Teaching British Values through Music

In Music lessons students are taught to:

• Understand the social conditions which led to the creation of music from a variety of genres and cultures and to celebrate the differences between the music of different cultures as well as how they can be fused together to make new musical styles.  This allows students to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures. It includes music from Indian, Japan, Indonesia, Africa , The Americas and Europe.

• Further their self -confidence and self -esteem through musical performances either a group or individually.

• Accept responsibility for their behaviour and act as independent creative musicians, as well as supporting the development of their peers through helping and encouraging each other.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In year 7, students will be introduced to some of the basic concepts in music, such as melody, rhythm, structure, texture and how they are used in music from a variety of cultures. Students will study and play music including European popular and classical music, African Rhythms, Indian and Japanese melodies.  They will use keyboards, percussion instruments in groups and be introduced to Garage Band in our IT Suite, learning to mix pre-recorded loops.  All Year 7 students have access to a free group instrumental or vocal lesson, choosing from Guitar, Singing, Piano or Drum Kit.

Year 8

The year 8 curriculum builds on the skills gained in Year 7, continuing to use keyboards, percussion instruments and Garage Band in the IT Suite. The emphasis with Garage Band this year is beginning to create your own tracks and record them. Students will play and study music including European popular music – exploring the use of chords and harmony, repeating patterns and rhythms, the Blues, exploring improvisation, and the “Carnival of the Animals” looking at Programme Music. From September 2016, all year 8 students will be able to continue their free group lessons. Currently, Year 8 students have access to Steel Pans lessons in groups.

Year 9

In year 9 students will continue to work with keyboards, percussion instruments and Garage Band in the IT Suite.  Musical styles and genres featured include Reggae, Gamelan, Jazz and Film Music. Each genre will have its own set work, similar to GCSE Music. Students will begin to produce larger scale pieces of their own on Garage Band, making a number of musical decisions about texture, structure and timbre. 

Key Stage 4

Music is an Option Subject in Year 10 and Year 11.  Students work towards entering Music GCSE, following the Edexcel Syllabus. There are 3 exam papers:

  • Performing Music.  30% Students work towards two performances, one solo, and one ensemble.
  • Composing Music.  30% Students compose two of their own pieces of music, one free, the other to a brief provided by the exam board.
  • Listening and Set Works 40%. Students prepare to answer questions on 5 set works and questions on related pieces of music. They are taught music theory and notation.

Year 10

Students commence or continue with instrumental or vocal lessons, provided free by the school.  Singers are expected to join Choir. Instrumentalists are expected to practice in addition to their lessons. 

All students are introduced to Garage Band and Sibelius in our Apple Mac Suite. They complete a variety of composition exercises on both programmes. As part of their final Year 10 exam, they will be expected to present a Performance and a completed Composition.

Students are introduced to the 5 set works throughout the year. They will learn about the development of the musical styles and the social conditions which led to the composition of the pieces of music. They will investigate the compositional processes, instrumentation, melodic and rhythmic development, structure, textures, harmony and tonality of each piece.

Through exploring the Set Works, performing and composing, students will improve their knowledge of music theory and notation.

Year 11

In year 11, students will continue their instrumental or vocal lessons, provided free by the school. Singers will still be expected to attend choir, and instrumentalists will be expected to practice in addition to their lessons. The focus of the lessons will move towards preparing and recording the two Final Performances for the exam. 

Following further analysis of compositional techniques, students will revise the composition completed in Year 10 and complete their final composition for the Composition Paper.

Students will look in greater depth at their 5 set works, in particular focussing on compositional techniques, which will support their own compositions.  Continuing to improve their knowledge of music theory, students will work practice exam questions involving dictation and identification of musical features from notation. Students will develop a strong exam technique for the Listening and Set Works paper, working practice exam questions on their 5 set works, and exploring how to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar pieces of music.