Music at Shevington High School is a vibrant, current and practical course that focuses on all aspects of popular, traditional, world and western classical music. Students are given numerous opportunities to perform as part of a variety of ensembles and musical groups such as school choir, rock band and show band to name a few. Our music department offers our students the opportunity to learn how to play a new instrument with one of our 5 highly qualified and experienced peripatetic staff. Instrumental lessons include Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, Keyboard, Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Vocals and mixed brass. In addition to learning about various styles and genres of music in class, students are also given the opportunity to perform in the live band for our annual school drama productions as well as Shevifest and Christmas concerts. The Music department boasts access to 9 Apple Mac computers which are used as a composing and recording tool throughout both Key Stages. There is also recording studio for the GCSE students as well as 3 other practice rooms each with piano, amps and guitars. The large music classroom also has 22 keyboards, 30 ukuleles and 20 African drums along with auxiliary percussion instruments.
In Year 7 our students follow various schemes of work all linked to SAIL, all of which introduce them to working with various ensembles whilst giving the opportunity to learn music theory through performance. At the end of each unit of work there will be a practical and theoretical assessment involving all students performing their work and completing a listening test. In lessons students receive written and verbal feedback from the teacher and their peers. Topics covered:
- Who are we? Learning about the elements of music and song writing
- Ukulele Magic
- Global Citizen. Learning about music from around the world
- Pentatonic March
- Who has the power? Learning about song structure and melody writing
In year 8, our students build on the foundations laid in year 7 and explore different periods and genres of music within a popular music context. Students will be assessed at the end of each topic via a practical and theoretical test. Topics covered:
- Festival. Learning about rhythm
- Enterprise and Innovation. Variation form
- May the force be with you – The Blues
- Class Band
Year 9 – Introduction to GCSE Music (3 hours per week)
Music in year 9 involves the students enhancing their performance skills in preparation for their GCSE performance exams in year 10 and 11. Students will learn more complex theory and more difficult pieces of music around grade 2. At this stage of their education students are encouraged to form ensembles/bands and take part in music out of school. Topics include:
- Timbre and Dynamics
- Solo Tech Production
- Rhythm and Metre
- Harmony and Tonality
- The Beatles
- Music from around the world
Year 10 & 11 Options (3 hours per week)
GCSE Music is a course heavily weighted in practical coursework (60%) and a final listening and contextual understanding exam at the end of Year 11 (40%). The coursework is performed on the instrument/voice that the student plays. It is essential that a student undertakes instrumental lessons if they are to succeed at GCSE level in Music. These can be in school or privately.
Component 3 – Composition (30%)
This component is split into two 15% modules. The first which is carried out in year 10 is the student’s free composition. Students will compose a piece of music of their choice. They will be encouraged to compose in a genre they like and have a detailed understanding of. The second composition is set by AQA in the academic year of examination. This composition is based on one of four briefs.
Students will receive lessons on theory and techniques that are used when composing a piece of music and how to transpose ideas into a finished product. In this area students are likely to record their compositions using a mixture of live instruments/vocals and a MIDI keyboard into an IMac computer. In addition to a final recording of each composition, a written programme note (150 words aprox) and score is to be submitted to support and evidence the work that has been completed by each learner.
Component 2 – Performing Music (30%)
This component of the course is split into two performances, both with a 15% weighting of the final grade each: Solo and Ensemble. The solo performance is to be performed as intended on the original recording or score and will be marked out of 36 in total for accuracy (15 marks), expression and interpretation (15 marks) and level of demand (6 marks). The students must perform in an exam like environment and each recording must be live. The ensemble performance is to be performed in groups of 2 or more and again it marked using the same criteria as the solo. The performers must have their own individual part that is clear within the ensemble. Each performance must be accompanied with a score or original CD of the track that they are playing as evidence of how they have learned the piece. Recordings can take place at any time of the year of examination and pupils will be encouraged to regularly record and share their work with the teacher for feedback.
Component 1 – Understanding music (listening and contextual understanding)
This element of the course is a listening and contextual understanding exam which takes place at the end of Year 11. In the exam each student will listen to various excerpts of music and answer a variety of long, short and multiple choice questions on a variety of elements within music. Areas studied for this exam are:
- Western Classical Music 1650-1910
- Western Classical Music since 1910
- Traditional/World Music
- Popular Music
- Timbre, Dynamics, Structure, Form, Tempo, Timbre, Texture, Rhythm and Pitch.
- Component 1 – End of Y11 Exam
- Component 2 – Solo performance October year 11 – ensemble performance February year 11
- Component 3 – Free composition May year 10 – Brief composition February year 11