The key stage three curriculum is designed to give students the chance to explore their musicianship within the context of several genres and traditions, and to learn instrumental and vocal skills whilst developing a confidence in their own creative ideas alongside an awareness of how music is constructed.
Students who have more previous experience are encouraged to broaden and extend their learning, whilst others are given support to explore where their strengths lie in music in order for all to be prepared for a more specialised approach at GCSE and A level.
We are incredibly lucky to have a purpose built department block, that includes three music classrooms and five practise spaces. We also have a fully integrated recording studio and a dedicated radio station room. All students are given access to our MAC suite which has both Logic and Sibelius software for music production and composition. We also have whole class sets of samba drums, djembes, keyboards and steel pans, as well as a range of orchestral instruments that are available for students to borrow.
Year 7 –
Heroes individual work
An introductory unit that allows teacher to assess basic skills of performing (keyboard), improvising, singing and listening.
Continuing from the previous term, students will now combine their new skills to create ensemble performances and their own compositions.
Using ‘tribal groove’, an African body percussion resource, students learn how to learn, create and perform some more complex rhythms.
Year 7 now get introduced to music software sequencers on the mac. They learn how to use garageband to record and manipulate their musical ideas. An introduction to chords and harmony and the ways in which moods are created in music. This also involves listening to a wide range of music for inspiration – predominantly from the classical tradition.
An introduction unit to our full set of steel pans, and how to play them. We will learn about the musical context that they come from, and learn a performance piece as a class.
Year 8 –
Club Dance Music
In the Mac suite, students learn to use software sequencers to create and manipulate synthesised sounds and loops, and compose their own pieces of club dance music.
Students are taught instrumental skills on the drums, as well as a more advanced understanding of rhythm. Alongside this, they are taught the musical conventions in West African drumming.
West African ensembles
Students now add vocals and other percussion to create West African ensembles, and compose their own pieces in a traditional style, putting into place the skills they used last term.
Students learn about the development of Blues Music, and how that sits in the wider context of the history of music. They learn about the musical features found in Blues, and there is an emphasis on developing improvisation skills.