Each student in Years 7 to 9 receives two lessons of music each week following a course that is designed to offer a wide range of musical experience. This involves performing individually and in groups, composing a range of styles and genres, and listening and appraising music from across the world that represents a broad spectrum of repertoire.
Students are encouraged to express themselves in any musical form including singing, playing their own instrument, classroom instruments and using music technology. All students learn how to play the piano and most will finish key stage 3 being able to perform with two hands on the keyboard. Traditional notation and music technology software is used in the construction of compositions, with students being trained and encouraged to record and appraise their own work. We have a music studio equipped with a recording studio and computers for students offering Cubase, Sibelius and Muse-score programmes.
Performance is a key component of school music and students have the opportunity to play together in lessons as well as to join several music groups and ensembles that are an established part of school life. These include a Junior choir, Senior choir, Chamber choir, School Production Band, Pop band, String group, Flute ensemble, Guitar ensemble and Brass ensemble. Above all, music in school is aimed at providing students with the opportunity to be creative, work with others and develop their natural talents. There are multiple performance opportunities for students all year round, including a vocal concert for all new year 7 students in their first term, a Christmas Carol service for all ensembles, several joint ventures with the PTA and informal lunch-time concerts through the year. Students are encouraged to perform at every opportunity, which also includes whole-school assemblies and evening events.
GCSE music is offered in Year 10 and Year 11 and follows the OCR course. Students perform and compose music that makes up a portfolio of work that is assessed as part of the final examination. In addition, musical techniques and genres are studied in preparation for a listening exam that is taken at the end of the course. The current specification involves study of film music, the Baroque, Classical and Romantic concerto, a range of World musics and Pop Music from the 1950’s to the current day.
Instrumental tuition is offered by visiting professional musicians during school time each week. The cost of lessons is paid by parents. Students may wish to begin the study of an instrument at any time, or continue with the tuition that they have been receiving at their primary school.