Inspire - Transform - Succeed

Music

Historically, the music department results have always seen a 100% success pass rate and every year staff aspire to drive the results to an even higher level. In 2013 we converted from Edexcel BTEC Music to Edexcel GCSE Music, which once again resulted in 100% A* – C grade.

 The Music Department is a bright and busy suite of rooms which house a wide variety of great equipment. We have two main teaching rooms, one is the keyboard lab where the majority of practical lessons take place and the other is our Apple Mac Suite which houses 27 Apple iMac computers which operate the latest versions of Garageband, Logic Pro and Sibelius music software. We have three separate practice rooms band rehearsal spaces that house: a full set of steel drums, school guitars, speakers, amps, multi tracking keyboards, five drum kits and a Yamaha V drum kit, a Samba Band, African drum set, Indian, table set and a wide range of classroom percussion and glockenspiels are in regular use.

We also have a recording studio that makes use of a range of recording equipment: Apple iMac, 24 track mixing desk, compressor, and gate and effects unit stack, several microphones for singing, drum microphones and portable audio recording equipment for evidencing performances. Students work so that a wide range of music activities can be studied preparing them for further education and a pathway to a career in the music industry.

Key Stage Three

Students in year 7 are introduced to music at a basic level. All students complete a baseline assessment on entry to the school and then cover the following topics:

Students in Year 8 start to further their understanding of music from different cultures and how they have influenced popular music to date. They also are encouraged to develop their group work skills to enable them to perform within bands:

Unit

1

2

3

4

5

6

Year 7

Titles

Cartoon Music

Rhythm skills

Teenage Kicks

Gamelan

Ostinato’s Dance Music

Rhythms of the World

 

 

Description

 Baseline assessment – listening task

 

Students understand  musical elements and graphic score

Students understand basic rhythmic patterns and how to construct simple compositions in groups using percussion instruments and direction

 

Learn to perform as part of a class ensemble using a variety of instrumentation that they may or may not be familiar with. Students will learn instrumental techniques as well as understanding melody and structure

Understand the origins and musical techniques of Gamelan music. Students will recreate a Gamelan using a pentatonic scale. Students will be assessed on their understanding of pentatonics and polyphony

Understand how technology is used to create music today. As an introduction to music technology students will learn to compose a piece of dance music using many ostinato’s and contrasts in dynamics and texture. Software Garageband will be used

Learn about music around the world and perform a variety of rhythms based styles such as samba music, African music, and Indian tala. Students will compose their own call and response pieces using one of the styles as inspiration.

AFL

Composition/ Listening and Appraising

composition

performance

Composition

composition

performance

 

 

 

Unit

1

2

3

4

5

6

Year 8

Titles

Eye of the Tiger

12 Bar Blues

Caribbean Music

Band Carousel

Theme and Variation

Music for Advert

 

 

Description

 Students learn how a song is created. What is a verse and how a riff is used to carry the song. Students work in small ensembles to practice and perform the song eye of the tiger using a variety of instruments

Students learn the origins of Blues and understand the cultural beginnings of 12 bar blues music. Students work in small groups to perform a blues piece called intercity blues

 

Students understand the cultural history that resulted in the origins of several Caribbean styles including; Reggae, Calypso, Soca and Steel Pan. Students will learn to play a piece of music from Caribbean traditions, focusing on Reggae.

Students will use skills learnt so far to perform a set piece of music as an ensemble. Students will be given a choice of three set songs with lead sheets that they will have to put together to create a well-rehearsed structured performance with contrasting sections

Students understand the basic principles of what a Theme is and how to create a musical variation. Students listen to the original classical piece, Pachelbel’s Canon and use the chords and/ or strings riff to compose an original piece of music as an ensemble

Students learn to use computer based music to compose a piece of music for an advert with a specific brief. Students will research music used for different products and use that information to create the music for a set video advert.

AFL

performance

Ensemble performance

performance

performance

composition

Composition/ listening and appraising

 

 

By Year 9, students will be consolidating the skills they have developed into well-rehearsed performances that are completely self-managed. Students learn to work independently and collaboratively to understand how the music industry operates form a performance perspective as well as a business perspective:

 

Unit

1

2

3

4

5

6

Year 9

Titles

In at the Deep End

In at the Deep end continued

Brit pop

Song Writing

Studio techniques

Film Music

 

 

Description

 Students learn how to work in groups to perform a piece of music of their choice. Students have to split themselves into different instruments and collectively decide on two songs that they feel are suitable for their instrumental level

Students then need to collate all the parts for the different instruments and over the course of 10 weeks learn to perform their songs to a high standard for a class showcase before Christmas.

 

Students understand the origins of Brit pop from the 60’s all the way through to the indie invasion of the 90’s. Students will learn about basic chord sequences and song structures and will learn and perform one song from a choice of 3 Brit pop songs.

Students will gain a better understanding of chords and chord sequences in order to write a piece of music. Students will develop their knowledge of song structures in order to write a piece of music with lyrics and melody as a band.

Students will learn the basic techniques of setting up, routing and recording sound through the recording studio. Students will be expected to use the knowledge that they have acquired in order to record one of the songs that they have learnt to perform throughout the year.

 Students develop their ability to confidently use Logic pro software on the macs to create a piece of music for film. Students will understand how music is used to build suspense and add effect to a scene. After researching music for different styles of movie, students will be expected to create their own version for a specific film clip.

AFL

Listening and appraising

performance

performance

composition

Listening and appraising/ writing

composition

 

 

Key Stage Four

 

At KS4 level, students who opt to follow music will complete an EDEXCEL GCSE in Music. The course is separated into three elements;

  1. Performance - 30% of overall grade. The performance element consists of one solo performance on any instrument and one ensemble performance which can be on the same or any other instrument. All performances must be recorded and presented to an examiner with scores and written commentary
  2. Composition - 30% of overall grade. The composition element requires students to independently create two compositions from different areas of study. All compositions should be recorded and presented to an examiner with complete written scores and a commentary of how the compositions were created.
  3. Listening and Appraising - 40% of overall grade. Students learn about four areas of study and the set pieces within each area of study. At the end of the course students will sit a 1-hour and 30-minute written paper. All questions relate to the set works and the paper will be in two sections. Section A: eight compulsory questions in response to extracts from the set works that will be played on a CD during the examination. Section B: one question from two optional questions on the set works, requiring extended writing

Extra-Curricular Music

 

Extra-curricular is an integral part of the bustling atmosphere within the music department. There are a range of activities that students can enjoy and clubs and ensemble are open to all students without prejudice.

 Instrumental lessons - All students are offered a 30 minute individual instrumental lesson which includes: Drums, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Keyboard, and Vocals. Students can use this time to enhance their instrumental skills for lessons or merely for their own enjoyment.

Samba Drumming – We have a samba drumming group that practice every Wednesday lunchtime.

Rehearsal time – students have the opportunity to use the rehearsal space at lunchtimes whether it is to practice work that they are completing in lessons or to create their own compositions, or just for the personal enjoyment of Music.

Vocal Group – the music teacher delivers a vocal group for all KS3 which is used for performances within school productions and other school events

Productions – the music department work very closely with the Performing Arts team and therefore are heavily involved in all school productions. We host band rehearsals and practice time for all students involved in the music of up and coming school productions