“Music is essentially an emotional language, so you want to feel something from the relationships and build music based on those feelings.” – Howard Shore
The WGSG Music department thrives on the notions of inclusion, creativity and enthusiasm for the subject. We deliver a broad curriculum with an aim to provide an insightful knowledge of musical understanding and quality of performance. We encourage this department to be a friendly hub to share ideas and rehearse in.
In the music curriculum we teach pupils how to extend the way they perceive different styles of music through their musical responses and understanding of how musical elements work. Performing and composing is encouraged throughout every topic each term and will involve performances of a solo and group nature. Exploring the creative avenue in groups improves many basic human skills that are needed in the workplace later on in life, such as self-confidence and team work.
We aim to develop students as a whole person, seeking to raise awareness through the arts within the school. The department offers extra-curricular which encourages good practice and private lessons are available to all pupils on a weekly timetable. Concerts will be presented annually as well as music entertainment provided for assemblies, open evenings, Christmas, singing competitions and informal GCSE concerts.
“Mistakes are part of the game. It’s how well you recover from them that are the mark of a great player.” – Alice Cooper
In Year 7, students learn about the basic rhythms / notes, elements, the orchestra and keyboard skills. Through performing on the keyboards and singing, students learn how to listen to each other in order to perform. Students will develop working solo, in pairs and in small groups as well as class ensembles.
In year 8, students will learn about music from different cultures and their history e.g. Blues / jazz, Caribbean and Gamelan. Students will be asked to demonstrate their musical ability performing pieces from each culture but also to compose. Throughout this year students are developing their creativity within music and to then be able to perform this in a live setting.
In year 9, students will explore new ways of reading music notation and experiment with natural made sounds i.e. their own bodies through body percussion and vocal graphic scores. This year is open to expression and learning how to perform in bands / small ensembles. Looking into experimental music, electronic music, rap, reggae, hip hop, rock and pop as well as world music. All of these topics will encourage band performances from the pupils and composition. All topics will stretch their musical ability to perform and open the door to learn the basics on a number of instruments throughout the year.
Years 10 & 11
We will be following the Edexcel course for GCSE music. The course requires the students to analyse pieces within 4 areas of study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions. The course includes performances (students must play an instrument or sing to a good standard), composing and listening / music score analysis. These skills acquired in KS3 should be well embedded before the course is taken as an option. The department encourages all to take an active role in extracurricular and the musical life within the school through concerts and assemblies. The department also arranges a few trips to see live music throughout the year, for inspiration and to encourage excellence
Assessment for Years 7, 8 and 9 are moderated in 3 forms: performance, composition and listening and appraising. The listening and appraising is a form of test issued at the end of each term based on facts and keywords used in lessons for each project. The composition tasks are set for each topic and involve mainly pair work with some small group work too. Performance starts as a class ensemble / small groups, but does touch on pair work and also encourages solos wherever possible.
In Year 10 and 11, students will complete regular compositional and performance tasks based on the Area of Study we are learning about during the term. The composition tasks are designed to develop each pupil’s understanding of the set works and gain as many ideas possible for their final coursework. Homework will be based around music theory, notation, self-development on their individual instruments and the set works, including essay questions.
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Edexcel A level Music
This is an exciting course that will allow you to advance in your performance skills as well as your ability to analyse and evaluate common features within different styles of music. You will also develop the sophisticated organisational skills by arranging your own recital.
You will need to be able to read music well and understand basic theory to a degree where you can analyse set musical works provided by the Edexcel exam board. You will need to compare and contrast the set works according to selected elements e.g. texture / harmony / tonality. You will be required to compose 2 pieces or carry out 2 technical studies, depending on your strengths.
Music is a highly specialist subject that requires excellent self-discipline and creativity. The communication skills gained playing in ensembles is vital in team orientated work forces, and the confidence to speak is highly valued.
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