Introduction:

In Music, pupils get the opportunity to develop their composing, performing & listening skills by completing a range of interesting & challenging projects. Pupils are expected to:

  • lean to use tradition forms of musical notation and other aspects of music theory
  • Improve their cultural understanding of music by exploring world music
  • Improve their critical understanding of music as they engage with & analyse music in popular, world & classical styles
  • Improve their performing skills as they improvise, refine and share they work
  • Develop their creative skills by composing in a range of styles
  • Improve their Music ICT skills by learning to use subject–?specific software

Further their communication skills by exploring ways of expressing feelings & ideas through music

“Human beans is having their own music, right or left?” said the BFG.

“Right,” Sophie said. “Lots of music.”

“And sometimes human beans is very overcome when they is hearing wondrous music. They is getting shivers down their spindles. Right or left?”

“Right,” Sophie said.

“So the music is saying something to them. It is sending a message. I do not think the human beans is knowing what that message is, but they is loving it just the same.”

“That’s about right,” Sophie said.

“But because of these jumpsquiffling ears of mine,” the BFG said, “I is not only able to hear the music that dreams is making but I is understanding it also.”

Roald Dahl, The BFG

Aims

As a curriculum subject, we aim to help pupils understand the unique language of music – without resorting to jumpsquiffling ears!

We also hope to encourage creativity through an emphasis on practical work

Expressing and justifying opinions, along with giving constructive feedback to one another, is an important aim of the work we do.

We try to provoke a thoughtful response to the differences that exist between styles and over time, and look at how they are being combined today.

Curriculum

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Year 13

Term 1

Autumn Term 1

Introduction to Music at KEVHS

Exploring rhythm & pitch. Writing music using traditional staff notation, composing melodies & learning to apply a wider understanding of the musical elements.

Spring Term 1

Program Music & Composition

Exploring music’s capacity to express emotions & describe events. Composing & performing descriptive music based on a number of given stimuli. Composing an original piece of descriptive music using Reason, a computer software music programme.

Summer Term 1

Minimalism

Learning about minimalism in music and compose & perform several minimalist pieces.

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

World Music:Brazilian Samba& Indonesian Gamelan Music

Learning about Samba & Gamelan music; context & purpose of this music; performing & composing pieces as a class & in smaller groups. Pupils get to use authentic instruments.

Spring Term 2

Music & the Media:

Music in Adverts

Exploring the use of music in media advertising; Composing & performing a piece of music to accompany an advert’s video. Considering the role of taglines, product & the consumer. Learning to record & edit audio.

Summer Term 2

Performance Project

Pupils are expected to Prepare either a solo or small group performance.

Term 1

Autumn Term 1

The Blues

Explore the Blues. Learning to apply & synthesise ideas using the Blues model. Improvising, composing, notating & performing a Blues song. Using Reason, a computer software music program, to realise a composition.

Spring Term 1

To explore the baroque concerto. Forming ensembles & bringing instruments to lessons. Improvising, composing, notating & performing the main parts of a concerto; ritornello, ripieno, concertino, solo, episode, cadenza, harmony & basso continuo. Realisingconcertos using either Reason or live performance.

Summer Term 1

Fanfares & Marches

Exploring the fanfare and marches tradition; purpose & intention, instruments, use of harmonic series & associated rhythms in melodic design. Work to be realised acoustically or using Reason

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Music in Film

Learning about the use of music in film. Composing & performing several pieces of music to accompany a film scene or to match a specific film genre. Considering the role of genre, action & audience. Realising compositions using Reason & a film clip.

Spring Term 2

Fanfares & Marches

Learning about how to structure music by listening to and analysing melodic shape & length, Ternary Form, Rondo Form and Theme & Variation. Composing & performing several pieces of music with a particular structure. Realising compositions using Reason.

Summer Term 2

Song Writing

Studying the history, style & structure of the popular song. Forming bands & composing & performing a song.

