Head of Department: Mrs K Stallabrass
Music plays an important part in the life of the school and we are very pleased to be able to offer many opportunities for the boys to be involved in a range of activities in and out of the classroom.
In the Junior School, the boys follow a KS2 Music course – Lively Music. In the Years 3 and 4, the boys receive two music lessons a week, covering singing, playing the recorder, composing and improvising using percussion and developing general musicianship skills. By the time the boys move up to year 5 they are all able to read music on a stave.
In Years 5 and 6, the boys only receive one lesson a week but in this lesson continue to develop their composition and improvisation skills and listen to and appraise different styles of music. The boys also learn the keyboard, exploring rhythms and styles of music whilst composing.
Once the boys enter the Senior school, they follow a KS3 Music course - Music Matters. This course comprises a series of projects, building upon foundations laid in the Junior school and provides a wide range of imaginative and interesting materials to motivate and challenge all boys.
The projects are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of musical styles, structures, context and purpose, and appraisal sheets build up musical vocabulary and develop an increasingly critical and analytical ability in preparation for the GCSE course.
By the end of Year 9 the boys have become familiar with two Music technology programs. Sequel used in Years 7 and 8 and then progressing onto Sibelius which enhance their composition work. Once the boys are in Year 10 they are prepared for GCSE following the Edexcel syllabus.
The GCSE course is divided into three sections; Composing (30%), Performing (30%) and Listening (40%). During the composition section of the course, pupils build up their skills through various simple set assignments during the first year. They then choose and develop two of these further for final submission. Performances at GCSE level are expected to be around Grade 4. The listening part of the exam is a formal written paper sat in the summer of the second year and draws upon everything learned at lessons. The topics for this are very wide ranging so cater for musicians from every background whether classical or pop! The current syllabus areas of study are; Structure in Western Classical Music 1600-1899; Changing Directions in Western Classical Music from 1900; Popular music in context and Indian Raga, African Music and Fusion.