- Mrs A Howman (Head of Department)
- Mr M Burns (Subject Teacher)
- Seven visiting peripatetic instrumental music teachers
The department consists of two main teaching rooms, (one of these is equipped with 15 Apple Mac computers with music notation software) and a small teaching/practise room with upright piano. There are plenty of resources within the main teaching room – Samba set, djembes, guitars, tuned and untuned percussion and keyboards. We also have several pianos aroud the school, including a grand piano in our main school hall.
Pupils have the opportunity to explore their understanding and appreciation of music through listening, performing and composing. They take part in a wide range of practical activities which encourages their interest in the subject and enhances their enjoyment of live music, not only from different genres but from across the world as well. Students have the opportunity to perform and compose individually and also in small groups. They are encouraged to interpret music through listening and to gain a wider understanding of the elements within a piece. This then builds the foundations for studying music at GCSE and also A Level.
Key Stage 3
Year 7: Students are introduced to the elements of music through practical activities. They improve their vocal skills and are introduced to the various instruments of the orchestra, even getting a chance to learn such an instrument as a class through the County Music Service ‘Mash-up’ scheme. They develop their understanding of rhythm and pulse within music which is then developed through their study of Brazilian drumming.
Year 8: Students learn about Blues music through performing on the keyboards. They study a topic on the Beatles and also develop new skills learning about traditional African drumming and singing. They create their own junk percussion instruments in their ‘Stomp’ topic and they are introduced to the technology within the department using software such as ‘Sibelius.’
Year 9: Students work in small groups to create their own Rock ‘n’ Roll performance. They then try out their composition skills through composing and performing their own protest song. Students are introduced to GarageBand on the department’s Mac computers and they create a final group performance of a song of their choice to consolidate their performance skills at the end of key stage 3 and demonstrate their own individual tastes within music.
Key Stage 4
Students follow the Eduqas GCSE where they are required to perform solo and ensemble pieces up to 4 minutes in length (30%). They must compose 2 compositions; 1 ‘free’ and 1 to a set ‘brief’ from Eduqas (30%). The final part of the course consists of a listening exam (40%) which covers 4 Areas of Study: Musical forms and devices, Music for ensemble, Film music and Popular music.
Key Stage 5
Students follow the Eduqas A Level where they are required to give a recital performance to a visiting examiner lasting for 10 to 12 minutes (35%). They must compose 2 pieces; a ‘free’ composition and also 1 that follows a brief set by Eduqas. The total length of the compositions should be 4 to 6 minutes (25%). Students must also sit a listening and appraising exam (40%) which looks at set works and wider listening from 3 Areas of Study which are Area of Study A: The Wester Classical Tradition & the development of the symphony from 1750 – 1900), Area of Study C: Musical Theatre and Area of Study E: Into the 20th Century.
The music department offers a wide range of enrichment open to all students across all year groups of the school. We are able to offer instrumental lessons on woodwind, brass, string (including violin and guitar), percussion/drum kit, voice and piano. Our ensembles include concert band and soul band, choir, ukulele group and brass group. There are also revision sessions for KS 4 students and the music room is open to all students during break and the start of lunch for keyboard practise. The department will also be producing a musical in the new year.
For further information on all the enrichment activities including instrumental lesson see Mrs Howman.