The Ralph Thoresby School music department is buzzing with excitement right now thanks to new technology, bought with the help of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, which has revolutionised lesson planning.

For several years, the foundation has provided the school with donations. This generous investment has been crucial not only in funding a suite of 14 brand new iMac computers which have helped innovate lessons, but also in offering students, from a variety of backgrounds, funding for music tuition. This has allowed us to maintain our commitment to encouraging creativity – a vital part of any learning environment.  

The EMI MSF have been a huge support to the department as Mrs Winter (head of music) explains…

“It’s heart-breaking for me to think that a child who wants to learn a musical instrument is prevented from doing so by a lack of resources. The generosity of the EMI Music Sound Foundation over the past few years has allowed Ralph Thoresby School to support these children in developing their passion. Computer technology is a key component to studying music. Thanks to the gift of the computer suite from EMI students have been provided with the tools they need to do studio work and electric composition, not only in exam classes but also during KS3.”

Students are now able to access high quality music technology that allows them to engage, actively, with music composition – a key component required in the new GCSE and A level music courses.

Y9 students Joe Harrison and Kieran Colefax have been using the brand new computers and had this to say, “We love being able to hear back our own music on the iMacs, the instruments sound so real and this is really inspiring.” Students are able to write and create their own music and hear it played back with high quality music samples, this really brings their music to life and allows them to learn and create in an exciting and inspiring way.

Y11 student Sam Michaud has just finished using the computers for his GCSE compositions, and says “We have been lucky enough to have the computers for Y11 as we have been able to use them to produce realistic sounding compositions. Before Y11 we had to do everything on paper, which took time and you couldn’t properly hear back what you were writing. I’m really pleased with my compositions and I know that I will hopefully get better grades as a result”


“Seeing our GCSE and A level students experience music in such a creative and visceral way is truly amazing to witness”, says Steve Hackshaw, one of the Assistant Headteachers at school, “Our music department is going from strength to strength and I know that the funding that we receive from EMI goes so much further than we see in the classroom. Our students are accessing music lessons and music education in and out of the classroom as a direct result of the support and funding that we receive from EMI, for which we are incredibly grateful.”

It’s not just the GCSE and A level students that access the new computer suite. Students in the younger year groups as well will now use computers to create their own piece of film music, using film clips and ensuring that their music hits the action cues present in the clips. They also learn how to sequence music via a project on ‘minimalism’. The department is also looking at further ways to incorporate music ICT into the KS3 curriculum and beyond, with plans to look at ways to start courses in music production and music technology.