Students are offered the opportunity to use music technology, improvise and acquire music techniques of the Western Classical Tradition and Jazz music.

A-Level Music Technology

The course introduces students to the art of Recording, Sequencing and Music Production. These skills are developed throughout the programme of study where students are able to build upon the fundamentals ascertained within the first year and specialise in areas such as:

  • Music for Film
  • Electro Acoustic Composition
  • Advanced Multitrack Recording, Music production and mastering


Exam results 2014 2015 2016
Level 3 BTEC Music 100% D*-P 100% D*-P 100% D*-D
A level Music 100% A-E 100% A-D n/a
A level Music Technology 100% A-E 100% A-E 100% A-E
Table of Music exam results 2014-2016


6th Form Leavers destinations

  • 2016 - J White - Leeds College of Music (Jazz)
  • 2015 - D Marriner - University of Gloucester (Popular Music)
  • 2015 - P Martin - University of Bangor (Music)
  • 2014 - M Lal - Leeds College of Music (Jazz)


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