Term 1

Autumn Term 1

Blues to Soul and Rock and Roll

Pupils build on the Blues skills that they learnt in Year 8 and further develop these into the more modern genres of Soul and Rock and Roll.  Learning to apply & synthesise ideas using the Blues model. Improvising, composing, notating & performing a Soul or Rock and Roll song. Using Reason, a computer software music program, to realise a composition.

Spring Term 1

Melody Composition.

Pupils learn about creating balanced 8-16 bar melodic material that can then be developed into longer compositions. Pupils begin to use Sibelius music notation software to notate and realise their melodies

Summer Term 1

Composition.

Pupils further develop their understanding about the basics of composing, from how to create a good melody and understand the various techniques associated with this to developing melodies over a period of time and adding the harmony. Pupils continue to use Sibelius music notation software to notate and realise their melodies.

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Dance Music

Pupils explore the origins of electronic dance music and learn about the key features of a number of key style. Pupils then compose a piece of electronic dance music using Reason.

Spring Term 2

Harmony

Pupils explore the harmonic language of the Classical period and create a suitable accompaniment to a variety of different melodies.  Pupils continue to use Sibelius music notation software to notate and realise their melodies

Summer Term 2

Performance or Composition Project

Pupils are given the choice of either developing a solo or group performance or composition based on a number of different briefs in order to give them an experience of GCSE style musical learning. Pupils realise their work either acoustically or us by using Reason or Sibelius Software.

Term 1

Course Structure And Assessment

Performing

Pupils must perform a solo piece and an ensemble piece on the instrument of their choice. The performance must be a total of at least 4 minutes. Worth 30% of total GCSE Marks

Composing

Pupils must compose 2 piece. One is a free composition and the second is chosen from a number of briefs provided by the exam board. The total length of the 2 compositions must be at least 3 minutes. Worth 30% of the total GCSE Mark.

Listening and Appraising.

Pupils it a 90 minute exam that is based on the 8 set works studied during the course. Worth 40% of the total GCSE mark.

Autumn Term 1

Introduction to the GCSE course

Instrumental Music 1700–1820 set works

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

L. van Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no.8 in C minor ‘Pathétique’

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 1

Vocal Music set work
Queen: ‘Killer Queen’ (from the album Sheer Heart Attack)

Vocal Music wider listening
Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 1

Music for Stage and Screen set work
J. Williams: ‘Main title/rebel blockade runner’ (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Instrumental Music 1700–1820 wider listening

Vocal Music set work

H. Purcell: ‘Music for a While’

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 2

Free composition inspirations and task setting

Thereafter free composition is ongoing.

Music for Stage and Screen set work
S. Schwartz: ‘Defying Gravity’ (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing

Summer Term 2

Music for Stage and Screen wider listening

  • 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.

End-of-year examination

Term 1

Course Structure And Assessment

Performing

Pupils must perform a solo piece and an ensemble piece on the instrument of their choice. The performance must be a total of at least 4 minutes. Worth 30% of total GCSE Marks

Composing

Pupils must compose 2 piece. One is a free composition and the second is chosen from a number of briefs provided by the exam board. The total length of the 2 compositions must be at least 3 minutes. Worth 30% of the total GCSE Mark.

Listening and Appraising.

Pupils it a 90 minute exam that is based on the 8 set works studied during the course. Worth 40% of the total GCSE mark.

Autumn Term 1

Revision of Year One areas of study

Fusions set works
Afro Celt Sound System: ‘Release’ (from the album Volume 2: Release)
Esperanza Spalding: ‘Samba em Preludio’ (from the album Esperanza)

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 1

Composing to a brief is ongoing.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 1

Revision of all set works and consolidation of wider listening

Complete free composition

Performing and Composing submitted for moderation by middle of May

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Fusions wider listening

Discussion of composition briefs

Thereafter composing to a brief is ongoing.

Mock exam

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 2

Revision of all set works and consolidation of wider listening

Complete composition to a brief.

Record performances

Summer Term 2

Written examination

 

Term 1

Performing

Pupils perform a recital of a minimum of 8 minutes length on an instrument of their choice. The recital is worth 30% of their total marks.

