Music is a major creative art which goes beyond national and ethnic boundaries. It is an important means of emotional and aesthetic expression, a source of pleasure and a means of expression for young people, a widespread recreational activity in adult life, and also a career opportunity.
As an art form it engenders concentration, teamwork, individual confidence and self-discipline; it is intellectually satisfying and stimulating study, and therefore necessary for the complete education of the individual.
Key Stage 3 overview
The aim of the Key Stage 3 curriculum is to encourage a passion for Music. Students will develop a range of subject-specific skills, techniques all designed to improve, enhance and nurture knowledge of music ; they will learn how to perform, compose and appraise music across the classical, popular and world music genres.
Year 7 learn about the principal elements of music and how they are the fundamental building blocks in all music forms and styles.
Year 8 build upon prior learning of key elements of music and study voice and new music styles whilst developing performing and creating music.
Year 9 students are gaining more proficiency in performing and understanding of keyboard skills and are specifically introduced to Music technology.
Key Stage 4 overview
The aim of BTEC Music is to build upon creating music whether in the performance sphere or compositional sphere. Students at Key Stage 4 apply their knowledge of compositional elements throughout a wide choice of music styles and create music primarily through music technology, but also by recording music in live video and audio formats.
All students have access to music technology software which is the main source of capturing evidence. Where students will demonstrate key techniques required to create and record digital and audio formats of music. All Key Stage 4 students have one-to-one Music technology and one-to-one instrumental lessons and a wide resource of instruments to apply that learning.
By the end of their course all students will have completed three components covering a broad aspect of music education, learning and industry standards.
Year 10 students complete compositional and stylistic features their first component of work understanding compositional elements across four chosen genres demonstrating performance and compositional music forms a
Year 11 students complete a skills development Component and Exam board Skills Component
Work is completed independently and individually at this level; work produced by our students needs to demonstrate knowledge across several different genres and techniques.
You can download Knowledge Organisers for each year group from our Knowledge Organisers page.
For queries about the Music curriculum please contact Garry Dennis firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details of the curriculum can be found below.
Without music, life would be a mistake.” F. Nietzsche
Music education at Harris Garrard Academy primary phase is to explore sounds and their impact on human lives. It is to realise there are different qualities of sounds made by use of variety of musical instruments and human voices.
It is important the children understand musical terms and they are able to use vocabulary that is characteristic for music.
Key questions to answer through music education process are:
- What sounds make you happy, sad, reflective etc.?
- How do we make/produce sounds?
- What words do we need to know to describe music and to talk about it?
- What do we need to know to write down or to read music?
- What opportunity have the children been provided with to progress to the next level of their creative excellence?
Mr Mioduszewski, Primary Music Lead
In Year 7, students learn to become confident in Music. Students will know and understand the importance of key elements of music and be able to demonstrate and recognize and apply this knowledge through their own practical work. Students will learn about appraising music and be able to use a variety of listening techniques to explain what is happening in a piece of Music.
Year 7 students will start with singing to better understand the role of melody in music and then will use simple accompaniment techniques to incorporate the idea of harmony and rhythmic parts. Year 7 students will develop their keyboard skills so that they fine tune their motor skills and hand movements to grasp and have a better understanding of the functionality of the keyboard.
Compositional elements will be incorporated to give students the opportunity to express themselves individually. Year 7 students will also look at instrumentation within popular and orchestral music and the distinctive role sonority plays in defining many sounds that we listen to. Year 7 will also be introduced to percussion in undertaking a Latin music project and will have the opportunity to learn about different handheld percussion that defines world music genres that also includes African music
In Year 8, students study vocal skills and learn how important it is to exercise and train the voice to expand the skills that it can incorporate. Students look at rapping for the first time. Students will know about the different types, styles and genres within vocal repertoire. They will understand the origin and history of contemporary rap music. Students will gain knowledge in the skills required to perform a rap accurately whilst adding various rhythmic and simple harmonic parts to expand and build upon ensemble skills from Year 7.
Year 8 students will next go to study Blues Music, its history and its impact and comparison to contemporary music. Students specifically study the develop around the structure of 12 Bar Blues, which incorporated the use of different harmonic sounds and walking bass lines, improvisation and blues note sounds.
In their third topic Year 8 students learn about the world of Music and Media and learn about the huge impact music has in the world of film, television and commercial enterprise. Students study leitmotif and ostinato and look at the history of silent and black and white film and cinema, which leads into an understanding of the entertainment industry that also incorporated looking at computer and gaming music.
In Year 9, our students are focused on performing and how to improve their knowledge of ensemble skills by applying and using key elements. In their first term students study Hooks and Riffs which is prevalent in contemporary popular music. It is the first topic where students are required to learn melodic and rhythmic devices which are at the centre of contemporary music learning.
Jazz and Opera are introduced with opera as students learn the difference between the structure and instrumentation of both genres and students are given the opportunity to create their own variations and arrangements. Year 9 students complete their compulsory Key Stage 3 study of Music learning music technology and learn how music is recorded and created using a digital audio workstation. Year 9 students learn about loops, tracks and quantizing before recreating several topic ideas using music software.
Year 10 students have built on skills and knowledge from Key Stage 3 in line with Edexcel compositional elements. Objectives are clearly set to demonstrate application of new knowledge through tasks and assignment briefs. The new knowledge involves independent tasks such as demonstrating an understanding of styles of music and how they are created and performed. By the end of the first year, Year 10 students will have completed one coursework component and will start working on a second.
Year 11 students will have a comprehensive understanding of performance and the skills required to continually improve this. Musical development comes through a specific performance component which asks students to focus on set skills over a documented six-week period with initial recordings and focused skills points. Composition is executed comprehensively in the second year with commentary on skills used in the creation of an individual piece of work including how aspects of theory and technology are incorporated.
Primary Songs 2023 - Tunes and Lyrics
Music helps students prepare for a wide range of careers including:
- Composer for: TV, film, video games, orchestra, radio
- Music teacher
- Music business management
- Sound engineer
- Radio presenter
- Music therapist
Music also develops skills that are essential in any workplace. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways.
Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. Music provides students with a means of self-expression. Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later.
Find out more about the careers programme at Harris Garrard Academy.