Students are given the opportunity to study a wide range of musical styles, techniques and genres, ranging from early classics to contemporary music, as well as modern music technologies and sound mixing. All students are encouraged to nurture their musical talents, whatever their level of ability so that they may reach their full potential and can gain confidence from performing. The Music curriculum offers a balance between individual work, small group work and whole-class experiences.
The music department has a wide range of facilities that the students have access to before, during and after lessons. We have two music classrooms, which includes a large keyboard room and an iMac suite with the latest recording programs. There is a state of the art professional recording studio with a live room for students to record singing or playing an instrument. The department also includes a practice room and an ensemble room.
Key Stage 3
Class music is taught to all students in Years 7-9. This acts as a foundation for examination options in the senior part of the school where the subject is offered at GCSE and A-Level. The work is practically based and all students will be encouraged to develop their skills in performing, composing, listening and technology. Students will also undertake written work, particularly as a method of reflecting on their work.
The Garageband music program is used by Students throughout the school for composition work and Sibelius music program is used by GCSE and A-Level students to aid composition work as well.
Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based upon their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow. The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.
The main purpose of this subject is to develop your ability to appreciate a wide range of musical styles and improve your composing and performing ability. At Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA syllabus, which they have to create two compositions: one to a given brief and one free choice. Students will also have to do two performances: one solo piece and one group piece. There is a great amount of flexibility in the type of performance they choose to give. Music technology is an option as well as group and individual performances. Students listen to a wide variety of music, appreciating the different kinds of music from different times and places. At the end of the course, there will be an examination based on the different styles of music studied through the course of Key Stage 4. Students develop a range of skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, building self-confidence and independent skills. Pupils wishing to study Music A-Level would be expected to achieve a grade 9 - 6 at GCSE and take regular instrumental/vocal lessons.
Assessment: Written paper 40%, Performance 30% and Music Composition 30%.
At post-16 students follow the AQA syllabus which is a linear course. During the first year (AS Level), students will have to create two compositions showing technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources. Students will also have to do a performance programme: solo and/or ensemble performing lasting a minimum of 6 minutes. There is a great amount of flexibility in the type of performance they choose to give. Music technology is also an option. At the end of the course, there will be an examination based on set works studied over the two years as well as further listening questions to show an understanding of the organisation of sounds.
During the second year (A2 Level), students have to create two compositions developing their skills learnt in the AS course. Students will have to offer two (or more) contrasting pieces to form a short performance programme lasting a minimum of 10 minutes. At the end of the A2 course, there will be an examination based on set work studied this year as well as further listening questions. During the course, students develop a range of skills such as practical skills, interpretative skills, creative skills, aural skills, analytical skills, knowledge and understanding.
Individual instrumental lessons are offered by a team of qualified specialist teachers and our students are always highly successful in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations, Rock School examinations and London Trinity examinations, at all levels from Grades 1–8. During school and after-school practices take place throughout the week. We currently have a piano, keyboard, woodwind, drums, guitar, violin and vocal lessons. We are always looking to expand the instrumental lessons that we have on offer.
Students are encouraged to use both music rooms and the practice rooms during lunchtimes and after school, whether it is working on a solo vocal piece, a band piece or even recording. We put on concerts during the year which is an opportunity for students to showcase their talent. We have a swing band that rehearses on a Friday after lessons every week. Students are also encouraged to participate in string group as well as choir and soul choir (by invitation only). We are always looking to expand the different extra-curricular activities that we have on offer.
There are numerous opportunities for public performance, both in smaller recitals or a more formal concert situation. The Music Department plays an important role in the life of the School, contributing to many occasions and events, such as the Winter Concert and the Summer Concert. The Department also collaborates with the Drama Department in the production of Musical Theatre Performances.
For further information regarding our Music Curriculum please contact:
Mrs McAdam [email protected]