Music Curriculum Overview, 2019-2020

Why do we teach music at Ark BDA?

We know that many of our students are passionate about music before they even arrive at BDA. Music plays a significant role in the lives of young people: it caninfluencethe formation of their identity, their friendships, and even their aspirations in life. It is essential, therefore, that we harness our students interest in music and give them the opportunity to develop their musical skills and knowledge. This, in turn, enables them to actively participate in music-making activities, to have an awareness of a wide variety of musical genres, and to make critical judgements about the music they are hearing.  

 

By teaching music at BDA, we hope to offer our students the lifelong enrichment that music can offer: the ability to form friendships through music-making, the satisfaction of continuing to learn and develop their musical skills long after they have left BDA, and the foundations to pursue a career in music, should they choose to do so.

 

How do we deliver our Christian values in music?

Learning music also enables our students to develop many vital skills which go far beyond simply singing or playing an instrument.When playing music in a group, students develop superb teamwork skills, treating one another with kindness and compassion, communicating seamlessly using non-verbal cues, while simultaneously demonstrating the independence required to perform their part perfectly.Learning a musical instrument requires a huge amount of commitment, self-discipline, and resilience over many weeks, months and years. Giving a musical performance requires courage and confidence, but also challenges students to pursue excellence and demonstrate a high level of attention to detail. Reading musical notation is akin to learning a new language, requiring perseverance and dedication to achieve. Learning about different cultures’ music requires students to develop empathy and acceptance of others’ cultural differences. Learning music, then, is a fantastic way to develop our students’ character by promoting and explicitly teaching BDA’s values and Christian ethos.

 

How do we build core skills and knowledge over time?

Wehave created a pathway that progressively builds upon pupils’ existing musical skillsandknowledge. Whilst these are separated/atomised for clarity, the expectation is that teaching makes links between and integrates these, as per the accompanying lesson plans and schemes of work.Music lessons mostly contain practical music-making activities rather than written or theoretical tasks; often the theoretical concepts will be taught through practical means.

Skillsare broken down into performing, composing and critical listening.

 

Knowledgeis split into musical elementswhichare linked to thelanguage used by Edexcelat GCSE & A-Level: structure; pitch and melody; harmony and tonality; texture; tempo, metre and duration; dynamics and articulation; performing forces and playing techniques.

In addition to the above, pupils will learn about the contextin whichthe music with which they engagewas/is created and performed.

Lesson plans also explicitly teachbehaviours critical to success within and beyond the classroom.

 

How does the study of music prepare students for life beyond Ark BDA?

At KS3, our curriculum builds on the National Curriculum for music launched in 2013 and specifically aims to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to:

  • Discover and developtheir vocal and instrumental skills to a level of proficiency that enables them to participate insocialmusic making activities
  • Useimprovisationto unlock creative potential and musical identity/individuality
  • Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music they engage withthroughsystematicanalysis and reflection
  • Adopt habits and behaviours that foster acommunitywhich is resilient, respectful and joyful.

We recognise that our curriculum needs to meet the needs and breadth of all our learners who will come from a variety of cultures and backgrounds with different levels of experience and interests.Therefore, students perform, compose and listen to music from a wide variety of different musical cultures and traditions, some of which will already be familiar to our students, and others which will not.

 

At KS4, students can choose to follow the GCSE pathway, following the Edexcel specification, or the BTEC Level 2 pathway.We also offer a variety of other vocational music qualifications, such as ABRSM, Rockschool and Trinity exams. These qualifications prepare students to study music in the future at A-Level, BTEC Level 3, and even degree level.

 

Curriculum Implementation

In KS3, it is essential that all students develop the key skills: performing, composing and listening & appraising; and knowledge of musical elements: pitch, melody, rhythm, metre, tempo, structure, texture, tonality, harmony and instrumentation. Therefore, each term’s unit focusses on a different element. This element is explored through performance, composition, and listening & appraising. The element is then framed by a musical period or genre such as Baroque music or West African music. These framing genres are linked to the music studied in the Edexcel GCSE qualification, and are selected depending on how suitable they are for helping students to learn about the key element (for example, Year 7 start learning about Rhythm, so Stomp is a suitable genre to frame this learning within). Students practice using musical keywords in their weekly homework on Show My Homework. As students’ progress into Years 8 & 9, units cover more than one element at a time, as students learn about the relationships between the different elements.

 

At KS3, students have 1 music lesson per week, and each term contains 10 pre-planned lessons, including 2 assessment points. This leaves space for teachers to use several additional ‘contingency’ lessons, which they can adapt to suit their own classes’ abilities. In the past, these contingency lessons have been used both to support classes by adding an extra lesson before moving on to new learning, but also to extend classes by adding an ‘extension’ lesson where students’ learning is deepened.

At KS4 students have 3 lessons per week if they choose GCSE music, and 4 if they choose BTEC. In the GCSE course, each unit is based on one of the GCSE set works, and during each unit, all of the musical elements will be covered and all of the musical skills (performing, composing and listening & appraising) will be developed. We begin with a bridging unit, based on the Game of Thrones theme tune, which helps revise students’ knowledge of all the musical elements. Each of the set works is then studied, with elements being covered in increased depth on each set work.

