Head of Department: Christine Waddell
All students in Year 7 and 8 study music two lessons per fortnight . Students will study a range of different musical styles, genres and cultures from the 1500s to the present day. Each unit of work is designed to cover the core skills needed in music; Performance, Composition and Listening and Appraising. Students gain confidence through regular in class performances and gain invaluable life skills through group work, independent learning and the study of different cultures. Below is a brief outline of the different units of work studied in each year group.
Students start by studying the basic Elements of Music and how to apply them when composing and performing. We then look at how to play the piano from music notation with proper technique, followed by a study of how to create music without traditional instruments. Ukulele and guitar are covered with a context of traditional Folk Music and we finish the year looking at song writing using Folk and Rock styles. Students also have the opportunity to use Music Technology to compose.
Students will build on their prior knowledge of Music in Year 8 by studying a range of different musical styles. We start by looking at Blues and the historical context behind this genre of music. Students will then look at the history of popular music through Rock and Roll and how music has changed over the years. Performance on Rock instruments will lead to a study of how music has developed throughout history, with a band project to incorporate different styles of music into a group performance. Students will end the year with an opportunity to become animation composers while looking at Film Music.
Exam board – Eduqas GCSE Music.
Students studying GCSE music follow the Edexcel specification. They will look at 3 key areas – Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising.
As part of their coursework students will do two performances, one ensemble (group) and either another ensemble or a solo performance. Students will independently study their own instrument with help and advice from Mrs Waddell and their instrumental teachers.
Students will compose two pieces of music in different styles relating to the Areas of Study. One composition brief will be set by the exam board, with the second composition being free choice.
Listening and Appraising (40%)
Students study 2 different pieces of music across 4 Areas of Study. The focus of the exam will be identifying key features of a wide variety of genres, therefore exposure to a variety of styles of music will take place through performance and exam preparation. A variety of different question styles will be covered including music theory and notation, necessitating a study of how music is put together. This will include music theory.
AOS1 – Musical Forms and Devices
AOS2 – Music for Ensembles
AOS3 – Film Music
AOS4 – Popular Music
Students this year will study more modern styles of music. We start with an understanding of music notation and theory, alongside performance in an ensemble. As the year progresses, we look at Popular Music and performance skills on the instrument of their choice. Students will look at consolidating their performance skills with a final unit of work that enables students to write their own song in a band setting.
In Year 10 students will study both set works, starting with Rainbow’s cover of ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. We cover basic music theory and note reading as preparation for the exam.
All students are expected to work on an instrument of their choice by choosing a piece of ensemble music to perform. Students are responsible for rehearsing and ensuring their piece is ready to perform. After Christmas, we start looking at the Composition element of the coursework. Students are required to write a piece of music in a style which relates to the Areas of Study. By the end of Year 10 all students should have nearly completed Composition 1, and be ready to record their two performances at the beginning of Year 11.
In Year 11 we continue from Year 10. We will cover the remaining areas of study.
In the first term, students are required to record performance coursework. They must find the piece they wish to perform, source the group and take responsibility for their rehearsal. During the first term, the set composition is started, and any changes needed to be made to composition 1 will be completed as well. Composition 2 involves the students working on another piece of music which is relating to a different style than the first, following the brief set by the exam board.
Once all set works are complete revision will take place and we will focus on the exam techniques required. Students do their mock exam in the December and following this we will revise all areas of study alongside completing and finishing coursework.