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"Dear music, thank you for being there when no-one else was."
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
Subject Leader for Music
Teacher of Music
Guitar Teacher and Song Writing expert
Drum Teacher and Technology expert
Singing and Piano Teacher
Strings and Piano Teacher
Woodwind and Piano Teacher
Students study the 3 key areas of music: Performance; Composing; Listening and Appraising.
Students will explore aspects of musical history, world music, and popular music. They will learn to read musical notation, develop musical expression, and instrumental skills.
KS3 Assessment Details
There is an appraisal at the end of each unit. Appraisals take the form of a performance, composition, or piece of extended writing.
How Will Students Learn
Students will learn how to read a variety of musical notation; instrumental and performance techniques; composition techniques; how to listen and discuss music; the context of musical history and the evolution of music today.
To do this students will be challenged to listen to music from a wide range of genres and histories; discuss emotional and expressive musical ideas; experiment with sound to develop musical story telling; deconstruct music to understand structural and textural composition.
Other Skills They Will Develop:
Research shows that:
- Students who study music from an early age can do better at a range of subjects.
- Children who play music learn there are rewards from hard work, practice and discipline.
- Playing a musical instrument helps develop kids' creative thinking and motor skills.
- Music helps kids become more active listeners.
- It can also enhance their health and wellbeing and increase their stamina.
KS3 Equipment Needed
Students will be provided with the instruments and equipment they need to complete music lesson tasks. However, they will also need to bring their 'voice' with them for lessons.
Homework consists of listening activities where students will need to actively consider key questions related to what they are learning. On occasion students will be asked to develop instrumental and vocal techniques. If necessary resources will be made available.
Homework is set approximately once or twice a unit.
Currently the following extra-curricular learning opportunities are available:
- The Grace Notes (Choir)
- Sing 4 Fun
- Technology Club
- Drumming and Bass club
KS3 How can you support your son/daughter’s progress?
- Your son / daughter will occasionally learn some vocal and rhythm games in Music. To help them it would be good to play the games with them at home.
- Encourage your son / daughter to 'teach' you the music they are learning.
- Talk about music you listen to, maybe try a different kind of music to usual. What instruments can you hear, how is the chorus different to the rest, do the instruments play all the time - if not what do they do?
- If you have a tablet or smart phone there are plenty of music apps you can download for free EG Piano, Guitar, Drums
Possible Option Routes
Edexcell BTEC Level1/2 First Award in Music
Edexcell BTEC First Award in Music
KS4 Examination Board and Syllabus No: Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music
KS4 Course Outline
Students studying Music at KS4 will need to complete practical and written elements of their coursework. They will also need to study broader areas of the music industry in preparation for their exam.
Types of units within the qualification
The BTEC First qualifications have core and optional specialist units.
- All qualification sizes in the sector share a common core of two compulsory units totalling 60 guided learning hours (GLH).
- Core units are designed to cover the body of content that employers and educators within the sector consider essential for 14–19 year old learners.
- One unit will be internally assessed and one unit will be externally assessed.
Optional specialist units
The remainder of the qualifications in the sector will be formed from optional specialist units.
- Optional specialist units are sector specific, focus on a particular area within the vocational sector and provide an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding.
- Optional specialist units will normally be 30 GLH, but may be smaller or larger.
KS4 Assessment Details
Unit 1: The Music Industry (Externally assessed exam worth 25%)
Unit 2: Managing a Music Product (Internally assessed worth 25%)
Either Unit 3: Introducing Live Sound (Optional unit, 25%)
Unit 5: Introducing Music Performance (Optional unit, 25%)
THEN Either Unit 6: Introducing Music Recording (Optional unit, 25%)
Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition (Optional unit, 25%)
How Will Students Learn?
BTEC qualifications are designed to give students the vocational experience in preparation for work in the music industry. Learners could expect some of the following experiences:
- Visiting speakers, and the assistance of local employers
- Vocationally specific workplace case-study materials
- Visits by learners visiting local workplaces
- Inviting relevant experts or contacts to come to speak to the learners about their involvement in music at different levels and in different ways
- Arranging visits to employers in music, such as venues and promoters
- Asking a local employer to set learners a problem-solving activity to be carried out in groups
- Referring to trade journals, magazines or newspaper articles relevant to the sector.
Other Skills They Will Develop:
Developing employability skills
One of the main purposes of BTEC qualifications is to help learners to progress ultimately into employment. The vast majority of employers require learners to have certain technical skills, knowledge and understanding to work in a particular sector, but they are also looking for employability skills to ensure that employees are effective in the workplace.
Unlike technical skills, which may become outdated over time, employability skills enable learners to adapt to the ever-changing roles needed to survive in the global economy.
These skills include: self-management, teamworking, business awareness and customer awareness, problem solving, communication, basic literacy and numeracy, a positive attitude to work, and the use of IT.
Throughout the Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music, learners should develop a range of employability skills, engage with employers and carry out work- related activities. These opportunities are signposted in the suggested assignment outlines at the end of each unit.
For example, across the optional specialist units learners develop:
- Project-/self-management and independent-learning skills, through units such as Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition, where learners will experiment and develop compositions in an independent manner
- Communication and teamworking skills, through units such as Unit 2: Managing a Music Product, which requires learners to organise and develop a music product, potentially in a team, and consider the success of the outcome. This can develop planning, review, reflection and presentation skills
- Business awareness and customer awareness skills, as assignments are set in a vocational context
- Awareness of emerging technology and trends in units such as Unit 6: Introducing Music Recording and Unit 7: Introducing Music Sequencing, which require learners to be up to date and capable of using the latest equipment and software to make their music.
Students are encouraged to extend their musical interests by listening to different genres outside of their usual play lists. They are also asked to read articles about musical topics from leading magazines/websites/blogs.
- Tech Club
- KS4 catch up
- Trips to local music venues
Specific Gifted and Talented Programmes
Opportunities to extend the performance experiences of our G&T students are sought for throughout all the key stages.
Talented Music Techies are encouraged to support, and lead technical aspects of organising a musical event.
KS4 Useful Publications/Websites
The Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music provides the knowledge, understanding and skills for level 2 learners to progress to:
- Other level 2 vocational qualifications
- Level 3 vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, specifically the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma/Diploma/Extended Diploma in Music Technology (QCF)
- Employment within the music industry, such as junior roles in venues, concert support, administration and clerical roles.
Learners who achieve the qualification at Level 1 may progress to related level 2 vocational or academic qualifications, such as BTECs or GCSEs.
KS4 How can you support your son/daughter’s progress?
- Encourage your son / daughter to take instrumental lessons if possible.
- Take part in concerts, extra-curricular, or out-of-school activities.
- Encourage them to listen to 'unusual' music, and talk to them about music, the kind of ideas the musicians are trying to create, and the emotion of music created.