A large percentage of pupils are involved in instrumental tuition and ensembles. All orchestral instruments are taught in addition to singing, guitar, piano and keyboard. There are many opportunities for pupils to perform, such as break-time recitals to which all staff are invited, and termly concerts. Years 7 and 8 hold their own informal concerts twice a year before their teacher- parents mornings.
The department possesses its own I.T. room, comprising a number of computers containing Sibelius Software, available to pupils in all year groups.
This is particularly useful for pupils’ compositions.
Year 7 pupils compose single line melodies in the form of short pieces of music, for example, a melody for flute, clarinet or violin. Pupils listen and study vocal music, ragtime and graphic scores.
Year 8 pupils compose short pieces of music using chords, listen and study to music from the 1950’s, the Baroque period and Japanese music. They study the structure and time signatures of various pieces.
Year 9 pupils revise work covered in years 7 and 8 and compose pieces of music of their own choice. They study and listen to music in irregular time, with variations, vocal and gospel music.
Pupils taking GCSE Music in years 10 and 11 study music from different genres. These include Classical and Modern Music, Musicals, Rock’n’Roll and World Music.
Pupils also compose two pieces of Music from the above areas of study and listen to examples in an aural exam at the end of the course, answering questions connected with the excerpts. Pupils perform a solo piece on their instrument in addition to an ensemble piece.
Music at A.S. level requires pupils to compose two pieces of music, one of their own choice and the other connected with one of the three set works. They also perform a short practical comprising of ensemble music.
A2 pupils study one work in depth in preparation for a listening examination, compose one piece of music of substantial length and perform a programme of music on their instrument, answering questions in the form of a viva voice.