In year 9 music we have two goals:
- Make students more literate musicians – encouraging them to be able to become independent learners by understanding how to interpret rhythm and pitch notation, as well as tablature and chord symbols. These skills will also support those who may consider continuing their formal music education at GCSE level.
- Give students a wide range of instrumental instruction and practical opportunities on instruments. This includes a lot of group work in the many practice rooms and break out spaces, building ensemble skills, independent learning and more transferable group work skills such as communication and decision making.
We have recently changed exam boards to one that we believe supports students in showing their ability to apply analysis skills, rather than to recall facts.
In key stage 4 music we have 3 strands goals:
- Teaching students a range of techniques to compose structured and controlled pieces that show understanding of harmony, melody, rhythm and texture..
- Prepare students for performances to be recorded in year 11. One must be an ensemble piece, the other is likely to be a solo piece. Together the minimum performance time should be 4 minutes. We look to have students playing at grade 4 standard by the recording. We do realise that a lot of the preparation for performances happens outside of the timetabled music lessons, but students get support and direction with this element.
- A large majority of lesson time is given over to preparation for the exam. Students will learn to understand technical language, and how to use that language to describe unfamiliar pieces we listen to. There are 2 set works to learn facts about, but the rest of the time is spent practicing applying these terms in ever more precise and controlled ways.
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