Music at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

At Durham Johnston School, pupils have an hour’s music lesson each week during Years 7, 8 and 9. In those music lessons, pupils have the opportunity to enjoy and explore a range of music through understanding, listening, performing and composing activities. They are encouraged to use their creativity to explore the ways in which music affects us all, and they become equipped with the skills to analyse, evaluate and improve their own music making, and the music making of others. During the three years, they study many different genres, styles and musical traditions, broadening their outlook on life and the world.


KS3 Understanding

KS3 Listening

KS3 Performing

KS3 Composition


This broad and detailed programme of study lays the foundation for further musical study, paving the way for a successful transition to the next key stage. For those that choose to go on to study music at KS4, we follow the Edexcel GCSE Music specification, full details of which are at this linkFor those that choose to go on to study music at KS5, we follow the AQA A Level Music specification, full details of which are at this link


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Confucius

Many pupils choose to further their musical education by participating in one or more of the weekly Extra-Curricular Activities run by the Music Department. We currently run the following lunchtime and after-school activities.


We are proud that around 10% of the school’s pupils have Instrumental Lessons in school, and through partnerships with Durham Music Service and Music Works we currently offer tuition in the following musical disciplines:



The Hungarian composer and music educator Zoltan Kodály developed a method of teaching that exploited the natural musicality of a child, bringing out their creativity through performance and composition, for the benefit of their well-being. His philosophy is one the Music Department at Durham Johnston School holds to be true.

“With music, one’s whole future life is brightened. This is such a treasure in life that it helps us over many troubles and difficulties. Music is nourishment, a comforting elixir. Music multiplies all that is beautiful and of value in life.”