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!