Have you ever spent a day where it’s near impossible to rid THAT song from your mind?
Music is all around us. It features in our favourite TV programmes and adverts, in the background to our favourite films, on the radio, in shops, and yes, even that dreaded ‘on hold’ music whilst on telephone calls. It is befitting of all occasions; adding joy to the celebratory nature of weddings and birthdays whilst also able to mark more solemn occasions with sensitivity.
As time has passed, music has evolved and continues to develop whilst entertaining the masses. Whether it’s commercial Pop, Dance or R’n’B you enjoy, or something more demure such as Classical; with new technological advances such as iTunes, we are privileged to be able to access the majority of music now and with only the click of a button.
In Music we explore and learn to appreciate all genres of music past, present and future by immersing ourselves in a myriad of musical experiences: listening, performing and composition.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley
Key Stage 3: Students study a range of practical and music technology topics which are taught in two purpose built classrooms; a practical room with 6 accompanying practise rooms, and a music technology suite with 30 computers and accompanying MIDI keyboards. During practical topics students have access to a wide range of classroom instruments: keyboards, pianos, drum kits, classroom percussion, a full samba kit, guitars (acoustic and electric), a full steel pan set and tabla. Music technology topics are successful due to the various software packages we utilise: Cubase, Sibelius, Acid Pro and Audacity. Topics studied include; Rap, Samba, Reggae, Film Music, Programme Music, The Blues, Singing, African Drumming, Graphic Notation, Backing Tracks and a Radio Station Project.
There are three elements to the course; listening and appraising, performing and composition. Students undergo a series of coursework activities to ensure that all areas of musical experience are covered. They are required to complete two compositions under Controlled Assessment conditions of which one they complete an appraisal for, two performances – one solo and one ensemble on any instrument of their choice and a summative listening exam at the end of the course.
Students study five
Areas of Study:
Rhythm & Metre, Harmony & Tonality, Texture & Melody, Timbre & Dynamics and Structure & Form; which fall beneath three Strands of Learning: The Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music of the 20th & 21st Centuries and World Music.
Various listening and research based tasks to enrich musical experience inside and outside of the classroom.
Students are assessed against National Curriculum Levels at the end of each topic. This forms part of the end of Key Stage Teacher Assessment along with self and peer assessments throughout the course.
By engaging students in making and responding to music, they can extend their own interests and increase their ability to make judgments about the quality of music. This will also support their learning in other areas and provide skills that are needed for employment and life.
Year 7 Units:
The Musical Elements, Samba, Rap, Graphic Notation, Music Technology and Singing.
Year 8 Units:
Blues, Programme Music, Rondo Form, Indian Music, Junk Orchestra and Singing.
Year 9 Units:
Film Music, Reggae, Battle of the Bands, African Drumming, Radio Station and Singing.
Composition, Performance, Listening and Appraising.
Students learn to use Music Technology to a high level, improve their live Performance skills and learn how to ana lyse aspects of music throughout the course through improved Listening and Appraising approaches.
There are Five Areas of Study:
Rhythm and Metre
Texture and Melody
Harmony and Tonality
Timbre and Dynamics
Structure and Form
Which are a focus for both Composition and the Listening and Appraising Exam, along with links to the following Strands:
Western Classical Tradition
Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Century
1) Composition (20%) which uses at least two of the Areas of Study as a main focus.
2) Composition and Appraisal (20%) which is set by the examination board relating to one of the Strands and using at least two of the Areas of Study accompanied by a written appraisal.
3) Solo Performance (20%) on an instrument or voice, and/or using Music Technology.
4) Group Performance (20%) which is performed with 1 or more other live musicians.
Listening outside of the classroom to a wide variety of genres of music, extra research and planning to accompany the composition working time in the classroom, revision for the exam, practice for performances.