Composing

Pupils must produce 2 compositions; 1 from a brief provided by Edexcel; the other from either another brief or a free composition. The minimum length for the 2 compositions is 4 minutes. The compositions are worth 30% of the total marks.

Listening and Appraising

One 2hr written paper based on the areas of study and set works from the course.

Autumn Term 1

Introduction to the course

Free composition, Vocal Music, performance

Free composition inspirations and task setting:

Vocal Music:

J.S. Bach, Cantata, Ein feste Burg, BWV 80: Movements 1, 2 and 8

Mozart, The Magic Flute: Act 1 Nos. 4 and 5.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing

Spring Term 1

Instrumental Music Vivaldi, Concerto in D Minor, Op. 3 No. 11

Clara Schumann, Piano Trio in G minor, Op.17: Movement 1

Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique: Movement 1.

Free composition is ongoing.

Preparatory exercises are started towards composition to a brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 1

Music for Film:

Danny Elfman, Batman Returns excerpts

Free composition is ongoing.

Preparatory exercises are continued towards composition to a brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Vocal Music, free composition, performance

Vocal Music:

Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge: Nos. 1, 3 and 5

Work on free composition is ongoing.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 2

Instrumental Music

Music for Film

Bernard Herrmann, Psycho excerpts

Rachel Portman, The Duchess excerpts

Free composition is ongoing.

Preparatory exercises are continued towards composition to a brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 2

Popular Music and Jazz:

The Beatles: selected songs from Revolver

Courtney Pine: selected songs from Back in the Day

Kate Bush: selected songs from Hounds of Love

Free composition is ongoing.

Preparatory exercises are continued towards composition to a brief assessing technique.

Term 1

Performing

Pupils perform a recital of a minimum of 8 minutes length on an instrument of their choice. The recital is worth 30% of their total marks.

Composing

Pupils must produce 2 compositions; 1 from a brief provided by Edexcel; the other from either another brief or a free composition. The minimum length for the 2 compositions is 4 minutes. The compositions are worth 30% of the total marks.

Autumn Term 1

Thorough revision of areas of study from Year One

Popular Music & Jazz

Revise, refine, complete and record free composition.

Continue preparatory work towards brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 1

New Directions:

Cage, Three Dances for two prepared pianos: No. 1

Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring excerpts

Saariaho, Petals

Continue preparatory work towards brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 1

Record final performance.

Complete and record composition to a brief assessing technique.

Revise areas of study.

Term 2

Autumn Term 2

Fusions:

Debussy, Estampes: Nos. 1 and 2

Anoushka Shankar: Breathing under water selected tracks

Familia Valera Miranda: Caña quema selected songs

Wider listening should build on the GCSE study of fusions among music of different styles.

Continue preparatory work towards brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Spring Term 2

Thorough revision of all areas of study

Continue preparatory work towards brief assessing technique.

Preparation for the performance component is ongoing.

Summer Term 2

Examination

Staff

  • Mr E Mclntosh (Head of Department)
  • Mr I Parry (Head of Instrumental Music)
  • Mr N Heppel (Assistant Head)

How can parents help?

  • Nothing beats live music, so the opportunity to play an instrument (or sing) and to experience live concerts (in any genre) is ideal. The very early stages of learning an instrument can be pretty painful for all concerned (would you judge the standards of under-8s Saturday morning football by those of the Premier League?), but the long-term benefits are amazing. These are often cited as a boost to educational attainment and social skills. The purely musical benefit of expressing human emotions through the language of music is the reason we all persevere.
  • Singing together, in any setting, is a fantastic experience.
  • Birmingham is a great place for live music, with venues like Symphony Hall and CBSO Centre, the Hippodrome and the mac. Many of the city’s professional groups run family concerts.
  • Our partner company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, also runs free composing workshops in their ZigZag and Feel the Buzz programmes.
  • BBC4 and Sky Arts have increased hugely the amount of music on television, and are always worth scanning.

Opportunities out of lessons

Music Opportunities Out of Lessons

The School provides a huge programme of individual instrumental and vocal lessons, as well as a varied and structured array of ensembles to join. Please see the Instrumental Timetable.