The Music Department is housed in a purpose built 2 storey building which was opened in September 2011. There are 2 classrooms, 8 practice rooms, 2 ensemble rooms, 4 peripatetic teaching rooms, a recital room and a recording studio. Music is an important part of both the curriculum and the extra-curricular provision we provide.
Music Curriculum Intent
The intent is our music education will not only be enjoyable but also provide an important opportunity for pupils’ creative and expressive development as well as their social skills. Music has been found to assist their development in other subjects too, including maths, reading and across the curriculum. Through learning about and understanding different genres and music different time periods we also aim to develop pupils’ cultural understanding. Pupils who study an instrument to a high level will develop the discipline and commitment required to succeed and that too will be encouraged. All pupils will be given the opportunity to learn an instrument at school and opportunities to perform will also be important for developing self-confidence. The aim is that those who study Music at GCSE and beyond will not only develop their musical knowledge and skills but also gain an understanding of the future career opportunities available whether in performance, teaching, arts administration or the music technology industry.
Music Curriculum Implementation
Music is part of the core curriculum for all pupils at KS3 and there is the opportunity for students to opt to study Music or Music Technology at both GCSE and A Level.
Many pupils enjoy the benefits of music out of school but for most this is the first time they will have encountered music in a structured environment. For some we will ensure they familiar with the very basics of music whereas with others with a more advanced knowledge and skill set there will be opportunities to develop from their starting point in lessons and in extra-curricular activities.
Music delivered in the curriculum will not only concentrate on practical skills and becoming more confident in performance but will provide the pupils with a variety of experiences in composition and listening. These three skill sets are crucial in all forms of music education at KS3/4/5 and beyond. In addition, key vocabulary for each unit of work will be introduced through either listening or composition tasks and opportunities are also given develop extended writing techniques. Pupils will gain an understanding of place Music has in other cultures e.g. call and response and polyrhythms in African tribal ceremonies and Indian ragas used in Hindu meditation.
The schemes of work in Key Stage 3 begin with a thorough understanding of the 6 main elements of music at the beginning of year 7. The work then progresses to key concepts in music including notation, melody, structure and tonality. These form the basis of fundamental understanding in music and enable pupils to explore these elements and concepts initially through programme music and then African Music. Year 8 schemes build on the knowledge from Year 7 and introduce harmony and chords at the beginning of the year. This allows pupils to gain more depth in performance work (blues and Jazz) and composition work (variations and film music). Year 9 work focuses on more advanced techniques in 20th century music including modes and popular music forms and allows for longer, more developed practical work and listening work.
At Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils can opt to study Music or Music Technology.
The GCSE and A Level Music courses are divided into three areas: performing, composing and appraisal. All three areas are covered by every student with each area having a weighting of 30%, 30% and 40%, respectively. The area of ’performing’ leads to both solo and ensemble performances and requires pupils to play an instrument to a high standard. The area of ‘composing’ will be a continuation from pupils’ knowledge of the core skills previously learned, though more developed techniques will be learnt too. The analysis of set works is taught in parallel with composition skills to allow pupils to draw on their knowledge and understanding of musical concepts and apply them in composition work to further develop musical awareness.
The GCSE and A Level Music Technology courses have a greater focus on developing recording and ICT knowledge and skills. This take places through a series of projects building and linking these and finally leading to assessments on recording, composing, production and analysis. The GCSE course, in particular, is more practical than the GCSE Music course.
Additional Music Opportunities
In addition to the timetabled music curriculum many pupils undertake music instrumental lessons at school and perform in the various instrumental ensemble and choir rehearsals that take place weekly.
The school concert, piano concert, bands nights and carol service are all firm favourites on the school calendar.
Further information can be found on the Music microsite accessed via the link below: