Music at Shevington High School is a vibrant, current and practical course that focuses on all aspects of popular, 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, chamber choir 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, Violin, Vocals, Trumpet and Cornet. 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. The Music department boasts access to 6 Apple Mac computers which are used as a composing and recording tool throughout both Key Stages. There is also two practise rooms fully furnished with guitars, basses, keyboards, amplifiers and microphones and a large classroom with 22 keyboards for students to perform their work on.
In Year 7 our students follow various schemes of work, 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 assessment involving all students performing their work before the class and receiving a level for their work. Topics include:
- Rhythm Round
- Instruments of the Orchestra
- Elements of Music
- European & Folk Music
- World Music (Gamelan/African Drumming/Chinese Music)
- Protest Songs
- Radio Show
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 in a practical manner. Topics include:
- Classical Vs Pop Music
- Swing Music
- World Music (African Drumming/Gamelan/Chinese Music)
- Rap Music Composition
Music in year 9 involves the students enhancing their performance skills in preparation for GCSE Music. Students will learn more complex theory and more difficult pieces of music. At this stage of their education students are encouraged to form ensembles/bands and take part in music out of school. Topics include:
- Film Music
- Jazz Music
- Popular Music
- Reggae Music
- World Music (Indian/African/Indonesian)
- Song writing and Composition.
- Music Technology.
Year 10 & 11 Options (3 hours per week)
GCSE Music is a course heavily weighted in practical coursework (80%) and a final listening exam at the end of Year 11 (20%). The coursework is performed on the instrument/voice that the student plays. It is essential that a student undertakes (or has previously undertaken) instrumental lessons if they are to succeed at GCSE level in Music.
Unit 4 – Composition (20%)
In this component, students are to compose a piece of popular music of their choice on their instrument or voice. Students will receive lessons on theory and techniques that are used when writing a song 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 the composition (10%), a written score is to be submitted to support and evidence the work that has been completed by each learner (10%). This element of the course is to be completed within 25 hours of controlled time, and must be completed within this allotted time.
Unit 3 Performing Music (20%)
This component of the course is split into two performances, both with a 20% 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 30 in total for accuracy, interpretation, communication and level of demand. 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 is designed to show how different musicians perform with each other and influence the performance in their own way. The performers must have their own individual part that is clear within the ensemble and it is also marked out of 30 in total for accuracy, communication and interpretation, level of demand and sense of 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.
Unit 2 Composing and Appraising Music (20%)
This component of the course is designed for students to compose a piece of music within a specific genre and then appraise the recording and composing process in an exam like format. The students are to compose a piece of music that links to one of the 3 strands of learning: World Music (African Music, Caribbean Music and Indian Music), Western Classical Music and Popular Music. The students are to compose this piece within 20 hours of controlled time and they are to provide a score of the finished song complete with an audio file of the finished recording (10%). After the 20 hours of controlled time has passed, the students will sit a two-hour long exam to appraise the recording and composing process of their coursework as evidence that they have researched a given style and written within it effectively (10%).
Unit 1- Listening and Appraising Examination
This element of the course is a listening and appraising 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 History
- World Music
- Popular Music in Context
- Timbre, Dynamics, Structure, Form, Tempo, Timbre, Texture, Rhythm and Pitch.
- Unit 1- End of Y11 Exam
- Unit 2 Composing and Appraising Music- September- December of Y11
- Unit 3- Solo- October of Y11, Ensemble- November of Y11
- Unit 4- Composing Music- Summer Term- Year 10.