Skills students develop:

At KS3 students cover all aspects of QCA requirements. Schemes are required to show progression of skills in performance, composition and appraisal, whilst covering cross-curricular links such as literacy via subject-specific vocabulary and numeracy via rhythm, pulse and counting.

Schemes of work revolve and focus on each child’s personal musical interests and specialisms, where possible.

Knowledge and Evaluative Skills include:

  • Researching and investigating
  • Learning a variety of forms of Music notation.
  • Reflecting on and evaluating their own and others’ work
  • Adapting and refining their own work
  • Developing ideas and intentions when composing and evaluating.
  • Arranging & presenting their own work appropriately to an audience

Year 7

Year 7 students work on termly projects: The Elements of Music via ‘Who Knows’ Composition; Jazz Improvisation; Western Music Notation linked with theme and variations.

‘Who Knows’ Composition

The study of composition via the elements of music – pitch, texture, timbre, dynamics, rhythm, structure and tempo - making use of pitched and unpitched instruments alongside the voice.

  • Melody skills
  • Rhythm and Pulse skills composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

Jazz Improvisation

The study of improvisation through listening and appraising, composition and performance activities. This activity starts in pairs, or for the more confident, as soloists, then develops into group work with a combination of keyboard and shaken and hit untuned percussion instruments.

  • Listening and Appraisal skills
  • Paired work
  • Composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

Western Music Notation

In this unit, pupils explore reading and writing correct western music notation. They learn rhythm and pitch notation as separate entities, develop their performance skills based upon this and compose arrangements of an existing piece of music, keeping in mind the elements of music, and trying to alter as many aspects of the piece as they can whilst still keeping it recognisable to the listener.

  • Rhythm Notation
  • Pitch Notation
  • Writing Western Notation
  • Theme and Variations
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

Year 8

In Year 8 students again work on termly projects: What makes a Good Tune?; Rhythm Development through African Dance rhythms; Ragtime Music as a foundation of modern pop music.

What makes a good Tune?

Pupils initially establish the characteristics of both an effective and an ineffective melody and discuss why this may be. ‘Ode to Joy’ is an example of an effective melody and listening and performance activities will take place here. This leads into pupils composing their own effective melody.

  • Listening activities to establish the characteristics of an effective melody
  • Ode to Joy - Listening
  • Ode to Joy - Performance
  • Effective melody - Composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

African Dance Rhythms

Pupils explore the timbres in African Dance music and the reasons this genre of music is composed. They develop skills in teamwork, leading others through conducting and performing on different instruments than they have previously been used to.

  • Listening to African Dance Music
  • Rhythm exercises
  • Crossrhythm and Polyrhythm composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

Ragtime Music

Ragtime Music, along with Blues Music is a key founding genre in the development of modern popular music as we know it today. The complex and syncopated rhythms of the right hand part contrast with the steady drum beat style of the left. Students will explore the historic aspects of Ragtime via listening work to the music of Scott Joplin, perform his most famous Ragtime piece, and then compose their own Ragtime music.

  • ‘The Entertainer’
  • Ragtime Composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

Year 9

In Year 9 students cover projects with an emphasis on listening, performance and arrangement in readiness for GCSE.

Melody and Harmony

In this unit, students explore concepts of melody, chords and basslines through the medium of Blues

Music. This involves listening and appraising, performance and composition tasks.

  • The History of Blues Music
  • The Jackass Blues - Performance
  • Blues Composition
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

 Pop Song Arrangement and Pop Performance

In this unit, generally over the course of two terms, pupils explore melody and chords, fitting correct chords to melodies in order to create an effective piece of modern popular music, but to their own strengths and interests. This builds on and relates back to Ragtime and Blues being foundations of modern pop music, as studied in previous units.

  • The History of popular music
  • Arrangement of Pop Song
  • Pop music performance (1)
  • Pop music performance (2)
  • Listening, Appraisal and Evaluation

How students are assessed

Students’ achievement is continually assessed, in terms of their listening, evaluation, performance and composition skills. Students are given regular verbal and written feedback to support further improvement. Students are also involved in evaluating their own and each other’s achievement, and in setting targets for their own development. Progress Reports will advise you on the progress that your child is making.

