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Students are taught in mixed ability groups, once a week in a 60-minute lesson with a specialist teacher. We use a variety of resources during curriculum and extra-curricular work including:
Focus on Sound
Teaching and learning takes place though performing, composing, listening and appraising. The course allows students the opportunity to develop their own personal journey and relationship with music and to develop in confidence as people and as performers. The focus of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to engage with music, both critically and creatively. Students are given opportunities to access music across a wide variety of styles and genres. By the end of year nine, students will have gained the necessary experience to perform both as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. Those students who participate in additional musical activities beyond the classroom will have opportunity to study additional instruments. All knowledge and specialist vocabulary is structured through practical music making and listening/appraising. Most importantly, music is an outlet to enjoy, relax and have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing.
This aspect of the course allows students to develop their performance skills both as a soloist and as part of a musical ensemble. Students will have access to a variety of instruments, with emphasis being placed on keyboard skills, in addition to the specialist instruments offered by students undertaking additional lessons. By the end of year nine, students will be working towards a minimum of grade one in their musical performance if they wish to progress to Key Stage 4 Music. Technical control, expression, interpretation, accuracy and fluency are the key skills.
This aspect of the course allows students to develop the composing and improvising skills. By the end of year nine, students will be able to develop their musical ideas, demonstrate technical control and offer compositions that have musical coherence. They will be able to compose both to specific briefs and develop their own ideas.
This aspect of the course allows students to develop their listening and appraising skills across a wide range of musical genres. The Key Stage Three Rhinegold listening books 1 and 2 are used to support learning in this area.
Marking, assessment and feedback
Each student has an assessment grid to keep a check on progress.
Performing is marked in class, by the teacher and peer assessed. A selection of performances across the academic year are recorded. This often is used to playback to discuss in more detail and to help the student evaluate their work. This can also be used to archive exemplary material.
Listening and Appraising
At the end of each module, a listening and theory test are undertaken. This directly relates to the knowledge organiser work. The theory test covers all of the keywords that can be found in the knowledge organiser. Students mark their own work in class.
Composing is marked in class, by the teacher and peer assessed. A selection of composition across the academic year will be recorded. This often is used to playback to help the student evaluate their work. This can also be used to archive exemplary material.
In year 7:
Year 7 focuses on team building and musical ensemble. The curriculum provides students with opportunities for vocal and instrumental work. The modules focus on the elements of music and how they are used within all areas of performing, listening and composing. This forms the basis for all future musical work and lessons are structured to build on students’ prior musical experiences and knowledge. Whilst emphasis is placed on practical music making, the theoretical aspects of music are covered – reading and understanding music. The course is designed to ensure students have the chance to build their confidence in groups, with a view to solo performance either on classroom instruments or their own. Students are encouraged to self and peer-assess making use of specific musical vocabulary.
In year 8:
Students focus on chords and layering music. It provides students opportunities for vocal and instrumental work. The modules focus on different styles of music and offer opportunities within all areas of performing, listening and composing. Whilst emphasis is placed on practical music making, the theoretical aspects of music are covered – reading and understanding music. The course is designed to ensure students have opportunities to develop their knowledge of performing – with a view to both solo and ensemble performance either on classroom instruments or their own. Students are encouraged to self and peer assess making use of specific musical vocabulary.
In year 9:
Year 9 focuses on refining and developing performance, composing and listening skills. The modules allow students to selected instruments that they are skilled with. Whilst emphasis is placed on practical music making, the theoretical aspects of music are covered – reading and understanding music. The course is designed to offer experiences in all skills areas and also provides opportunity to look at the wider context of music within the industry. Students are encouraged to self and peer assess making use of specific musical vocabulary.
The department follows the Eduqas specification.
The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Music offers a broad and coherent course of study which encourages learners to:
• engage actively in the process of music study
• develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
• develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
• recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
• broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
• develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
• develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing
• develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music
• recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds
• reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music
• engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.
The GCSE is structured as follows:
Component 1 Performing 30% Teacher assessed A minimum of two pieces, lasting a total of 4-6 minutes, recorded in the year of assessment: One piece must be an ensemble (group piece) lasting at least one minute. One piece linked to an Area of Study. Grade 3 music is the standard level and can score full marks if played perfectly You can use any instrument or voice, or choose a technology option.
Component 2 Composing 30% Teacher assessed Two pieces: One in response to a brief set by WJEC – there are 4 to choose from each year. One free composition – ANY style you want to write in.
Component 3 Appraising 40% Externally assessed examination Listening examination: 8 questions, 2 on each area of study: Area of Study (AoS) 1 Musical Forms and Devices (including a set work*) AoS 2 Music for Ensemble AoS 3 Film Music AoS 4 Popular Music (including a set work*)
As part of the extended curriculum offered by the Music Department we offer the following activities: