Music is an enriching and valuable academic subject. Research evidence shows that a quality music education can improve self-confidence, behaviour and social skills, as well as academic attainment in areas such as numeracy, literacy and language. In music we seek to develop a focus for creative energy. Our music curriculum is very practical. It aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all students so they can develop musicianship skills in relation to their own musical interests. In addition, we aim to broaden the horizons of our students so they can appreciate the music of other places and cultures. In the department we have a wealth of resources to support a wide range of musical styles and skills. The group nature of much of our Key Stage 3 work is also aimed at developing wider skills in our students, such as teamwork, participation and performance/presenting skills.
At KS3 students will follow a split curriculum of practical musicianship and music technology, developing both in preparation for KS4 options. The following areas are covered:
- Workshops on the basic elements
- Popular song
- Music of the Caribbean
- Hooks and riffs
- Dance music
- Classical remix
- African drumming
- Music of India
- Rock and roll
- Creating a band
- Music for film
- Keyboard skills
Students produce two assessed pieces of work per term. Each assessed piece is practical and covers the strands of performing, composing, listening and appraising. Music can lead on to music and performing arts courses at both KS4 and 5. In addition, the skills students develop in presenting themselves to an audience can be invaluable across a range of subjects. We aim to encourage as many students as possible to be involved in extra-curricular activities, which run throughout the school year. These include concerts/gigs, talent contests, trips to live performances, instrumental lessons and annual productions.
At KS4 we often select the course to suit the strengths of our students. Currently in KS4 our Year 11 students are focussing on the Rockschool Music Practitioners Level 2 Course. Year 10 are studying the BTEC Music Level 2 course. Both are very practical courses. From the very beginning there is heavy emphasis on performance to an audience. Those with less experience start with class performances, but the aim is to be a regular act at our public events; whether this be Christmas concerts, talent shows or trips to primary schools or care homes.
The Rockschool Course is a full performance focussed course with three units. It culminates in a 10 minute performance.
Students will have the opportunity to access a wide range of enrichment activities including clubs, trips to see live performances, performance opportunities and workshops with visiting musicians.
Every year we put on a Christmas concert, winter pantomime, Spring talent contest and Summer showcase.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES LINKED TO THIS SUBJECT
Studying music gives you a broad range of skills which can be applied in any career path. These skills include:
- good physical dexterity, memory and concentration – developed in practice and performance
- communication skills – developed through performing and engaging listeners
- teamwork – through working in bands or orchestras as a player, leader or manager
- self-management – physical and mental self-discipline achieved through regular practice
- performing under pressure – overcoming nervousness in order to perform well during exams, concerts and auditions
- planning – organising and working towards a project/performance
- technical skills and expertise – using technology to create and record music and studying acoustics
- critical reflection – giving and receiving criticism, learning from mistakes and striving for improved performance
Examples of possible jobs include: music therapist, musician, music teacher, session musician, composer, producer, sound technician, studio manager, roadie, broadcasting/film/video, arts administration, events organisation, sound engineer, manager, radio broadcaster/assistant.