Music

“'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything ".

Plato

Department Vision Statement/ Curriculum Intent

In September 2020 the music department introduced a brand new curriculum, based around the principles of Musical Future’s Just Play. Year 7, 8 and 9 follow a similar curriculum because of this.

This is centred around the strands of a typical music education; Listening and Appraising, Composing and Performing, but with a focus on developing core instrumental skills on ukulele, guitar and keyboard. Pupils are then able to utilise these skills when exploring different genres of music and composing their own pieces. Learning comes through practical exploration first, with every lesson having practical music making at its core.

As well as the fundamental music skills, pupils will also develop a range of transferable skills within their music lessons. They develop their confidence by being given lots of opportunities to perform. Pupils are taught how to give positive feedback, helping to nurture a safe environment and one which is supportive, aiming to put even the most nervous performers at ease. Through this they gain a sense of achievement and the skills needed to evaluate themselves and their music constructively. Music naturally requires a great amount of perseverance and resilience, and this is something that pupils learn throughout key stage 3 as they develop their instrumental skills. Within composing tasks pupils work as part of a team, learning to cooperate and to be creative together. They learn about leadership and collaboration. Through listening tasks pupils learn about the context of different genres of music and develop an appreciation of different musical styles.

As pupils move into key stage 4 they may want to carry on with their music education. Here they continue to develop their skills as musicians, but at a more advanced level. The vocational course prepares them for a possible career in music, but expands many of the transferable skills from key stage three.

Pupils are given the opportunity to extend their musical learning through a wide range of extra-curricular activities which support the work taking place in the classroom. This includes lunchtime and after school clubs, trips, concerts and instrumental lessons. We have a fantastic team of peripatetic music staff able to teach a variety of instruments. All are professional musicians as well as teachers and so offer an insight into life as a musician.

 

YEAR GROUPS 

Year 7 - KS3

TERM

Term One

TOPIC

Introduction to Music

WHY?

Pupils explore rhythm through a range of practical activities including whole class music making and group composition tasks using body percussion and percussion instruments. They are introduced to the four basic note values and learn to recognise these. The chance to perform their group piece to the class introduces pupils to performing and helps them learn simple feedback and appraisal skills.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Two

TOPIC

Instrumental Skills 1

 Keyboard focus

WHY?

Pupils learn basic keyboard skills focused on the right hand initially. This includes exploring the functions of the keyboard such as changing the voice, adding a beat and more advanced features. They learn the basic five-finger hand position and how to find the letters on the keyboard. Using a range of keyboard tuition resources pupils can learn at their own pace, exploring a variety of pieces. They are introduced to simple music notation.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Three

TOPIC

Instrumental Skills 2

Ukulele/Guitar/Keyboard focus - Just Play Part 1

WHY?

Pupils select which instrument they wish to focus on. Working as a class they learn basic skills on their chosen instrument, including simplified chords, rhythmic patterns and develop their ability to play as part of a group. Chair drumming is used to teach the elements of the drum kit and used throughout the Just Play lessons as a warm up. Using a range of well-known pieces as well as technical exercises they end the term with a class performance and evaluation of their progress.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Four

TOPIC

Band Skills

Just Play Part 2

WHY?

Using the skills learnt in the previous term, pupils focus on one selected piece of music. They learn the piece on their chosen instrument, and then prepare a performance incorporating voice and drums. This gives them the experience of playing in a band and develops skills such as playing with others, cooperation, listening and timing.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Five

TOPIC

The Orchestra

WHY?
Pupils explore Edvard Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King through listening activities and practical tasks. They learn about the instruments typically found in an orchestra, about the layout of the orchestra and the role of the conductor.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Six

TOPIC

The Carnival of the Animals

WHY?
Pupils explore some of the pieces from Saints-Saens musical suite through listening and appraisal activities. They compose their own piece of music based on an animal of their choice, using the elements of music to enhance their work. They evaluate their own work and share their pieces with the class.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

Year 8 - KS3

TERM

Term One

TOPIC

Introduction to Music

WHY?

Pupils explore rhythm through a range of practical activities including whole class music making and group composition tasks using body percussion and percussion instruments. They are introduced to the four basic note values and learn to recognise these. The chance to perform their group piece to the class introduces pupils to performing and helps them learn simple feedback and appraisal skills.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Two

TOPIC

Instrumental Skills 1 Ukulele/Guitar/Keyboard focus - Just Play Part 1

WHY?
Pupils select which instrument they wish to focus on. Working as a class they learn basic skills on their chosen instrument, including simplified chords, rhythmic patterns and develop their ability to play as part of a group. Chair drumming is used to teach the elements of the drum kit and used throughout the Just Play lessons as a warm up. Using a range of well-known pieces as well as technical exercises they end the term with a class performance and evaluation of their progress.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Three

TOPIC

Band Skills
Just Play Part 2

WHY?

Using the skills learnt in the previous term, pupils focus on one selected piece of music. They learn the piece on their chosen instrument, and then prepare a performance incorporating voice and drums. This gives them the experience of playing in a band and develops skills such as playing with others, cooperation, listening and timing.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Four

TOPIC

Blues Music

WHY?
Pupils explore the history of Blues music through listening activities. They learn about the musical features of the style through practical work around the 12-bar blues and blues scale. They learn to improvise rhythmically first, and then using instruments and use call and response within their work. They write lyrics in the style of a blues song, combining these with their music to create a finished song which they perform to the class.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Five

TOPIC

Band Skills 2

WHY?

