The Curriculum Purpose
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. At The Compton our aim is that Music is inclusive and that all students have access to a high quality music education. Our intention is through active participation in the Music Curriculum valuable life skills such as: co-operation, determination, independence, resilience, creativity and self-confidence, along with an appreciation and respect for diversity, cultures and traditions, are developed and honed.
Throughout the KS3 curriculum students are engaged and inspired to develop as musicians through first hand practical experiences and participation. They learn to perform, compose and listen to music performances, live and recorded, with an analytical and critical ear. The sequence of learning, which is robust, incremental and both spiral, over the Keystage cements and develops students’ musical knowledge and skills.
Students are explicity taught to:
- play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression
- improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions
- use staff and other relevant notations appropriately to support practical activities
- identify and use the interrelated dimensions of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices
- listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians
- develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history
Through the KS4 Curriculum students who feel passionate about Music are supported in forming personal and meaningful relationships with music through further development of musical knowledge and skills centered around performance, composition and appraising. Students engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, develop an understanding of the place of music in different cultures and contexts and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities. The KS4 Music Curriculum offers the opportunity for students to cultivate a strong sense of ownership for their musical journey.
Students are explicity taught to:
- engage actively in the process of music study
- develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
- develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
- recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
- broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
- develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
- develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of musi
- recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology
- develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds
- reflect on and evaluate their own and others’ music
- engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development
Key concepts that underpin Music
Progress in music requires pupils to develop musically across 3 pillars that interrelate in musicianship.
- The first pillar is the ‘technical’ development necessary for pupils to translate their intentions successfully into sound. This will involve instrumental playing or singing
- The second pillar is the ‘constructive’ pillar. This refers to knowledge of how musical components come together both analytically and in the creative process
- The third pillar, the ‘expressive’ pillar, is focused on the more indefinable aspects of music: quality, meaning and creativity
Key Features of Learning in Music
At the heart of our Music Curriculum is the notion that Music is for all. Musical sound is at the heart of every lesson, with music theory and the language of notation there as a tool to support and extend learning. All learners are engaged in active music participation. Students are typically immersed in playing an instrument, singing and/or engaged in focused listening and appraising tasks. There is a variety of working as an ensemble: whole class, groups and pairs in addition to working independently. At KS4 the opportunity to work as a soloist and as part of an ensemble as a performer and composer strengthens. Students can use Apple Macs with software such as garage band, logic, musescore and Sibelius to compose. This ensures that all students can access the KS4 Music Curriculum not just those students who have private Instrumental tuition. The Department has 2 main classrooms, with 6 break out practice room spaces. Both classrooms have 14 keyboards, permanently set out. In the KS3 Curriculum we focus predominately on using the Keyboard as the main instrument. This is to ensure ensures that all students can develop a basic Instrumental technique by the time they get to the end of KS3. As a department we have a class set of Ukuleles, African Drums and a selection of pitched and unpitched percussion. This provides students with a varied experience and opportunity practically. There are 2 full time Music Teachers in the Department. For the last 2 years we have had Music SCITTs in the Department. Instrumental Tuition is provided by BEAT. Parents pay BEAT directly. BEAT provide Instrumental teachers, meeting the demands as requested.
What will you see in Music books?
At KS3 we use progress sheets per unit. This is a meaningful and manageable system that allows students to record their reflections and summative assessments (WWW & EBI) and when appropriate teachers can record written feedback. At KS3 as music is predominantly a practical subject we have a Department practice of recording students’ practical work in lesson 3. This is uploaded onto our YouTube Department Channel which is shared with students via SMHK.
At KS4 there is a considerable amount of written work covering knowledge and analytical listening. Students annotate the musical scores of 8 Setworks. Books/Ring binders are used to make notes on Setwork content and knowledge of how composers use musical elements. Here there is opportunity for students to develop their ability to write like a subject specialist.
What formative assessment will you see in Music
At KS3 individual verbal feedback in lessons is our most valuable form of formative assessment. This is in accordance with the EEF document where verbal methods of feedback can improve pupil attainment and may be more time-efficient when compared to some forms of written feedback. All formative assessment and feedback is delivered at appropriate times that focuses on moving learning forward. At KS4 individual verbal feedback continues to be our most valuable form of feedback. Personalised written teacher feedback is also given throughout the course: after summative Performance assessments and as part of careful planning during the completion of Composition coursework students are given written feedback during the process. This ensures that learners welcome and act on the feedback given.
What extra curricular is available in Music
There are 2 teacher led ensembles: Vocal Group and Instrumental Ensemble. Vocal group is open to all students. Instrumental Ensemble caters for all instrumentalists who can read notation. Students are welcome to come to the Music Department before and after school to practise on their own or as part of an ensemble.