Students are assessed using the GCSE Assessment grid to provide a solid understanding of the criteria in preparation for KS4 options.

Homework

In Music, homework is set regularly and resources are available on Showbie for both parents and students to access and use. Homework will serve as preparation for the next lesson or to reinforce or extend learning in the classroom. Some homework projects are accompanied by exemplar video material accompanied by the grading criteria.

How parents can help

Parents should check homework diaries and the Showbie system with their child to ensure understanding. Parents should try to ensure that a quiet place is available for homework to be completed without distraction and that their child produces the best work that they are capable of. They should contact their child's Music teacher with any concerns via e-mail.

The Head of Department would also welcome feedback via e-mail, from parents regarding any aspect of their child's Music experiences, to inform future planning and to ensure that all students are challenged.

Extra-curricular activities

The department is open for all breaks, lunchtimes and after school. Students are encouraged to

attend to seek additional support or to complete class works and homework where necessary.

Additionally there are Choir events in the diary throughout the school year, a Production at Christmas and a Summer Arts Evening to showcase pupils performance specialisms towards the end of the academic year.

Competitions and external musical opportunities are advertised on department notice boards or by email. 

KTB Music runs the peripatetic Music tuition and graded exams can be taken throughout the year. Contact KTBMusicatpriory@outlook.com

Key Stage 4

The GCSE Music course centres around preparation for the final listening exam and ongoing composing coursework, interspersed with performance workshop sessions. It is imperative that the GCSE Music candidate is working with their specialist instrumental teacher over the course of the two years in order to receive targeted and specialist support in the Performance element to dovetail with their classroom work which will be mainly Listening and Composing.

The new specification has raised the proportion of Listening Exam to 40% which will centre around correct application of subject specific vocabulary and a broad listening experience to music across both genre and time. This will be through both studying set works and responding to unfamiliar music. 

Exam/Coursework Requirements

  • Listening Exam - 68% unfamiliar music/ 32% study pieces

1.5 hour final exam—

Total 40% of final marks

  • Performance on Instrument or Voice—4 minutes minimum in total

2 performances—one solo and one ensemble

Coursework preparation and recorded in the final year.

Total 30% of final marks

  • Composition

1. To a brief

2. Free composition

Coursework preparation and recorded in the final year.

Total 30% of marks

What skills students develop

  • Using their musical experiences and ideas
  • Selecting and organising the elements of music into composition
  • Analysis, discussion and evaluation
  • Exploring ideas through Music software
  • Reviewing and modifying their own performance and composition work, and planning and developing ideas in the light of their own and others’ evaluations
  • Applying knowledge and understanding in producing their own Composition

Assessment

In Music, students’ achievement is continually assessed and students are given regular verbal and written feedback to support further improvement. Students are involved in evaluating their own and each other’s achievement, and in setting targets for their own development. Progress Reports will advise you on the progress that your child is making.

The nature of the subject is that individual learning journals are at the heart of progression where students are set individualised, personal targets based on their instrumental specialisms and strengths.

Home studies

Students are given a structure and timeline to work to. They will be given regular reminders of how to complete work set within the timeline. Students should use class time and home studies time to complete each Assessment Objective within the given time. There is an expectation of Listening and Composition work to be completed at home each week, alongside practical work in preparation for their performance exam with their specialist instrumental or singing teacher.

Students are also encouraged to make regular visits to concerts as part of their wider listening portfolio.

How parents can help

Parents should regularly check homework diaries and familiarise themselves and their child with published deadlines to ensure that these are consistently met. All information and resources can be made available on Showbie for parents and students. Parents should try to ensure that a quiet place is available for homework to be completed without distraction and that their child produces the best work that they are capable of.

They should contact their child’s Music teacher with any concerns via email.

Additional Support

The department is open at breaks, lunchtimes and after school. The nature of the subject is that much of the work will be on software at school after curriculum time as part of the composition process.

School Holiday Sessions are offered at Easter and competitions and external musical opportunities are advertised on department notice boards.