Using the skills learnt in the previous terms, pupils focus on one selected piece of music. They learn the piece on their chosen instrument, and then prepare a performance incorporating voice and drums. This gives them the experience of playing in a band and develops skills such as playing with others, cooperation, listening and timing. For this project they form small bands and perform as these, rather than as a class.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Six

TOPIC

Film Music

WHY?
Pupils learn about how and why music is included in films. They learn about diegetic and non-diegetic music, as well as the role of the Foley artist. Working in groups they create the sound effects for a short film clip, focusing on selecting the best sound and ensuring their timing is accurate. They use keyboards and other instruments to compose music to add atmosphere to the film clip, learning about major, minor and diminished chords to help build tension.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

Year 9 - KS3

TERM

Term One

TOPIC

Instrumental Skills Ukulele/Guitar/Keyboard focus - Just Play Part 1

WHY?

Pupils select which instrument they wish to focus on. Working as a class they learn basic skills on their chosen instrument, including simplified chords, rhythmic patterns and develop their ability to play as part of a group. Chair drumming is used to teach the elements of the drum kit and used throughout the Just Play lessons as a warm up. Using a range of well-known pieces as well as technical exercises they end the term with a class performance and evaluation of their progress.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Two

TOPIC

Band Skills
Just Play Part 2

WHY?

Using the skills learnt in the previous term, pupils focus on one selected piece of music. They learn the piece on their chosen instrument, and then prepare a performance incorporating voice and drums. This gives them the experience of playing in a band and develops skills such as playing with others, cooperation, listening and timing.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Three

TOPIC

Introduction to music production and Soundtrap

WHY?

Pupils learn about music production using a digital audio workstation called Soundtrap. They learn how to manipulate loops to create music, how to layer loops and add effects such as fades. They create their own drum patterns and learn how to create their own loops using MIDI controllers and online synths, combining these to create their own piece of Electronic Dance Music.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Four

TOPIC

Instrumental/Band Skills
Just Play Part 2

WHY?

Using the skills learnt in the previous terms, pupils focus on one selected piece of music. They learn the piece on their chosen instrument, and then prepare a performance incorporating voice and drums. This gives them the experience of playing in a band and develops skills such as playing with others, cooperation, listening and timing. For this project they form small bands and perform as these, rather than as a class.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Five

TOPIC

Song Writing Part 1

WHY?

Pupils learn about song structure and how songs are created through a range of listening tasks. They explore rhyming patterns and learn how lyrics are written through creating their own parody song.

They begin to write lyrics for their own song, working as individuals or in small groups
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

TERM

Term Six

TOPIC

Song Writing Part 2

WHY?

This continues on from the previous term. Pupils choose to use Soundtrap or instruments to add music to their song lyrics. They explore stylistic conventions such as middle 8’s dependent on the style of song they decide to write. They record their finished song. Pupils learn about song writers, copyright and the legality of song ownership.

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

Year 10 - KS4 - Exam Board - Pearson

Course Introduction

Pupils take part in a range of practical activities to introduce them to the course and each other. This includes rehearsing for a short performance to the class. They learn the keywords required for the course and complete a wide range of listening activities to further develop their understanding of these.
TOPIC

Component 1
Indian Classical Music, Blues Music, British Invasion, EDM, Reggae, Classical music

WHY?

Pupils spend the majority of this year exploring different genres of music. For each genre they learn about its historical context and origins, typical musical features and musicians associated with the style. They complete research tasks and listening activities as well as practical exploration of each style. This could include composing music using the musical features identified, producing music using Soundtrap as well as rehearsing and performing existing pieces of music. A case study of a chosen musician gives pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to analyse music using the keywords taught at the beginning of the course.

Using everything they have learnt so far pupils then submit a piece of coursework that incorporates their acquired knowledge as well as their practical exploration and case

RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet

Year 11 - KS4 - Exam Board - Pearson

TOPIC

Component 2
Developing Skills

WHY?
Pupils learn about the roles of performer, composer and producer within the music industry. They explore what each role involves and the skills required. They then choose to focus on two of these areas for this component. For each area they carry out a skills audit, identifying their strengths and areas for development. They set themselves SMART targets and devise an action plan to set out how they will demonstrate developing their skills. Pupils then work towards a performance, finished composition or arrangement that shows how they have developed their skills. Along the way they collect evidence at milestone points and evaluate their progress.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet


TOPIC

Component 3
Responding to a Brief

WHY?
This is the externally assessed element of the course. Pupils select a piece of music and a style of music from the exam brief provided. They begin by learning their chosen piece and understanding how it is constructed. Through a range of workshop lessons they explore the musical features of the different styles on the brief. They then work to change their chosen piece into the chosen style. Once completed they record their finished piece. Alongside this they write about their plans and ideas, demonstrating their understanding of their chosen style, explaining the process of how they created the piece and evaluating the finished product through a range of milestone reports.
RESOURCES

Curriculum Booklet

Homework Booklet