Music

The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all students:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Cockburn John Charles Academy Music Department follows a highly practical approach to lessons, being inspired by Musical Futures pedagogy. Students are involved in listening, singing and performing from day one. Theoretical knowledge is used to support the practical learning. Students learn how to play keyboard, guitar, bass, ukulele and drums and use these skills to play together in ensemble settings. They learn how to use their voices correctly and body percussion. In addition to classroom lessons, students have the opportunity to further study an instrument of their choice with our peripatetic teachers. Currently we offer lessons in singing, piano, drums, guitar (including bass), brass and woodwind.

Students have lots of in-house performance opportunities such as lunchtime concerts, assemblies and opportunities to perform outside of school in festivals and competitions.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in Music this year?
Students will learn about the elements of music and how they can be applied to performances. They will develop their performance skills on a range of instruments as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. Singing is an important part of music as it helps to internalise sounds, rhythms and lyrics. In turn, this supports students’ understanding of the music and how different parts work together, to produce a successful performance.

  • ‘Connect It’– Students will perform a piece of body percussion called ‘Connect It’ which was commissioned for the BBC 10 Pieces Programme. Students will discover the elements of music and how to apply them into a body percussion performance. They will develop their team work skills by working as part of an ensemble and then further enhance their performance by composing their own sections.
  • Band skills – Students will learn what chords and chord sequences are by learning the chord sequence from a popular song. Through workshops, they will learn how to play the sequence on a range of instruments such as: keyboard, ukulele, steel pans, guitar and bass guitar. They will also have the opportunity to learn to play the drum kit. Once they have chosen their preferred instrument, they will work together, firstly as a class ensemble and then in smaller bands to produce a full performance of the piece including vocalists. They will explore different genres of music through this such as pop and reggae.
  • Find Your Voice-Students will explore their voices and how to use them correctly. They will learn how to warm up their voices correctly and improve their posture. They will then explore how to sing in parts both as an accompaniment and as a lead vocalist. This will then culminate into a 4 chord mashup of popular songs.
  • ‘Mambo’-Bernstein- This piece was commissioned by the BBC as part of its 10 pieces programme. We will explore the riffs used in this piece on instruments and create our own compositions using them.
  • Dance Music- Students will explore the loos and instruments on GarageBand to compose their own dance music track. They will understand the key features of dance music and what makes a track catchy.

All students have the opportunity to perform in our lunchtime concert series, in assembly or in one of our evening concerts held throughout the year.

What type of homework will be set?
Students will not be set formal music homework however they will be encouraged to practise outside of lessons and join in the wide range of extra curricular activities.

How will my child be assessed in Music?
Students will mainly be assessed on their performance skills. They will have to show accuracy, timing and fluency. Where appropriate, they will be assessed of their composition skills. They will have to communicate an understanding of the style/genre of music and demonstrate imagination and creativity.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Encourage students to watch video clips on Youtube of performances of the piece or style/genre they are learning. Help them to memorise lyrics to the song. If you have a keyboard or piano at home or are able to download a keyboard app onto a smartphone or tablet, encourage them to practice their part at home. If you have any of the other instruments they are learning practice can be done on these too. Short bursts of 10-20 minutes a day supports and sustains rapid progress.

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Music this year?
Students will further develop their performance skills on a range of instruments as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. The demand of the pieces and parts will increase using a wider range of notes, more complex chords and sequences and more difficult rhythms such as the use of syncopation.

  • World Drumming – Students will discover the traditions and musical characteristics of African Djembe drumming and Samba drumming. They will learn about instrumentation and polyphonic texture. They will listen to a range of African and Samba drumming and draw upon their experiences to compose and perform their own piece.
  • Band skills – Students will develop their understanding of chords and chord sequences by learning the chord sequence from a popular song. This chord sequence could include more chords, complex chords, complex rhythmic pattern or quicker chord changes. Through practice, they will develop skills on their chosen instrument: keyboard, ukulele, steel pans, guitar, bass guitar or drum kit. Once they have mastered their part they will work together, firstly as a class ensemble and then in smaller bands to produce a full performance of the piece including vocalists.
  • Cover Versions – self-development. Students will follow the model from the previous module with a piece of their own choice. They will need to work together as a band to choose an appropriate song and to source all the resources they will need such as chord sequence, chord charts, rhythm patterns, lyrics. They will have full responsibility for this project supported by the classroom teacher. They will perform their piece during lunchtime concerts or assembly.
  • Dance-Students will learn the characteristics of various styles of dance music such as grime, trapp, house and dubstep. They will then compose tracks in a chosen style using a computer software and create a rap the go over the top of this.
  • Blues- Students will understand the origins of blues music and why it is so important in todays music. They will compose their own blues songs and perfrom and rehearse using a 12 bar blues structure. They will explore the key features of blues such as a walking bassline, 12 bar blues structure and key rhythmic features.

