Contact

Subject Leader

Mr P Lawton

p.lawton@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Powerful Knowledge

Powerful Knowledge in Music is the understanding that Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity and transcends cultural differences. Music has the power to bring people of all backgrounds together and allows us to convey emotions and communicate in a way that the spoken word often can not.

Curriculum Intent

The Kingsway School recognises that music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.

As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between home, school and the wider world. The teaching of music develops pupils' ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality. It encourages active involvement in different forms of  music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.

Across Key Stage 3 and throughout Key Stage 4 students perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of famous composers and musicians. The genres studied reflect the diversity of our school and the department aims to teach in a practical way, with students ‘making music’ at every opportunity.

The arts are a valuable means of developing confidence and communication skills, and facilitating expression, ideas and feelings.  In addition, through purposeful, imaginative and creative activities, pupils learn to take managed risks, trying out new ideas and new ways of working without fear of failure.

We value the contribution the arts make to our quality of life and believe that providing a range of experiences is essential for life beyond school.

The Key Stage 3 Music Curriculum aims for all children to:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of famous composers and musicians.
  • Learn to sing, and to use their voices to create and compose music on their own and with others.
  • Have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, and use music technology appropriately.
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including a knowledge of pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre etc (formerly the “elements of Music”)

Students will follow a varied and inspiring syllabus that very much promotes practical musicianship. Students should ‘make music’ during every lesson, and will mainly learn through practical application.  Students will learn a variety skills that will feed into Listening and Appraising, Performing and Composing.

Year 7

In Year 7, students will be able to

  • Demonstrate an understanding of vocal technique and how the voice works
  • Develop performance skills through the Yr 7 Showcase programme
  • Identify the different note symbols and their respective values (duration)
  • Improvise and devise rhythmic patterns as part of a group performance
  • Identify the instruments of the orchestra and their respective families
  • Demonstrate an appropriate audience etiquette at public performances
  • Identify how the position of notes on a stave relates to their pitch
  • Correctly write out a short musical phrase using the correct notation
  • Compose a piece of music to reflect a programmed theme
  • Use music technology appropriately as a compositional tool
  • Know what the building blocks (elements) of music are
  • Identify both major and minor tonalities

Termly Topics:

  1. Singing (Year 7 Showcase)
  2. African Music (Rhythm)
  3. Instruments of the Orchestra
  4. Notation
  5. Programme Music
  6. Popular Music

Year 8

In Year 8, students will be able to

  • Understand the function of Minimalism and how it is used as a compositional device
  • Compose a piece of music in a given style or genre
  • Maintain their own part within an ensemble performance
  • Understand the history and context of Music in the theatre, and how this has developed and grown
  • Perform a piece of music from notation on a keyboard
  • Use Music technology to develop compositions through the use of layers, and soundscapes.
  • Be able to use extended chord to enhance performances
  • Reflect on their own performance and improve through critical feedback

Termly Topics:

  1. Minimalism
  2. Musicals
  3. Chords (harmony)

Year 9

In Year 9, students will be able to

  • Improvise melodic phrases over a given structure
  • Understand the history of the Blues and it’s influence on popular music
  • Understand the role music plays within film and television.
  • Compose a piece of music to create a mood or effect appropriate to a given brief
  • Have an appreciation for different pop genres and be able to identify key features of the most popular styles
  • Combine the elements of music to compose their own remix or mash-up
  • Consolidate aspects of writing music to include dynamics, tempo markings and phrasing

Termly Topics:

  1. The Blues
  2. Film Music
  3. Queen (Pop Music)
  4. Remixes
  5. Songwriting
  6. Group Musicianship

GCSE

Exam Board - Edexcel

Assessment

Students must complete all three components of this qualification:

Component 1: Understanding music (40%)

Externally moderated exam paper, 1 hour and 30 minutes, with listening exercises using excerpts of music:

  • Listening
  • Contextual Understanding

Component 2: Performing music (30%)

This component will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by the board. Two music performances as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:

  • Performance 1: Solo performance
  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance

A minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.

Component 3: Composing music (30%)

This component will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by the board.

  • Composition 1: Free Composition
  • Composition 2: Composition to a brief (set by Edexcel Sept of Year 11)

A minimum of three minutes and a maximum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

Course Outline

Year 10

Autumn 1

Introduction to the GCSE course (3 weeks):

  • Build on knowledge and experience at KS3
  • Consolidate basic musical vocabulary and knowledge
  • Study exemplar performances and compositions
  • Look at the assessment criteria for the coursework tasks.

