Years 7 – 9 (Key Stage 3)
Pupils in Year 7 to Year 9 have two single periods lasting 40 minutes each week. The lessons take place in a specialist music room to allow the use of the keyboard facilities etc. There are two fully-equipped keyboard rooms for use with KS3 pupils.
Year 7 Music
In addition to music listening, pupils learn to understand music notation. All pupils have keyboard lessons and follow a Bronze Level Keyboard Skills course. Pupils who pass this course and move onto their Silver Level. Pupils are also taught how to compose melodies and add backing chords. By the end of the year the pupils will have a good knowledge of written music.
Year 8 Music
Pupils in our Year 8 continue to develop their knowledge of written music through weekly music theory lessons. All pupils continue their keyboard course and work through our Silver Level booklet. Pupils are able to work at their own pace on individual keyboards, and many will move on to the Gold Level course. In composition pupils are able to compose melodies with chords in more than one key, and also learn about music form and structure and how compositions are put together.
Year 9 Music
By the end of KS3 most pupils will hopefully complete our Keyboard Skills course at Gold Level (which is individually assessed weekly). Those who complete this early are able to move on to GCSE standard keyboard book (Platinum Level). Pupils are able to compose in a variety of keys with chords and in addition are able to begin adding different instruments and accompanying styles to their composition. Advanced music theory is taught to all Year 9 pupils, and this coupled with background knowledge of the history of music and world music means that the GCSE is accessible to all pupils.
Music is offered as an option at Key Stage 4 for Music GCSE. It is a requirement for pupils to obtain a specific level on a musical instrument or voice. Year 10 have four lessons per week which increases to five in Year 11.
GCSE music is essentially practically based. 40% of the examination is performing on a chosen instrument or voice, with a further 40% composing music – which is why we place great emphasis on this at KS3.
Year 10 Student Conroy Adams-Merrigan, finalist of the Mimms Musician of the Year Award 2012 performing live on BBC Radio Solent, Thursday 21 June
Our A Level candidates in the Lower and Upper 6th have eight lessons per week. There is a specialist A Level work room fully equipped with computer and music software, a digital MIDI keyboard and an electric piano on which to practice.