Head of Music
Mr John-Paul Davies
specialist in Jazz and Composition. Delivers Music from Year 7-13.
Music Teacher KS3
Mr Emyr Evans
KS3 Teacher of Music – organist/pianist and chorister. Delivers Music through the medium of Welsh, Years 7 & 8.
Music Technology Teacher
Miss Branwen Munn
Music Technology – producer, multi-instrumentalist. Delivers Music Tech at A Level and assists Music GCSE.
- Instrumental Ensembles
- Vocal Ensembles
- Instrumental Lessons
- Curriculum Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
At Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn we are very fortunate to have extremely talented and dedicated learners who, through the guidance of the Music Department staff, create a musical community that proudly represents the school.
Our staff encourages the ongoing evolution and development of musical skills and understanding through the use of current teaching practices and music technology. We study music of the past and present to give students knowledge of a wide range of musical styles and genres. The parental support for the program and students is vital to our continual quest for musical excellence. We believe that having staff, parents and students working together on the same team will result in an innovative, creative and expressive experience.
The Emlyn Music department recognizes the importance of theory in music education. It is our duty to ensure the progress and development of our young musicians in order that they may become the orchestra members, session musicians, songwriters and composers of the future.
It is our ethos that the Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn Music Department should offer students opportunities to experience music in a variety of ways; that music helps students become expressive, creative and disciplined while capturing the spirit of music and fostering their personal love of it. Our links with various institutions, such as County and Three Counties ensembles, The Young Composer of Dyfed and Theatr Mwldan help in reaching this goal.
Music Department Staff
Mr John-Paul Davies, Head of Music – specialist in Jazz and Composition. Delivers Music from Year 7-13.
Mr Emyr Evans, KS3 Teacher of Music – organist/pianist and chorister. Delivers Music through the medium of Welsh, Years 7 & 8.
Miss Branwen Munn, Music Technology – producer, multi-instrumentalist. Delivers Music Tech at A Level and assists Music GCSE.
We are very lucky to have the provision to deliver Music in Welsh for Year 7 and 8, if there is a requirement. All pupils study different aspects of Welsh music from Year 7 through to 13. This ranges from Folk Music to Rock and contemporary classical composers. The Music department has a very strong presence in the school Eisteffod and all pupils sing in for the weeks running up to the annual competition.
Young composers at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn have a long history of success with the Young Composer of Dyfed Competition. Every year we have a winner going through to the final concert to have their piece performed by a professional classical ensemble, better yet all the composers who submit a piece receive a CD copy of their composition to keep and use as coursework.
We have also recently had a winner in the international arranging competition set by Daydream Education.
In 2017 some of our young singers won the final of Cor Cymru, a televised, national choral competition. The choir went on to compete in Latvia in the inaugural Eurovision Choir competition. They came a very close second, out of nine international choirs.
We have also been fortunate to win many competitions for equipment over recent years – guitars, amps, drum kits, DJ decks and lighting rigs have all been won due to the hard work and perseverance of both pupils and staff.
The Music department works very closely with the Drama department in producing an annual school show. Taking place at the start of the school year, six weeks of intensive practice leads to a spectacular musical production that the cast and crew will remember for the rest of their lives. School instrumentalists are used in the professional orchestra as much as possible and all performers have the opportunity to sing on stage. Previous productions have included: Annie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, three original productions – Peter Pan, Song and The Brothers Grimm – Bugsy Malone, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Bye Bye Birdie and Smile.
Two years ago we launched our new rock music series, …And Friends. Featuring sell out performances in Theatr Mwldan of ABBA And Friends and The Beatles and Friends. These performances, used as assessment for BTEC Music, were a highly polished, professional showcase of our talented young musicians.
A huge variety of music is made every week in Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn and all ensemble rehearsals take place within school hours.
