Music

The Department has its own classroom block along with the Drama Studio; there are two classrooms, two practice rooms, a recording suite and music studio equipped with Sibelius. The Music Department at OPGS is busy and vibrant. Students are encouraged to learn instruments and read and write music. In addition to class teaching, we run a varied programme of extra-curricular activities in school time, catering for all musical interests and levels of attainment. Each year we provide a Christmas Celebration and a whole school production, in conjunction with the Drama Department, alongside other recitals and events. We have a variety of visiting music peripatetic teachers, teaching 1 to 1 instrumental lessons throughout the school week. Instruments currently include guitar, drum kit, brass, woodwind and piano.

Foundation Years

Pupils explore music through a range of practical activities using classroom instruments, keyboards and the voice. Working in pairs and larger groups, they use sounds descriptively, rhythmically and melodically to create compositions and perform music. They learn performance skills through a variety of topics and develop an analytical ear through listening and appraising Music. Students learn to read and write traditional staff notation through performance and composition. We regularly enjoy singing in class and students are encouraged to take part in the wide variety of extra-curricular activities, including keyboard club, choir, guitar club, studio work, composing club.

 

YEAR 7 TOPICS YEAR 8 TOPICS
TERM 1: MUSIC NOTATION & KEYBOARD SKILLS

TERM 2: MELODY/HARMONY/CHORDS

TERM 3 + 4: PENTATONIC COMPOSITION

TERM 5: MUSICALS

TERM 6: HISTORY OF POP MUSIC

TERM 1: FILM THEMES

TERM 2: LOOPS, RIFFS AND THEMES

TERM 3: COMPOSING USING VISUAL ARTS

TERM 4: NOTATING COMPOSITION

TERM 5: PERFORMANCE SKILLS

TERM 6: HISTORY OF POP MUSIC

Keystone Year

Year 9 Music is taught within the Creative Arts carousel. Each class has an 8-week session within each art form. Our common link is ‘Around the World’.

In Music:

MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD – students study traditional styles and instruments from around the world, including Africa, India, China, Japan, USA, Australia.

Students experience a wide range of music from around the world, studying through research, listening and practical activities.

GCSE

The new Edexcel GCSE Music course (9-1) is designed to develop musical knowledge, understanding and skills through studying a wide range of music from different cultures.

Students should have a genuine interest in learning about and performing music, being relatively fluent on their chosen instrument.

 

There are 3 strands to the course:

Paper 1 – Performance 30%

Paper 2 – Composition 30%

Paper 3 – Appraisal 40%

 

Paper 1 – Performance:

Students are expected to complete two final performances:  a Solo and an Ensemble performance.

Each performance must demonstrate a high standard of instrumental skill and technique, combined with accuracy and musicianship. Both performances are recorded and submitted with the original score.

 

Paper 2 – Composition:

Students must complete 2 compositions: a ‘free’ composition and one from a choice set briefs from the exam board.

Each composition must demonstrate knowledge of melodic and harmonic knowledge, alongside idiomatic writing for instrumental forces. It must show development of material and show coherence.

The ‘free’ composition is completed in Year 10 and the set brief composition is completed in Year 11.

Both compositions are written on music software with the completed score, recording and written description submitted as coursework.

 

Paper 3 – Appraisal:

Students study 8 set works from 4 Areas of Study:

Instrumental Music 1700-1820

Vocal Music

Music for Stage and Screen

Fusions

Students also study music dictation, notation, music elements, tonality, and music theory.

Wider listening around the set works are examined to extend repertoire.

 

Assessment

Papers 1 and 2 are completed during the course and are internally assessed and moderated.

Paper 3 is studied throughout the course and concludes with an externally assessed written exam at the end of the course.

A Level

The new Edexcel A Level Music course is designed as an advanced progression from GCSE Music. There are 3 strands to the course:

Paper 1 – Performing 30%

Paper 2 – Composing 30%

Paper 3 – Appraising 40%

 

Paper 1: Performance: Students must perform a recital, which is a minimum of 8 minutes. It can be one long piece, or several shorter selections. Any instrument or voice may be used. Recitals will be recorded in one take to be sent to the board, with no pauses or edits in the recording.

 

Paper 2: Composition: Students must compose either a ‘free’ or a composition to one of six briefs, of at least 4 minutes duration. They must also compose a chorale texture in the style of J.S.Bach, at least 1 minute in duration. The composition must be submitted as a recording with an accompanying score and a detailed description. Editing may be used to best express the composition.

 

Paper 3: Appraisal: Students study 6 Areas of Study, each including 3 set works.

Areas of Study are:

Vocal Music

Instrumental Music

Music for Film

Popular Music and Jazz

Fusions

New Directions.

Musical works range from the Baroque Era to the present. Students must learn to listen to and analyse musical detail, be aware of the cultural and historic context of musical works and have a good understanding of musical vocabulary and techniques.

 

Paper 3 also includes a music dictation and a question based on unfamiliar listening.

 

Students should be good performers and have a genuine curiosity about a wide range of music genres. A good knowledge of music theory would be an advantage.

 

Assessment

Papers 1 and 2 are completed during the course and are externally assessed.

Paper 3 is studied throughout the course and concludes with an externally assessed written exam at the end of the course.

Extension and Enrichment

Junior Band, Senior Jazz Band, Guitar Club, Keyboard Club, Singing Club, Exam Help Desk

Advanced Guitar Club, Senior Jazz Band, Choir, theatre visits, Music Studio, school concerts and a yearly musical.

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