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KS3 Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As students progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. Students will:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians;
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence;
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

In KS3

In Year 7 students address these concepts and learn skills through a transition unit, which bridges the gap from KS2 to KS3. In this unit they learn how to compose music for a specific mood by layering ostinati and exploring all the timbres of an electronic keyboard.  Next they journey through experimental music, stopping off at minimalism, aleatoric music and extended instrumental and vocal techniques. The next 2 units focus on performance skills and students can choose the instrument or voice that they wish to specialise in.  Finally we look at film music by studying the theme music to Star Wars.  Year 7 students learn about singing, how to play the keyboard, the ukulele and have opportunities to play guitar, drums and bass.

In Year 8 students build on these skills and study the culture of hip hop and rap. Then they move on to learn how 4 chord pop songs are composed and performed. In this unit, students work in bands to refine and develop their ensemble, composition and performance skills. Students compose and perform their own song using all the skills and knowledge they have acquired so far. They also get chance to enter the Kirklees ‘Battle of the Bands’ composition.

In Year 9 students study the musical features of the Baroque Period and how modern composers and song writers still use these techniques today. Then we go right back to the beginning of popular music with the Blues, on to Reggae and then Dance music.  All these styles are taught in a practical way using instruments and technology.  We use Mixcraft software to learn about midi-editing and sequencing and how dance tracks are composed.

Students are encouraged to use any instruments they play in lessons and we have an array of school instruments that students may borrow, for a lesson or for longer periods.

Students work predominantly in ever-changing, predetermined, mixed ability groups. The large classrooms and 6 practice rooms mean that each group will regularly get their own space to work in. This helps them make faster progress and refine their musical skills to a higher level.

Extra Curricular

There is a wealth of extra-curricular musical activities happening each week including: rock schools, choirs, Jazz band, orchestra and informal lunchtime practice.