All students have the opportunity to perform in our lunchtime concert series, in assembly or in one of our evening concerts held throughout the year.

What type of homework will be set?
Students will not be set formal music homework however they will be encouraged to practise outside of lessons and join in the wide range of extra curricular activities.

How will my child be assessed in Music?
Students will mainly be assessed on their performance skills. They will have to show accuracy, timing and fluency. Where appropriate, they will be assessed of their composition skills. They will have to communicate an understanding of the style/genre of music and demonstrate imagination and creativity.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Encourage students to watch video clips on Youtube of performances of the piece or style/genre they are learning. Help them to memorise lyrics to the song. If you have a keyboard or piano at home or are able to download a keyboard app onto a smartphone or tablet, encourage them to practice their part at home. Short bursts of 10-20 minutes a day supports and sustains rapid progress.

 

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in Music?
Students will learn practical skills in vocational contexts to develop their skills in music through undertaking BTEC Music. They will understand the required skills needed to pursue various careers in the music industry and will learn how the music industry works in a variety of contexts. This will enable them to progress in their chosen progression opportunity whether in music or down another path. This information will culminate in a 1 hr exam at the end of Y10.

Students will also take part in preparations for a live performance or the creation of a musical product. They will develop their rehearsal skills in order to successfully perform at a live event. During this process, they will identify strengths and areas for improvement and develop these further constantly evaluating their progress. This will help develop their skills on their chosen instrument as well as improving stage presence, confidence and communication. Students will work in a group and hold regular meetings to develop their concert or CD.

There will be lots of performance opportunities throughout the course. Students will be able to choose songs or pieces of music and develop their instrumental skills as well as using compositional skills to change the music to suit them. They will also be able to gain a further understanding into what is required to pursue a career in the music industry. Students will also be able to choose optional units in composition, recording and sequencing.

What type of homework will be set?
Students are required to do 20 minutes of practice per week in school. They will need to write a log or diary entry on what they have learned in lesson and get this signed by a member of staff.

Additional homework will be set when appropriate to complete written coursework tasks for their final assessment. These could be in the form of research or completing a progress log/skills audit.

How will my child be assessed in Music?
Students will be assessed on a series of practical performance tasks and coursework based activities for each unit. The grades will be awarded for being able to confidently apply performance skills during a live performance and tracking their own progress throughout the unit. Students will also be required to fully participate in rehearsals and set regular targets to improve their work. They will complete 3 controlled assessment units and one exam.

Three units will be completed, one will be externally set and assessed and two will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

The marks awarded will equate to a pass, merit or distinction. If a student achieves a distinction in all 3 units then a distinction* will be awarded.

What can my child move onto with Music?
In music, many transferable skills are learned which will aid any future progression. These include communication, confidence, team work, listening skills and discipline.

Various courses are offered by further and higher education providers. Students can move on to a BTEC level 3 or 4 qualification which is a more vocational route or go on to study a more traditional A Level or degree. Many apprenticeships are also offered. These can be in practical music performance, music technology, performing arts or can be combined in most universities with another study such as history or journalism.

The career progression choices are vast and cover a wide range of musical skills and career paths. Careers in the music industry include music performance, music producer, songwriter, composer (of traditional pieces or video game/TV background music), band management, tour managers, roadie, publicist, music marketing, booking agent, concert promoters as well as many more.

If you are looking outside the music industry, there are also many more career options such as music teacher, music therapist, radio DJ, journalist, author and some music specialists deliver music workshops all over the world.

 

Please click here for the Peripatetic Policy