Music

Music Department Ethos

The ethos of the Music Department is to promote learning through creativity and practical music making. At KS3 students are taught about the key principles of music such as Rhythm, Pitch, Harmony and how to read music, whilst developing the three key skills of Performing, Composing and Listening. We believe that Music is verb and that student learn through doing. Lessons are designed to get student actively involved in music making as quick as possible to ensure practice time is maximised.

Through the many opportunities provided by the School and Music Department, we ensure students can reach their full potential and experience a range of musical challenges that develop the overall musicianship skills, as well as leadership opportunities through our Music Ambassador Programme.

Key Stage 3

Students develop the ability to perform using their voice and a range of musical instruments, as an individual and in a range of groups. They will develop their creativity through composition work, producing a range of pieces in pairs or in groups.
 
Students will learn about a wide range of musical styles from various parts of the world and apply the skills and knowledge learnt through practical activities.

 

 

 

Key Stage 4

At KS4 students follow the Edexcel syllabus. This syllabus is chosen as it provides the students with an excellent balance of theoretical understanding, creativity and the ability to focus on a musical style of their choice I performance and composition. Students will learn about eight specific pieces of music. This involves analysing music, studying scores and writing about music.
 
The course is divided into two main areas:
 
1.Coursework - 60%: Performing and Composing
2. Listening Exam - 40%: A series of listening questions based on music studied during the course, with a short essay to complete.
 

Key Stage 5 - AS Course

At KS5 students follow the Edexcel syllabus. This syllabus is chosen as it provides the students with an excellent balance of theoretical understanding, creativity and the ability to focus on a musical style of their choice in performance and composition. Students will learn about twelve composers in six areas of study. This involves analysing music, studying scores and writing about music in depth.
 
The course is divided into two main areas:
 
1.Coursework - 60%: Performing, Composing and a Technical Study
2. Listening Exam - 40%: Listening questions based on music studied during the course and essay writing.
 

Key Stage 5 - A2 Course

At KS5 Music students continue follow the OCR syllabus, providing excellent continuity and development from the GCSE Syllabus. The AS and A2 courses both follow a very similar format, being divided into three units.

  1. Performing - 40%
  2. Composing - 30%
  3. Historical Study - 30%


Performing 2 –
Students present one longer solo recital to a visiting examiner. The recital is on their primary instrument, with a maximum length of fifteen minutes. A standard of approximately grade 6/7 is required for full marks. The recital must be link by a single focus, and the recital is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of this focus.

The school will also provide instrumental performance lessons up to one hour per week (33 weeks per year), to aid with the preparation of their recitals.

Composing 2 – This unit is also divided into two sections. In section A students develop their understanding of Western Tonal Harmony through a specific stylistic study, and again complete a portfolio of composition tasks throughout the year. In section B students must produce a four minute composition in response to a stimulus of their own choice.

Students have extensive access the school’s Apple Mac Music Suite as an aid for composition and research, and will become particularly familiar with the notation software “Sibelius”. 

Historical and Analytical Studies in Music– Students develop their analytical and listening skills further in preparation for a listening and written exam, based on two areas of study.

  • The Setting of Text – the relationship of words and music
  • Popular Music 
 

Extra-curricular Music

Instrumental lessons can be taken on all orchestral and popular instruments, including piano and voice. These are run throughout the school day by a team of experienced teachers.
 
There is a charge for these lessons, although students taking GCSE and A Level Music receive a subside towards tuition. 
 
The Music department staff run a wide range of instrumental groups, to cater for all abilities and interests of musicians, as well as providing the resources for students to run their own groups and rehearsals. These include:
 
Folk Choir
Chamber Choir
Orchestra
Big Jazz Band
Ukulele Ensemble
 
The Department will be running an additional four clubs for students led by our instrumental teachers at a cost of £40 per term. These include:
 
Junior Choir
Chamber Strings
Percussion Ensemble
Brass Ensemble
 
There is a full schedule of concerts throughout the school year, providing every student with an appropriate platform to perform. This includes:
 
School Concerts
School Musical
Song and Dance Show
Christmas Carol Service
 

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