Key Stage 3
When students join us in Year 7 we introduce them to music through Elements of Music 'workshop' style lessons before looking at the topics of Rhythm and Pitch, Keyboard Skills, Cartoon Music and African Drumming. Of course, it wouldn’t be Music if we also didn’t sing a few Christmas songs in December! Year 7 really aims to excite and develop a passion in students for music and open their minds and ears to new styles of music while also drawing on the music that they enjoy listening to in their spare time. We are aware of the vastly different experiences students have of Music at junior school and so we start from the basics to allow students to develop confidence while getting them to explore musical instruments, their voices and develop new skills; we want them to push themselves and think outside of the box and every year we see some really exciting work from our Year 7s. We would love to get some of our Year 7s and 8s working together on some African music ready for the Global Fair at the end of the Summer term.
In each topic, students are introduced to Performing, Composing and Listening skills. Depending on the topic, units of work may be assessed formally or informally. Students’ practical work, both during and at the end of topics, is often recorded on iPads so that progression across the year and across the key-stage can be seen. This is also the case for Years 8 and 9 by which time they are well used to being recorded, often volunteering to be camera man/woman!
Students are introduced to chords on the Ukulele which has been a very successful and popular addition to KS3 Music. They then go on to study the Blues, the 4 Chord Song through chord playing and group work and Programme Music. Year 8 will also have some time on African drums having missed this experience in Year 7; it is an exciting (and yes noisy) end to the summer term! This is a great year to push our students on by exploring much more challenging skills and experiencing new instruments – we are sure they will have a lot of fun!
During Year 9 students look at Rock n Roll, Classical Music through Fur Elise, Band and Solo Performances, Film Music and they will learn how to use music technology to record digital compositions with a focus on the famous and beautiful Pachelbel’s Canon. Towards the end of the year students have the opportunity to choose an instrument to specialise in and they will develop their skills as they work on a piece of their own choosing; this has led to some excellent engagement and very impressive progress for many students. Those with a real passion for music and a desire to move onto GCSE Music are also able to start exploring song-writing.