The Music Department provides a range of musical experiences through which pupils are able to develop their musical skills and their understanding of music, whilst exploring a range of musical styles and traditions. As well as the classroom curriculum there is a range of extra-curricular music activities that are open to all pupils. The department consists of one full time and one part-time member of staff, with eight part-time peripatetic instrumental and vocal teachers.
The Music curriculum in all Key Stages incorporates a balance of performing, composing, listening and appraising skills.
Key Stage 3
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 have an hour of Music per week and in Year 9 there is one lesson per fortnight. Pupils cover the following topics:
- Year 7: Rhythms, Instruments of the Orchestra, Melodic writing, Keyboard Playing
- Year 8: Folk Music, the Pentatonic scale, Form in Music, 12 Bar Blues, Harmony, Computer music software skills
- Year 9: Music for Special Events/fanfares, Music for Film and Television, History of Music
Pupils are encouraged in particular to develop their keyboard and compositional skills and assessments are carried out at the end of each unit of work.
Key Stage 4 – Edexcel GCSE Music
Pupils in Years 10 and 11 receive five hours of Music lessons per fortnight. These lessons are divided up into the three main components of the examination, Composing, Performing and the study of Set Works. There are 10 set works that are studied and these range from Mozart and Chopin through West Side Story to modern pop and world music. Composition (two pieces) and Performance (one solo and one ensemble piece) are coursework components that can be completed at any time during the course. The set works are examined as part of a Listening Test at the end of Year 11.
Key Stage 5 – Edexcel AS/A2 Music
In the 6th Form students receive nine hours of teaching time per fortnight. As with GCSE the course is split into Composition, Performance and the study of Set Works. Students develop their solo and/or ensemble performing skills, culminating in a final performance at the end of each of the two years. Composition involves working to a specific brief under controlled assessment conditions for an extended number of hours.They also study set works selected from a range of musical styles, genres and traditions. This knowledge is assessed through a final listening and written exam.