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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

BTEC Music covers four main units of work. Three of these units are submitted as coursework in the following areas:

  • Performance
  • Composition/Sequencing
  • Planning a musical event

Within this the students will prepare, perfect and then record two performances, either as a soloist or in a musical group. BTEC music students receive tuition from visiting instrumental teachers in order to prepare them for this part of the course.

In composition/sequencing students submit a remix composition which includes a written guide on how to use the sequencing programme.

When planning a musical event students promote, manage and review the event that they have organised. They also perform within the musical event.

Students will also study job roles within the musical industry. This study culminates in a final written exam which is worth 25% of the students overall mark, with the coursework component making up the other 75%

BTEC Music Course Components

  • Performance 25%
  • Composition/Sequencing 25%
  • Planning a musical event 25%
  • Music industry written examination 25%

Examination body: Edexcel BTEC Music