Mission Statement

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything" - Plato

The Music Department aims to inspire pupils with a love and passion for a myriad of musical styles, genres and cultures. We will support students in expressing themselves through the language of music, whether it is in performance, composition or listening with understanding. Furthermore we will offer pupils opportunities to work collaboratively in addition to exploring their own personal strengths. Moreover we recognise and acknowledge the importance of the journey of learning through music, where both the product and process are of equal value. Finally we will endeavour to equip students with the necessary musical skills and knowledge to fulfil their potential.

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" -Aldous Huxley

Courses Offered & Unit Work

AS Music (AQA)

A2 Music (AQA)

Unit Work Year 12 AS

Unit Work Year 13 A2

Preparing for Sixth Form

Department Highlights

The department has developed an outstanding reputation in recent years for its work in the field of Musical Theatre with our annual productions receiving stunning reviews:

Shakespeare Goes Sci-fi

As a department we provide an array of further extra-curricular opportunities including Samba Band, Ceilidh Band, Main School Choir, Chamber Choir, 6th Form Choir, Wind Band, Big Band, Musical Band, Clarinet Group, Flute Group and Grade 5 Theory Club. Throughout each academic year pupils have the opportunity to perform at a variety of venues and events both locally and further afield, including supporting charities in the community.

We also run an intensive residential rehearsal weekend to Ford Castle every year which enables pupils to develop their ensemble and team-working skills. We have also built firm links with past pupils who return to the department to share their skills and knowledge base with current year groups. A high proportion of our pupils who take music in Sixth Form gain places in 3rd Level institutions to study music or performing arts, most recently to Oxford University, Aberdeen University and The Royal Northern College of Music.

Staff Contact List

Mrs Suzie Cochrane (Head of Department)


Mrs Margaret Watchorn (A Level Teacher)

Mr P Brown (Piano Teacher) - p.brown@dchs-alnwick.org

Mrs H Humphreys (Clarinet / Piano Teacher) - h.humpreys@dchs-alnwick.org

Mr A Lee (Guitar Teacher) - alee@dchs-alnwick.org

Miss Amy Thatcher (Accordion Teacher)

Mr R Creasey (Brass Teacher) - ronald.creasey@northumberland.gov.uk

Mr G Hare (Drum Teacher) - g.hare@dchs-alnwick.org

Mr R Johnstone (Woodwind Teacher) - richard.johnstone@northumberland.gov.uk

Ms Frances Orde (Violin Teacher)

Miss Leanne Todd (Saxophone Teacher)

Mrs S Gray (Singing Teacher) - sarah.gray@northumberland.gov.uk

Mrs E Stephenson (Violin Teacher) - emily.stephenson@northumberland.gov.uk