Music Staff

Teaching Staff

Mrs L Glenn  (Head of Department)

Mrs N Thorogood

Instrumental Tutors


Peripatetic Music Tutors

Mrs C McKay- Upper Strings

Miss L Skelton- Woodwind

Mr G Murray- Woodwind/Brass

Mrs S Davis- Lower Strings

Dr Culbertson – Singing

Mrs N Logan- Piano & Music Theory

Mr P Thorogood – Guitar



Key Stage 3

Our work at Key Stage 3 is focused on learning through listening, composing and performing. Our Mac suite allows pupils to learn through making music related to our topics on Garage Band. Our programme of study at Key Stage 3 includes: African Music, The Orchestra, Music for Special Occasions, Music and Advertising, Irish Music, Song Writing and Film Music.  In Year 10, students have the opportunity to learn to play the Ukulele.  Across Years 8-10, students will study, in detail ‘set works’ which helps to lay the foundations for further study at GCSE and A Level.

We believe that Music at Key Stage 3 is for all students and not just those who have played instruments before.


Garage Band



All of our pupils follow the CCEA specification which follows on from our Key Stage 3 programme by focusing on listening, composing and performing.

This specification gives students opportunities to:

  • develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a range of different kinds of music;
  • take part in music-making and communicate through music;
  • develop their creativity;
  • make informed judgements about musical quality;
  • develop a lifelong interest in music; and
  • learn about music-related careers

Students will study four modules:  Western Classical Music, Musical Traditions in Ireland, Popular Music and Film Music.  They will also prepare a solo and ensemble performance as well as composing two pieces of music.

The weightings for each component are:

Listening and Appraising – 35%

Performing – 35%

Composition – 30%


AS/A2 Level

Through the CCEA GCE Music specification our pupils have the opportunity to create and perform music that allows them to express their own interests and style.

In the AS units, they study music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods right through to popular musicals and sacred vocal styles. Students who continue to A2 explore in more depth orchestral music of the twentieth century alongside secular and sacred vocal music spanning over 400 years.




Extra-Curricular Activities

Here are comments written by some of our pupils about the activities on offer at the Rainey:

Junior Choir

Junior Choir is when all the willing choir members join to rehears pieces of music for the upcoming annual Carol Services or Spring Concerts.  With the help of Miss Given and Miss Bingham, we practise our pieces, sing vocal exercise along with having a lot of fun!  Junior Choir is open to both boys and girls from first to third year.  Junior Choir meets every Wednesday at lunch time or on alternate weeks, after school.




String Group

String Group meets at 1.10pm on Monday lunchtimes. Anyone who has completed Grade four or above in a string instrument can attend. It is a great way to meet new people and to further develop your skills as a string player. It’s also great because we get to play fun and contemporary pieces.


Chamber Choir

Chamber choir meets on Tuesdays at 1.10pm. It is made up of around 20 people and in order to get in, you must complete a successful audition. Chamber choir is a fun and encouraging lunchtime activity in which we can not only make new friends but also develop our musical ability. It’s especially helpful to improve our sight singing. We sing a large range of songs from a cappella to Christmas songs to the latest hits so there really is something for everyone. Chamber choir prepare these pieces for both the spring concert and the Christmas carol service. I would really encourage anyone with a passion for Music to consider becoming a member of chamber choir.




Orchestra is a great extra-curricular activity to take part in on Mondays, from 3:30-4:30pm.  Orchestra is open to all pupils who play an instrument and are Grade 3 and above.  This provides an opportunity for pupils to play with other pupils of different ages and abilities and allows them to develop their own personal musical practical skills.

From the months of September to December, we prepare for our highly anticipated Christmas Carol Service and for the majority of the remainder of the school year, we prepare for the spectacular Spring Concert.  Orchestra is great fun and I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested comes along!


Senior Choir

Senior Choir is a fantastic after school club for all pupils in Year 11 and above who enjoy singing and making friends.  Every Tuesday, we practice from 3:30-4:30 for our two main concerts at Christmas and in the Spring.  As a SATB Choir, male and female students of every range and ability can come to develop their skills and no previous experience in a choir is necessary.  There is an easy and safe atmosphere so everyone can get the most out of Senior Choir.  We would love to see you there!


Traditional Group

Check out our extra-curricular page for more up to date details:


Practice Tips for Music Students

Here are some ways to help you progress and ultimately, flourish on your chosen instrument.


  1. Keep some time aside for regular practice – this doesn’t have to be every single day.  However, the greater the level of difficulty, the greater practice time is required.


  1. Break down your piece into small sections, concentrating on the areas of difficulty.  It’s a great achievement when you master a difficult passage!


  1. Practice small sections with simple rhythms and correct fingering before trying to add in the correct rhythm.


  1. Ensure you can play a fast piece slowly and a slow piece quickly in order to gain control.


  1. Record your performance of a piece and listen back.  Here, you may hear inaccuracies you didn’t realise you were playing.



There are many useful resources online which can be helpful in setting up practice schedules as well as other tips for practicing specific instruments.  Check these out to help you develop your talent and skill!


Remember, “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good.  It’s the thing you do that makes you good!” (Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers)


Carol Services / Spring Concert

Each year, the music department have a Christmas and Spring concert to celebrate the musical success of our vast number of extra-curricular programmes. This also creates an opportunity to showcase the outstanding talent of many of our pupils.

Here are some of the highlights from previous concerts:

Evening of Music 2020

Carol Concert 2019

Rainey’s Got Talent 2019


Rainey’s Got Talent


Rainey’s Got Talent was a fantastic night which showcased the talent of many of our pupils across the school. From singing to comedy, this night had it all.


A full gallery of the night is available here