Music

In Noadswood Music department, we believe that the Arts in education are fundamental. Music is a language that everyone can speak, and is included for everyone in everyday life. In music we express ourselves through composition and performance, and help pupils to be independent, creative and confident in their work. Every pupil will study music at Key Stage 3, giving them an understanding of different cultures and genres of music from across the globe, and we are proud to get them all involved in music, with no exceptions.

We are lucky enough as a music department to be well stocked with high quality musical tech and equipment meaning that we can study a huge range of musical subjects. We aim to and have practical lessons as much as possible, engaging pupils with current and up to date topics. We strive to give pupils the opportunity for creative growth and give them a sense of pride in their finished products - there are regular performance opportunities at Noadswood, and we love putting on musicals and concerts often, as well as composing some amazing songs which are played regularly on FROG and shared within the community.

​We try to have as much fun as possible, be practical, and make sure that everyone can get involved. There are a vast amount of after school clubs and support sessions to catch up with music work, as well as in class support. Clubs such as our choir, our music tech club and our huge number of pupil bands can be heard throughout the school on a daily basis. We have been regular performers at local carol concerts for the Alzheimer’s Society, and enjoy spreading a positive message through music in the community.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 we study:

  • Blues Music – composing our own Blues compositions
  • Ringtones – composing our own ringtones using music technology
  • Song Writing – composing our own pop songs, using music technology.
  • Cover Versions – creating and performing a cover version of a popular song in groups

In Year 8 we study:

  • Reggae – composing and performing our own Reggae songs.
  • Music in the Media – adding our own music to popular adverts using music technology
  • African Drumming – performing as part of an African Drumming ensemble
  • Dance Music – creating our own EDM song using music technology.

Key Stage 4

Year 9 is used as a foundation to either GCSE or BTEC Music, with topics covered such as;

  • Foley – creating music using sound effects from everyday objects
  • Film Music – composing the music for films
  • Record Label Challenge – creating our own record label and composing a song to be performed live
  • Performance – understanding what it means to perform successfully, and put together a solo and group performance.

We have two courses running for KS4 music – GCSE Music or BTEC Music.

GCSE Music

You study 8 different pieces of music & learn about the various musical features of each piece. You study classical music, pop music, musicals, experimental music and music from different countries and cultures. You will also learn about notation and writing down music by hand. You also compose your own pieces of music and perform either by playing your instrument or singing.

You need to either play an instrument or sing for GCSE Music as you must do performances.  It can be any instrument – guitar, piano, drums, keyboard etc—all instruments (and singing) count

 How is it assessed?

· 40% Written Exam – 1hr 45 mins – based on the eight set works

· 30% Compositions (which you will write yourself and record using Logic)

· 30% Performance (1 solo and 1 ensemble performance)

BTEC Music
You focus on various aspects of music technology including how to set up and use Logic, studio recording and editing, how to produce your own music and how to produce artificial sound. There is also a unit based on setting up, planning and running a musical concert. For this course you do not need to play an instrument, but it could help if you did! It is all based on the various uses of technology. If you do play an instrument you can use that instrument in your work, but you don’t have to have previously learnt one.

How is it assessed?

  • Three practical units across the two years, each demonstrating different music tech skills.
  • Written Exam – 1hr – based on the roles and responsibilities of people in the music industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses do you offer?

All pupils in years 7 and 8 take music once a fortnight. From Year 9 onwards, we GCSE and BTEC Music.

When does GCSE begin?

We begin our pre-GCSE content in Year 9

Do you have to play an instrument?

In music, everyone can join in, whether you learn an instrument or not! In KS4 music, if you’re taking GCSE Music, you need to be able to play an instrument or sing, as part of the course is performance based. You don’t need to have play an instrument for BTEC Music though, but they really do help!

What do students go on to do with music?

We offer BTEC and GCSE music, both of which lead to a wealth of opportunities in the music industry, such as recording music, producing and writing music and working for record labels and orchestras. Some previous students have gone on to work in the West End!


Synopsis of Study

Year 7 – Music

Autumn

In Music lessons in the first term of Year 7 students will look at both Blues and Ringtones. For the Blues component students will be looking at the Blues in our practical music lessons, learning what Blues music is all about, where it originates from and listening to lots of Blues song examples. They will have learned how to play a 12-bar Blues chord sequence and melody, putting them together to perform a Blues song with a partner. For the Ringtones module students will begin to use the music software, Logic Pro 9. The software is used to choose sounds which fit together nicely and make our ringtones catchy and stand out from the crowd.

 

Spring

Following on from the Blue and Ringtones components students will begin looking at either Film or Versions within Music. For the Film component, students will learn about leitmotifs and how they are related to a particular character or person, and then learned how to play the leitmotif for the character James Bond. This will be learnt to play and then recorded into Logic Pro 9, where the film is added to the track too as well as other sound effects to make the scene come alive! Within Versions, students are learning about Cover Songs, comparing different covers of songs, and what makes them different to the originals. ‘Forever Young’ is learnt on the keyboard which then has changes applied to it, such as a new instrument or an introduction, to make it into students own cover version.