Monday a.m. Chamber Choir
Tuesday a.m. Wind Band/Orchestra
Thursday a.m. Junior Choir
Thursday p.m. Jazz Band
Friday a.m. Senior Choir
The school has had a Wind Band for many years now. At present we are looking to expand the band to include more string instruments and become a substantial Orchestra. We welcome new string players to the ensemble every year. The Orchestra represents the school in the annual Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church, accompanying the congregational hymns and performing a festive piece. Once a year the size of the orchestra doubles when the Year 5 & 6 musicians from the feeder primary schools join us for a play day. Previous years have been themed around Pirates and Sea Shanties, Fairy Tales and Pixar Films.
Following on from the success of our Jazz Band, Soul Band features the school’s top instrumentalists and vocalists. The band recreates classic soul songs from the Motown era and recent performers, such as Amy Winehouse.
String, Brass, Wind Groups
The peripatetic teachers also run section specific ensembles on a regular basis to improve their learners’ reading skills and to provide further material for concert performances.
This ensemble provides the perfect opportunity for new learners to the school to continue the great tradition of singing introduced at Primary School level. Projection, breathing and diction are addressed at this level to create strong individual and group singers. The Junior Choir perform at all the school’s concert events, giving the young people the opportunity to perform in the comfort of large numbers. Thanks to the expertise of our department much of the material performed by this ensemble is in the Welsh language.
We believe singing in an ensemble to be the most rewarding aspect of music performance. Open to all upper school learners, attendance at this ensemble is obligatory for all singers who take Music at GCSE and A Level. However, many musicians who have not taken Music regularly attend in order to keep involved in the Music Department’s many events.
An ensemble for upper school girls, this vocal group produces some beautiful music, covering a range of styles from folk songs to popular and traditional vocal music.
The Music Department is very proud to be able to offer expert instrumental tuition from some of the best musicians in the country. To keep the standard of tuition high, and ensure the dedication of our young musicians, lessons are charged at £30 a term (£20 free school meals). This works out at an average of approximately £2.50 a lesson.
Woodwind – Monday, Mr. A Jackson
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone
Drums – Monday, Mr. M Phillips
Vocals – Tuesday, Mr. I Evans
Guitar, Bass – Tuesday, Mr. L Mason
Brass – Wednesday, Mr. G Thomas
Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, French Horn, Tenor Horn
Upper Strings – Wednesday, Mrs. G Thomas
Lower Strings – Friday, Ms. N Harries
Cello, Double Bass
Class sizes vary, ranging from 1-3 musicians depending upon the learners’ needs.
County/Six Counties Ensembles
Our peripatetic teachers are fully involved in the music making at county level and beyond. The attendance of ensemble rehearsals outside of school is actively encouraged and free transport is provided from YGE to County rehearsals.
Instruments may be left during school hours in the Peripatetic Room, which is locked when not in use but should be taken home for practice every evening and on weekends.
Curriculum Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
Key Stage 3
Music is delivered twice a fortnight from Year 7-9. A range of units are studied from Gospel, to Welsh Rock, to Jazz and Blues.
Assessments take place on a regular basis and are largely performance based. Performance work is primarily keyboard and choral in the early years with opportunities to try new instruments increasing as the pupils advance through the school. Composition work and appraising skills are also assessed once a term. All these aspects go toward awarding a final KS3 Level.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE there are five lessons a fortnight. Although the classes generally consist of pupils who have studied an instrument for the previous three years, it has been known for new musicians to take the GCSE and still achieve A*-C.
Pupils sit an end of year listening exam, submit a portfolio of two compositions and perform two pieces on their chosen instrument. The exam board is WJEC.
Key Stage 5
In the Sixth Form musicians have the choice between sitting a Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Performance or Composition) or an A Level in Music.
The A Level carries on the same path as the GCSE with performance, composition and appraisal skills being studied. In Year 13 learners have the option of specialising in one of the above three disciplines.
The BTEC course offers greater flexibility in content without the enforced academic rigour of the A Level course. Topics range from Popular Music History to Musical Theatre and Arranging Techniques.
An A Level in Music Technology is also a very popular choice for Sixth Form. Studying the production and digital creation of recorded music this course has an excellent pass rate and many of our musicians go on to study Music Technology at degree level.