Instrumental Music 1700–1820 set works (4 weeks):

J.S. Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto no.5 in D major

  1. van Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no.8 in C minor ‘Pathétique’
  • Explore these pieces by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music. Once each piece has been studied, comparative and evaluative skills can be practised between the two.
  • The set works show the link between Baroque instrumental music and dance genres. They also introduce fugue, and also the 19th-century Romantic sensibility in music and its application to sonata form.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Autumn 2

Instrumental Music 1700–1820 wider listening (5 weeks):

Explore pieces in genres related to the two set works, which may include:

    • concerti by Vivaldi
    • concerto grosso by Handel
    • piano sonata movements by Haydn and Mozart.
  • In each case relating the music to the set works studied through their use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.
  • The works studied here give a background to the set works already studied. The concerto movements give a context for the Bach set work and the piano sonata movements should show a progression in the writing for piano and in the development of sonata form.

Vocal Music set work (2 weeks):

  1. Purcell: ‘Music for a While’
  • Explore this piece by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music.
  • This area of study is diverse but coverage at this stage should reflect Baroque approaches to songwriting, including ground bass structures.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring 1

Vocal Music set work (2 weeks):

Queen: ‘Killer Queen’ (from the album Sheer Heart Attack)

  • Explore this piece by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music. Now both pieces have been studied comparative and evaluative skills can be practised between the two.
  • This area of study is diverse but coverage at this stage should reflect 20th-century popular approaches to songwriting, including ground bass and verse and chorus structures.

Vocal Music wider listening (4 weeks):

Explore other settings of words to music for soloist and accompaniment, which may include:

    • arias by G.F. Handel and J.S. Bach
    • songs by Beach Boys and Alicia Keys
    • if time, songs by Schubert, Faure and/or Britten
  • In each case looking at the relationship of the words and music, and the use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.
  • There should be coverage of the full chronological period from 1600s to 1900s, including a range of structures (strophic, through-composed, verse and chorus, da capo aria, etc.) and styles.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring 2

Free composition inspirations and task setting

(1 week):

  • Discuss possible routes into free composition, based on KS3 experiences, and providing examples and guidance towards inspirations.

Thereafter free composition is ongoing.

Music for Stage and Screen set work (2 weeks):

  1. Schwartz: ‘Defying Gravity’ (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)
  • Explore this piece by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music.
  • The study of this set works should examine popular contemporary musical theatre styles.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing

Summer 1

Music for Stage and Screen set work (2 weeks):

  1. Williams: ‘Main title/rebel blockade runner’ (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)
  • Explore this piece by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music. Now that each piece has been studied, comparative and evaluative skills can be practised between the two.
  • The study of this set work should examine composing sound to match pictures.

Music for Stage and Screen wider listening (2 weeks):

  • Explore pieces in genres related to the first set work, which may include:
    • songs from musicals like Matilda and Hairspray.
  • In each case relating the music to the set work studied through their use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.
  • The wider listening should enhance the study of contemporary musical theatre.

Free composition is ongoing.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer 2

Music for Stage and Screen wider listening (2 weeks):

  • Explore pieces in genres related to the second set work, which may include:
    • excerpts from other film scores by Deborah Lurie and composers like Howard Shore.
  • In each case relating the music to the set works studied through their use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.
  • The wider listening should enhance the study of matching music with images undertaken in the set work.

Work on free composition.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Year 11

Autumn 1

Revision of Year One areas of study (4 weeks).

Fusions set works (4 weeks):

Afro Celt Sound System: ‘Release’ (from the album Volume 2: Release)

Esperanza Spalding: ‘Samba em Preludio’ (from the album Esperanza)

  • Explore these pieces by using the students’ knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the music. Once each piece has been studied comparative and evaluative skills can be practised between the two.
  • The individual cultures that have been ‘fused’ should be isolated and the resulting fusion evaluated as a work of popular culture.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Autumn 2

Fusions wider listening (4 weeks):

  • Explore pieces in which two or more styles are combined to create a fusion, which should include music from African, Turkish, Afro-Cuban Jazz and Latin traditions.
  • In each case relating the music to the set works studied through their use of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.
  • The stylistic characteristics of each individual style must be isolated and then the fusion of the styles evaluated for its effectiveness.

Discussion of composition briefs (1 week):

  • Use the guidelines in the specification as a basis for discussion as to how briefs might be tackled.

Thereafter composing to a brief is ongoing.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring 1

Past Papers (2 weeks).

Composing to a brief is ongoing.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring 2

Revision of all set works and consolidation of wider listening (4 weeks).

Complete composition to a brief.

Record FINAL performances.

Summer 1

Revision of all set works and consolidation of wider listening (5 weeks).

Complete free composition

Performing and Composing submitted for moderation by 15 May (1 week).

Summer 2

Written Exam

Extra-Curricular Involvement

Music offers scope for students to take lessons on a variety of orchestral and band instruments according to their own interest, suitability and the availability of instruments to use. Students are strongly encouraged to join an out-of-school group. (Due to the nature of the GCSE course, it is expected that all GCSE Music students attend at least one extra-curricular group per week)

The Music Department also performs a biennial Musical production.

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