 

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Nursery

Content

Join in singing favourite songs

Show an interest in the way

musical instruments sound

Enjoy joining in with dancing and ring games

Explores and learns how sounds can be changed

Sings to self and makes up simple songs / begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances

Reception

Content

 

Musical cues/games

Singing

Pitch

Rhythm

Creativity

Year 1

Content

 

Aural Rhythm

Aural Pitch

Rhythm Notation

Pitch Notation

Creativity – notation / performance

Year 2

Content

 

Singing (unison)

Singing (two parts – rounds, ostinato etc)

Pitch (start glocks)

Rhythm (glocks and djembes)

Creativity

Year 3

Content

 

Core – singing (advanced intervals)

Instrumental - Djembe

Core – singing (advanced intervals)

Instrumental - Djembe

 

Core – pitch (advanced interval notation)

Instrumental – Djembe

Core – rhythm (rests and syncopation)

Instrumental – Djembe

Core – creativity

Instrumental - Djembe

Year 4

Content

 

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

Carol service – learning traditional carols

Tri-borough music festival – st music for combined performance

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

 

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

 

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

 

Vocal

Instrumental – Djembe

 

Year 5

Content

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Year 6

Content

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Core -

Instrumental - Ukelele

 

Year 7

Topic

Rhythm: Stomp and Sing

Melody: The Power of the Pentatonic

Harmony: Band Musicianship 1

Content

In this unit, students will be performing (using their bodies and voices as instruments), composing and notating a Stomp inspired whole class piece and one in smaller ensembles. Students will also explore how the voice can be fully utilised through performance and composition. Students will compose within a given structure using 4 beat rhythmic patterns as their building blocks. Students will learn how to notate their rhythmic patterns using staff notation.

Students are introduced to pentatonic and major scales and learn the secrets of effective melody writing whilst acquiring a good and sustainable keyboard technique. They learn staff notation in the treble clef.

Students develop an understanding of harmony, chords and chord relationships whilst developing keyboard and guitar/ukulele skills. They develop ensemble skills that support connected playing and learn about chord charts and rhythm grids.

Assessment

Performing: ensemble performance of ‘Sylvie’ with body percussion.

Composing: ensemble composition of own body percussion piece.

 

Written exam.

Performing: solo performance of ‘Amazing Grace’.

Composing: solo composition of a pentatonic melody in a folk style.

Performing: whole class band performance.

Composing: compose a 4-chord verse and chorus.

 

Written exam.

 

Year 8

Topic

Melody, harmony and texture: The Beauty of Baroque

Rhythm, texture and structure: West African Music

Melody and Harmony: Band Musicianship 2

Content

Students develop their keyboard skills and their ability to play an independent line within a polyphonic texture by playing a piece of Baroque music as part of a small ensemble. They deepen their understanding of the relationship between melody and harmony by composing short original melodies to fit a given ground bass.

Students work with increasingly complex rhythms, textures and structures as they develop a secure djembe playing technique. They drive forward their ability to improvise, perform independent parts and create new music that embraces the traditions of West African drumming.

Students settle on an instrumental ‘specialism’ and look to progress their technical and ensemble skills as they perform and improvise within a band. They consolidate and extend their knowledge of harmony and improve their musical literacy as they work from staff notation, chord charts, rhythm grids and tablature.

Assessment

Performing: ensemble performance of Pachelbel’s canon on keyboards.

Composing: arrangement of own canon using music software.

 

Written exam.

Performing: ensemble performance of the whole-class piece.

Composing: West African inspired composition.

Performing: solo performance of ‘Bags Groove’ head melody.

Performing and composing blues performance in bands – head and improvisations.

 

Written exam.

 

Year9

Topic

Melody, harmony and rhythm: Fusions

Harmony, texture and timbre: Music for Film

Melody, harmony and rhythm: Band Musicianship 3

Content

In this unit, students will explore the musical ideas in different styles and traditions through performance and analysis and listening and appraising. Students will also deepen their technical skills on their ‘specialist’ instrument and engage with more complex melodic, rhythmic and harmonic material by fusing two contrasting musical styles/fusions

Students apply their knowledge of melody, rhythm, and harmony to the world of electronic dance music, learning how to manipulate texture and exploit technology within a stylistic creative project.

Students draw on their knowledge of musical elements, specialist instrumental skills and creativity to compose and perform an original song.

Assessment

Performing: band performance of a fusion piece.

Composing: composition of own fusion piece.

 

Written exam.

Performing: performance of EDM melodies.

Composing: developed EDM composition.

Performing: band cover of ‘Imagine’

Performing and Composing: performance of own protest song in bands.

 

Written exam.

 

Year 10

Topic

Bridging Unit

Star Wars

Music for a While

Release

Defying Gravity

Brandenburg Concerto

Content

Solo performance preparation.

Preparatory composing tasks.

L&A: Game of Thrones bridging unit.

Solo performance recording 1.

Preparatory composing tasks.

L&A: Star Wars.

Solo performance preparation.

Whole class composition project.

Solo performance recording 2.

First draft of free composition.

Solo performance preparation.

Development of free composition.

Solo performance recording 3 (final).

Final free composition.

 

Assessment

Formative in-class assessment

Listening exam

Solo performance

Formative in-class assessment

Listening exam

Solo performance

Free composition

Formative in-class assessment

Listening exam

Solo performance

Free composition

 

Year 11

Topic

Killer Queen, Samba Em Preludio

Sonata No. 8

Set Works Review

Set Works Review

Exam Practice

 

Content

Ensemble performance preparation.

Exploration of composition briefs.

L&A: Killer Queen, Samba Em Preludio.

Ensemble performance recording.

First draft of composition to a set brief.

L&A: Sonata No. 8

Revisit either solo/ensemble performance if needed.

Development of ‘composition to a set brief’.

L&A: Review all set works

Revisit either compositions if needed.

L&A: Review all set works

 

 

Assessment

Formative in-class assessment

Listening exam

Enesmble performance

Brief Composition

Listening mock exam

Final performances

 

Final compositions