Instrumental and vocal lessons are provided by peripatetic teachers from Essex Music Services. For more information, please contact the school office.
Key Stage 3
Autumn 1 – Introduction to Music
Through the integrated activities of performing, composing and listening, students will begin development of their own feeling for and awareness of the elements of music. Students will enjoy singing in a large group in a variety of different styles and practise working with different people in their classes. Students will also start to understand how to read notated music and will be able to read basic musical scores by the end of the unit.
Autumn 2 – The Keyboard
This unit will introduce students ot the skills needed to successfully play the keyboard. They will build on the knowledge of musical elements and note reading to put together a performance of a number of different melodies using the pentatonic scale. These performances will be recorded to be shared with parents and carers.
Spring 1 – STOMP
Students will be listening, composing and performing using a range of percussive instruments. Students will be focusing on developing their rhythmic, textural and tempo understanding.
Students as part of this project will compose a percussive piece of music using everyday items and objects.
Spring 2 – Folk Music
This practical task is based on the song pupils learn in the previous unit. Students will learn how to make changes to the musical elements of a song to create their own unique arrangement of the folk song. This is an exciting task which allows students to put their own stamp on a performance. These performances will be recorded to be shared with parents and carers.
Summer 1 – Ukulele
Students will learn about the different families of instruments in an orchestra and the individual instruments within them. The unit examines the mechanics of the instruments, how they create their sound and the particular qualities of the sounds when combined with other instruments. This knowledge is assessed through a written paper completed at the end of the unit.
Summer 2 – Musicals
Students throughout this topic will be listening and performing a wide range of Music from Musicals. These include Wicked, Mary Poppins, Les Miserable and many more.
Students for their assessment of this topic will perform as an ensemble a choice song from Musicals studied in class.
Autumn 1 – Impressionism
This unit explores the genre of Impressionism and its links to art. Pupils will learn about how composers use instruments to create different moods and atmospheres. Pupils will learn how to use these techniques to create their own melodies.
Autumn 2 – Rock
Students in ensemble performance will be listening and performing the music of Queen, ACDC and other Rock groups.
Students by the end of this unit will perform a selected Rock piece of music in small groups.
Spring 1 – Theme Variation
Students in Theme and Variation will be listening and composing to a range of different music from Baroque, Classical and Romantic.
Students by the end of this topic will compose two variations from the theme of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.
Spring 2 – Ballard
Students will be listening and performing the music of Adele, Coldplay and Taylor Swift.
Students by the end of this unit will perform a selected piece from one of these artists in small groups.
Summer 1- Minimalism
Pupils will discover the Minimalist genre through performing and arranging. Taking examples from the music of Steve Reich, pupils will create their own version of ‘Clapping Music’ and will analyse in depth and perform one of the most well-known Minimalist melodies.
Summer 2 – Rap
Students in rap will be listening, composing and performing a variety of music from 20th and 21st century artists and composers.
Students will by the end of this topic perform a rap by Eminem, Stormzy or other major rap artists.
Autumn 1 – Music of West Africa
Students throughout this topic will be listening, performing and composing to Music of West Africa.
Moreover, students will be using West African Djembes in performing and composing.
Students by the end of this topic will compose a West African Drumming piece using Djembes in small groups.
Autumn 2 – Drumming and Blues
Pupils will examine the genre of the Blues and its links to the dark history of slavery. By understanding the cultural and historical significance, pupils will be able to fully appreciate the nature of lyrics to some Blues songs. The practical aspect of the unit will involve understanding of the 12 bar blues form and understanding will be embedded and assessed by means of performance.
Spring 1 – Film Music
Students in film music will be listening, performing and composing music from Film.
Students will study the music from John Williams, Hans Zimmer and many more inspiring emerging film composers.
Students as part of their assessment will perform in pairs a piece of film music studied in lesson.
Spring 2 – Video Game Music
Students in video game music will listen, perform and compose music from a wide variety of different video game franchises.
Students by the end of this topic will compose a piece of music for a given character studied in class.
Summer 1 – Pop Music
Pop music is all about what kind of music is popular with the public at the time. Taking examples from some of the most up-to-date chart songs, students will analyse what makes a successful pop song. Alongside modern songs, some inspiration has been taken from pop songs from years gone by to see how pop music has changed. By singing and using instruments, pupils can build a performance of a song of their choice.
Summer 2 – My Music
Students have already learnt the basics of composing their own music. This unit will further those skills taking into account elements such as harmony, melody and rhythm to form a piece of music which they will be able to notate. Students will find these activities to be engaging and interesting but the skills are also very helpful for the GCSE Music course.
Key Stage 4
Eduqas GCSE Music
Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes
Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated. 30% of qualification. A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.
Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes
Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 30% of qualification. Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.
Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately)
Written examination: 40% of qualification. This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study. Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble Area of study 3: Film Music Area of study 4: Popular Music. Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC.
The two set extracts currently set by WJEC are Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, mvt. III (W.A. Mozart) and Since You’ve Been Gone (Rainbow). These will be changed by the exam board for the next GCSE cohort (examination year 2022).