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Music

Head of Department: Mrs E Park

 

Saxophone quarter in concert


During Year 7 we learn the fundamentals of reading, composing and playing music. Students learn how to become confident performers on the keyboard and other classroom instruments.  Those who play their own instruments are encouraged to use them in the classroom.  Students are taught how to listen to and appreciate different styles of music as we explore folk music of the British Isles, China, Gamelan and Africa.

 

Students learning Chinese Dragon dancing

In Year 8 we follow the roots of African music studied in Year 7 to explore the development of Blues and Jazz in America and the social and cultural aspects of the time.  Composition takes the form of the twelve bar blues and students develop their improvisation skills.  Students further develop their listening, composing and performing skills through studying other topics including the History of Music (Baroque and Classical periods) and Film music.

In Year 9 music further develops the skills learned in Year 8 and is an excellent grounding for the GCSE course.  Topics covered include the History of Music (Romantic and 20th Century periods), Musicals, World Music, Music Technology and Music Theory.

In Year 10 music is an optional subject and the two year course follows the Edexcel syllabus for GCSE Music.  The course consists of three main disciplines:

1.  Listening: Students demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical styles and
     analysis of 12 set works from four topics: Western Classical Music 1600-1899,
     Music in the 20th Century, Popular Music in Context and World Music.  This is
     assessed by a written exam to recorded questions.

2.  Performing:  Candidates should perform one solo piece and one piece as part of
     an ensemble.

3.  Composing:  Candidates should compose two pieces of music, from two different
     areas of study. Compositions will be worked on either "Sibelius" or "Cubase" and will
     be recorded onto CD.

Co-curricular activities provide a wealth of opportunity for music-making.  Concerts are a regular feature of the department's calendar, Christmas being perhaps the busiest time. A large choir exists which is called on to perform in concerts both in and out of school, particularly around Christmas.  We also have a String Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble, Flute Choir, Jazz Band and Soul Band which provide opportunities for students to pursue a range of interests throughout the year.

In addition, trips are arranged to concerts and performances which further enhance students' appreciation of music and drama. 

 
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