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Curriculum for Excellence - Broad General Education (S1-S3)

Understanding Music

Pupils study a wide range of musical styles and take part in a number of musical projects throughout S1, S2 and S3. Along with developing their instrumental skills, at specific points throughout the year, pupils work together on a research project which makes use of library resources and enhances pupils’ literacy skills.

S1 – 1 period per week

Creative Rhythmic work including Samba

Latin American Music

Musical Theatre

Music of Scotland

S2 – 2 periods per week



Instruments of the Orchestra

Popular Scottish including Folk/Rock

World Music

Music in the Media


S3 – 4 periods per week

Music of Scotland – Dances and Vocal Music

Popular Music Styles

Vocal Music


As well as developing an understanding of music and the concepts involved, pupils also develop performing skills on a variety of instruments. Pupils are encouraged to use their individual practise time wisely and effectively, as well as work with and support others in their learning. Pupils are given many opportunities to perform to their peers and to evaluate their own and the performance of others. Performances are regularly recorded for these purposes.


The following instruments are introduced in S1:


Drum Kit

Acoustic Guitar


The following instruments are introduced in S2:

Bass Guitar

Electric Guitar

Tuned Percussion


Pupils chose at least one instrument/voice which they will focus on and further develop skills and confidence.


Pupils continue with the instrument they chose in S2 but must also chose a second instrument, both of which are compulsory for N3, N4 or N5 Music which pupils will sit in S4.

S1 - S3 Composition and Literacy

Pupils have the opportunity in S1 to S3 to compose their own music in a variety of styles. Initially, a rhythmic composition is created, allowing pupils to work in groups, compose and perform their own ideas. Pupils then compose on a given chord structure before moving on to compose Variations upon a Ground Bass and a Scottish Waltz.

Literacy skills are enhanced and developed throughout the composition element of the music course. Pupils will also make use of a variety of computer programmes such as Sibelius, Sibelius Instruments, Musition, Aurelia to develop aural skills and knowledge and understanding of music theory. There are also a number of interactive apps on a set of ipads which can use to further develop  skills in this area.