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Music

Students develop their skills in both traditional, classical, and modern musical styles across both Key Stages. They learn to improve their vocal and instrumental abilities and gain experience performing various musical genres and techniques alongside composing their own ideas.

Resources for Music homework can be found on the Music Homework Site

Curriculum at KS3

Music is studied in Years 7-9 for one hour a week. The following paragraphs outline the topics students’ study.

Year 7: Students will start the term with an Introduction to Music where they begin to build an understanding of the main musical elements. From here they progress to learning and performing various musical structures, looking at the polyrhythmic layers and choral music of Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. They develop ensemble awareness, performing as part of a Gamelan orchestra. They also explore programmatic music for film using garage band. Students will  develops their abilities on instruments such as the xylophone, keyboard, African drums and ukulele alongside developing their voices. 

Year 8: Students extend their understanding of musical styles and develop their abilities on the keyboard and ukulele studying Calypso and Reggae music in year 8. They will also build their ensemble skills, both in rehearsing and performing during this project. Study of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and the link between the ground bass technique of the Renaissance period and today’s modern pop/rock riff lead to bass riff composition and finally backing track production using Garageband.

Year 9: Students start the year looking at the Blues and learn how to combine 12 bar blues sequences including 7th chords along with a fluent walking bass line part using two hands together at the keyboard. Students will also gain experience in improvisation and further develop their independent learning and ensemble skills, whilst preparing themselves for aspects of the GCSE music course. Further use of Garageband as a sequencer is developed in a music and media project, followed by a final scheme, purely based on developing instrumental skills and ensemble rehearsal techniques again with preparation for the GCSE Music course in mind.

Curriculum at KS4

GCSE Music covers three main units of work. Two of these units are submitted as coursework the first being performance, and the second, composition.
Within this the students will prepare, perfect and then record two performances, one as a soloist and the other as part of an ensemble performance. GCSE Music students receive tuition from visiting instrumental teachers in order to prepare them for this part of the course.
In composition, again 2 pieces are submitted. Each of the students’ compositions must adhere to the standard conventions of a particular area of study as set by the teacher.
For this the students must show development of their ideas, and consider the stylistic content of their work along with inclusion of relevant processes, techniques, and devices.
Students will also study and build their analytical skills across a range of 12 pieces in 4 different focus areas. Ranging from classical works to world and folk pieces and even through to modern pop/rock and electronic dance music, students will learn to recognise and understand the artists/composers use of key musical elements and develop their own command of advanced musical techniques and processes.
This study culminates in a final listening and written exam which is worth 40% of the students overall mark, with the coursework component making up the other 60%.

GCSE Music Course Components
Unit 1: Performing 30%
Unit 2 : Composing 30%
Unit 3 : Listening and Appraising 40%

Examination body

Edexcel GCSE Music

Useful resources

Below are some links where you can find further information about GCSE Music:
BBC Bitesize: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/
AQA GCSE Art and Design Specification: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse09/music/Pages/default.aspx