The work that we do in the music department thrives due to the commitment and hard work that our Students put into it. As well as having lessons within the curriculum there is a wealth of opportunities for Students to get involved in musical activities.
Music at Key Stage 3
In Years 7-9 students get the chance to look at different styles of music through the areas of composing, listening and performing. Starting with basic notation students are encouraged to use their knowledge to perform in different contexts. They explore many different genres from around the world. We develop listening skills and encourage students to describe what they can hear. Using ICT it is possible to both compose and hear what you are doing and our students are encouraged to explore this medium.
Topics covered include:
Year 7 – notation, instruments of the orchestra, percussion ostinati, programme music and singing.
Year 8 – African music/drumming, sequencing, music history, keyboards, singing and film music
Year 9 – blues music, musical fusions, keyboards and ‘pop music’ through listening, research and performance.
Music at Key Stage 4
At GCSE we follow the Edexcel music specification which develops the work we did at Key Stage 3. Students follow 12 set pieces under 4 Areas of Study:
AOS1 – Western classical music 1600-1899
Handel: ‘And the glory of the Lord’ from Messiah
Mozart: ‘Symphony no. 40 movement 1’
Chopin: ‘Raindrop prelude’
AOS2 – Music in the 20th century
Schoenberg: ‘Peripetie’ from Five Orchestral Pieces
Bernstein: ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story
Reich: Electric Counterpoint movement III
AOS3 – Popular music in context
Davis: All Blues
Moby: Why does my heart feel so bad?
AOS4 – World Music
Capercaillie: Skye Waulking Song
Rag Desh: Anoushka Snakar, Chiranji Lal Tanwar, Sten Forn and Benjy Wertheimer
Students will study these pieces and take a listening examination based on them. They will also be expected to do two performances (one solo and one ensemble or one music tech and one ensemble) and have to compose two pieces of music for any ensemble they wish.
Extra-curricular activities in Music
Instrumental lessons are available, at a cost, in:
Strings: violin, viola and cello
Woodwind: flute, clarinet and saxophone
Brass: trumpet, trombone, cornet and euphonium
Drums, guitar, piano and voice.
Pupils are also encouraged to take part in ensembles as we continue to build up the school’s wind band and choir. We also would like students to build up their own ensembles to perform in the various concerts that we take part in.
As part of the Catholic Partnership we take part in a concert every two years which takes place at The Sage, Gateshead. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for our students to perform on a world renowned stage in front of a huge audience.