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Director of Performing Arts/ Head of Faculty: Mr B Lancaster

Trust Director Instrumental Tuition & Music Performance: Mr A McIntosh

A Musical approach to the curriculum

Each year group studies a range of different topics to develop performing, composing and listening skills, some of which incorporate the Department’s JamPod equipment. Students are taught to use this technology to work on ensemble projects where every student is able to learn and develop skills on electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, keyboard and vocals.

World Music forms a focus in each year group at KS3, with students developing a firm understanding of how the elements of music are used and combined more universally. Students are also introduced to the technical skills needed to manipulate and record their work using ICT software, paving the way for options at KS4 which include BTEC Music and GCSE.

Our Learning Journey:

Key Stage 3

Year 7

During Year 7, students will learn about and develop their ICT skills, using loop-based software to create clearly structured pieces of music. They also study African drumming, creating original yet authentic compositions which they perform themselves. In addition, students will also develop the necessary skills to perform as an ensemble and will learn how to use the JamPod equipment in order to rehearse as a band.

Year 8

During Year 8, students will further develop their ensemble skills through the use of JamPod equipment as well as having the opportunity to study and compose film music in our ICT suite. Students will also develop their performing, listening and composing skills through Samba drumming and the study of The Blues.

Key Stage 4

Music in Key Stage 4 is studied in Years 10 and 11 and there are two pathways that students can follow; GCSE Music and BTEC Music (Level 2). Students have two lessons a week in Year 10 and three lessons a week in Year 11.

GCSE Music is designed for students who have an interest in developing their music theory and analysis skills, as well as those who are confident performers. The course also has a focus on composition and developing the skills to write original music.

BTEC Music contains the practical elements of performance and composition but also requires students to explore the music industry in the 21st century and understand how the different job roles and organisations within this interrelate. Students end the course by working on a ‘music product’ which gives them the opportunity to bring to life an original idea (album, concert, event etc) by utilising all of the skills they have developed over the course.

Key Stage 5 (16-19 qualifications)

There are also two pathways in Key Stage 5; A Level Music and BTEC Music (Level 3).

A Level Music is divided into three components; Performing, Composing and Appraising.

The appraising content is assessed in a written exam, for which information on several set study pieces must be prepared, as well as the skills developed to be able to answer questions on unheard extracts of music.

Students must be confident performers working at or equivalent to Grade 5 level at the beginning of the course. Students can choose whether performing or composing is their principal study area, though they must be assessed in both disciplines.

BTEC Music retains some aspects of the A Level course in terms of music theory, and also requires some performance work to be completed. Students are also required to explore aspects of the music industry and the skills required to work within it. However, students are then able to select units to best suit their skills, with options available in further performance and composition areas.

How you can find out more about the Music curriculum:

GCSE Music Specification (Eduqas):

BTEC Music Level 2 Specification:

A Level Music Specification (Eduqas):

BTEC Music Level 3 Specification: