Music is about communication, creativity and cooperation, and by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective – Bill Clinton
Importance of Music
Music enables us to communicate with and understand each other when words have no other way. It gives us an insight into forms of expression across the world, past, present and future Music enables enhanced coordination skill through using your eyes, brain, hands and sometimes even feet and whole body. The study of performing, listening and composing is an important part in developing the skills to cooperate and work with others as well as the ability to critique and analyse.
Key Stage 3
The Music department is committed to ensuring that learning is practical and hands on where possible and can touch on the musical or cultural interests of every child. We are committed to breaking down barriers and the subject into its’ core functional skills that link all music, and in so doing encouraging all children not just to express themselves in the style they feel comfortable but to widen their interests and knowledge of other times and cultures. We want students to experience a range of Music from classical to popular music and music from around the world. Students will be primarily assessed through performing and composing in these styles through singing playing instruments, there will be occasional listening assessments asking students to identify the features they have used and explored.
GCSE Music is a well-balanced course, examining music from all the different backgrounds set out above. The course is split up into appraising, performing and Composing. For Appraising the students will learn a series of theoretical elements and keywords across the areas of study of Structure and Form, Tonality, Texture, Rhythm and dynamics. Students will then learn to describe Music using those keywords across 4 genres, classical music, popular music since 1960, traditional music and classical music since 1900. This will also involve in depth study of work by Mozart, The Beatles, Carlos Santana and Benjamin Britten, students will learn about other work written at similar times to these artists and the impact it has had on music up to this day. To perform students must play 2 pieces of music adding up to three minutes with each piece being at least 1 minute each, at least one must be a solo and one with other musicians on any instrument they wish. Students will submit 2 compositions; one will be to a brief and one will be free. In both pieces of work students must show how they have applied the key musical concepts across the areas of study,
Music A Level builds on the GCSE learning but looks into more depth across the cultures of music studied. For Appraising students will study up to 18 Set works, 3 each from 6 different styles of music. These styles are orchestral, vocal, film and tv, New Directions, fusion and world as well as small ensemble. Studying these pieces gives students the opportunity to forensically analyse aspects of harmony, tonality, rhythm etc. and how they have been used across the different genres and composers. Students will also learn a variety of compositional techniques using advanced music theory and will sit a paper in one of these techniques and then being free to produce a composition using the techniques learned and inspiration from the depth study of all the composers in the set works. It Is also vital that, in order to put things in context, students listen to a wide variety of composers within a style. It is expected that students reference this in exams. The exam will consist of a series of short questions about the works studied, followed by a question to compare the study works and then a whole answer based on an unfamiliar piece. Students will also complete a performance of about 8 minutes in length.
Music can help with a whole host of careers and further education opportunities. These can be within the professional music world including careers as singers, backing singers, instrumentalists in a whole host of settings including recording, the west end, holiday destinations and cruise ships. The music industry is also a huge UK employer with careers on tv and radio available as producers, mixers, editors and a whole host of other jobs. Musicians also go on to become accomplished journalists, librarians and even copyright lawyers. Music undoubtedly helps with any career involving communication and hospitality as well as careers working with other people across different countries and in careers such as music therapy, helping the needy and disabled.