 

Summer

Following on from the Blue and Ringtones components students will begin looking at either Film or Versions within Music. For the Film component, students will learn about leitmotifs and how they are related to a particular character or person, and then learned how to play the leitmotif for the character James Bond. This will be learnt to play and then recorded into Logic Pro 9, where the film is added to the track too as well as other sound effects to make the scene come alive! Within Versions, students are learning about Cover Songs, comparing different covers of songs, and what makes them different to the originals. ‘Forever Young’ is learnt on the keyboard which then has changes applied to it, such as a new instrument or an introduction, to make it into students own cover version.

 

 

Year 8 – Music

Autumn

The first term of Year 8 Music consists of both practical music lessons and music technology lessons. In the practical Music lessons, students have been looking at African Drumming, learning what a master drummer is, how to use Call and Response in a drumming piece, and playing lots of drumming games. Students also completed group performance, putting together a fusion song called ‘Waving Flag’ containing chords on the keyboard and African Drumming. In the Music technology lessons, students have been learning about the origins of Dance Music and how music has changed with the advancement of technology. They have learnt about different riffs in Dance Music and learnt to play the riff for ‘I’ve Gotta Feeling’. This has been recorded this into Logic Pro 9 and a bass line and other parts added to make it their own.

 

Spring

Following on from the practical Music lessons involving the African Drumming and the Music Technology lessons about Dance music, students in the second term of Year 8 begin looking at either Music in the Media or Reggae. Music in the Media has seen the students take music out of a Coco Pops advert and replace it with music that has been composed on the computers. Sonic Brand Triggers are learnt about and how they are used in advertising, as well as incidental music and jingles. The Reggae component looks at the life of Reggae star Bob Marley, learning about different sort of protest songs and how Reggae music is used to spread messages of peace to the world. ‘Three Little Birds’ was learnt on the keyboard, and this was put together with a partner for a performance.

 

Summer

Following on from the practical Music lessons involving the African Drumming and the Music Technology lessons about Dance music which has been learnt in the previous two terms, students in the third term of Year 8 begin looking at either Music in the Media or Reggae (depending on what was learnt in term 2). Music in the Media has seen the students take music out of a Coco Pops advert and replace it with music that has been composed on the computers. Sonic Brand Triggers are learnt about and how they are used in advertising, as well as incidental music and jingles. The Reggae component looks at the life of Reggae star Bob Marley, learning about different sort of protest songs and how Reggae music is used to spread messages of peace to the world. ‘Three Little Birds’ was learnt on the keyboard, and this was put together with a partner for a performance.

 

 

Year 9 – GCSE Music

Autumn

N/A 2021/2022

 

Spring

N/A 2021/2022

 

Summer

N/A 2021/2022

 

 

Year 10 – GCSE Music

Autumn

This term we have mainly focussed on our compositions, which are based on a brief which we have set ourselves. This ‘free’ composition makes up 15% of the coursework, and has to be written in Ternary Form (A-B-A) and with a distinct audience or occasion. When we have had non-practical lessons, we have been able to learn about another of the set works – Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, learning the key content about this piece of music. Once we’d completed the learning for this, we did some exam prep for it, completing long and short answer questions for the piece, as well as mock dictation examples, and unfamiliar listening relating to it.

 

Spring

This term we have focussed on more of the set works that we have to learn – we looked at ‘Music for a While’ by Purcell and ‘Samba em Preludio’ by Esperanza Spalding. These set works were both looked at in lessons, and we completed long and short answer questions for each piece, as well as dictation examples and unfamiliar listening related to them. In some lessons we completed performance practice in preparation for our solo performance exam in September.

 

Summer

This term we have continued to focus on set works, completing the content learning for final exam. We completed work on ‘The Pathetique Sonata’ by Beethoven and ‘Defying Gravity’ by Wicked – by completing the content learning in Y10, we are able to focus on coursework for the majority of Y11 studies, then revisit the set works after our coursework is complete. Again, we finished each topic with dictation examples, long and short answer questions and unfamiliar listening relating to the piece. In any practical lessons we had, we continued to work on our solo performance, and some of us started to work on our ensemble performances in preparation for our exams in September and January.

 

 

Year 11 – BTEC

Autumn

This term students have been focussing on our Unit 2 – Making a Music Product. They started this by doing some research into podcasts and how they are made, looking at the content of particular music podcasts, and how they contrast with others. They then began working on their own podcasts in groups, planning every element of them to ensure that deadlines for the topic would be met. Students looked into the promotion of this podcast, and how we would get it out to school students via FROG.

 

Spring

This term students have focussed on the second half of the Unit 7 topic, Introduction to Sequencing, which was started in Year 10. This half of the unit focuses on how to use Logic Pro 9 software to compose their own theme tune for Noadswood. Students have been able to put into practice everything that has been learnt in BTEC Music so far. Once this Unit has been completed and marked, the majority of students have technically finished the BTEC course content, so we then look at completing another unit – either Unit 5 (Performance) or Unit 6 (Recording) – to boost marks if necessary. Students are also able to use this time to make up any BTEC Music work which has not yet been completed due to absence.