Curriculum – Music

Curriculum – Music

Music

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

All students should have the opportunity to experience a musical education and understand the ways that music has shaped the cultural world in which we live today. Musical experiences have the ability to stay with us for life; therefore, we want all students to leave SHSG with their own memories of our department and the community which we foster here, from remembering composing their own Blues song in Year 8, or performing at prestigious concert halls both nationally and internationally. Students experience a rich curriculum where they are taught to perform and compose in a range of styles, developing an increasingly sophisticated knowledge of music and its influences exceeding the scope of the National Curriculum. Not only should students leave SHSG with an understanding and appreciation of a broad range of musical styles, they should also be able to justify their opinion and present their views with assurance. We want our students to be innovative, to be team-players and to have the drive to compete on the international stage. We want them to value a deep knowledge of musicology, to engage critically with the subject and perform and present with confidence, encouraging them not to shy away from hard work but instead harness the resilience that is required to be truly successful in music, embracing challenge and seeking opportunities to reach the next level.

What does it feel like to be a student in the Music Department?

As a musician at Southend High School for Girls, you are part of a unique community through which you are supported in exploring and developing your own personal musical interests and skills. Alongside a rigorous academic and creative curriculum, you will have the opportunity to engage with a range of musical styles and activities to broaden your thinking. Right from the start of your musical journey you will immerse yourself in academic and practical music in an integrated way, with opportunities to compose, perform, and analyse music both in curriculum and extra-curricular time.

By the end of Key Stage 3, you will have developed the necessary performance skills to be able to communicate musically both individually and in groups, you will be equipped with the compositional skills to organise musical ideas logically to create a specific effect, and you will listen to and appraise music belonging to a broad range of music. You will develop and hone your skills in each of these discrete areas across your GCSE studies, working with increasing independence to produce music that has a clear sense of personal style and maturity; most importantly, you will broaden your experience and interests, and develop your imagination and creativity.

Studying A Level music is a hugely rewarding endeavour not only in the classroom, but through your immersion in the subject practically as a performer and a composer, working with younger musicians to help shape their own love for the subject. You will study in detail the development of the symphony and explore the new directions explored in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in classical music, as well as appraising music from the jazz, rock and pop, and musical theatre genres.

Our A Level students embody what it means to be an SHSG musician: astute, driven, collaborative, and passionate; with the academic competence to succeed on the most rigorous undergraduate degrees and the practical talent to excel in your chosen specialism, at Southend High School for Girls you will have the opportunity to grow into a truly unique and empowered musician. Whether or not you choose to take your musical studies further post-18, you will be suitably equipped to secure instrumental and choral scholarships at the most respected institutions in the UK and internationally; furthermore, during your seven years at SHSG, you will form lifelong friendships and become a part of a wider family of musicians who have contributed much to the life and legacy of the school. Once you leave Year 13, you will remain a part of this community and we will be proud to celebrate your personal successes with you, whether in the musical world or otherwise.

Journey

Music Curriculum

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the national curriculum for music. The SHSG music curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in music that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The music curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital, practical skill development – including composition, and instrumental or vocal performance.
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate, compose and arrange music.
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations.

Year 7 – 9

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 6 music ready to study in Year 7 if applicable
The government’s non-statutory document, the ‘Model Music Curriculum’ would be an excellent foundation for Key Stage 3 study; specifically, a knowledge of the instruments of the orchestra and the ability to read staff notation.

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 7 – 9 if applicable?
An awareness that students’ musical experiences from primary school will have been affected by the pandemic. All Pupil Premium students are offered free instrumental lessons to offer the practical experience that may not have otherwise been available to them.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the national curriculum, and as a grammar school, also challenge students beyond the national curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our music intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 7

Term 1

Topic 1

  • The Elements of Music

Assessment

  • Rhythmic performance
  • Melody writing composition
  • Vocabulary tests

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Programme music
  • Instruments of the orchestra

Assessment

  • Programme music composition
  • Graphic score notation
  • PUP exam

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Theme and variations

Assessment

  • Theme and Variations composition
  • Vocabulary tests

Year 8

Term 1

Topic 1

  • The Blues

Assessment

  • 12 bar blues keyboard performance
  • Blues song composition
  • PUP exam

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Jazz and Fusions

Assessment

  • Jazz improvised performance
  • Reggae performance

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Popular Music

Assessment

  • Music Journalism task
  • Four chord song composition

Year 9

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Music for Screen

Assessment

  • Leitmotif composition or performance task
  • Horror trailer composition task
  • PUP exam

Term 2

Topic 2

  • The 20th Century

Assessment

  • 21st Century presentations
  • 20th Century performance or arrangement task

Term 3

Topic 3

  • Music for Stage

Assessment

  • Musical Theatre and opera presentations
  • Musical Theatre performance

Achieving outstanding outcomes in music – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school key stage 3 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics. They are either emerging, developing or proficient in this journey throughout key stage 3.

To go beyond being proficient in what is expected of a music student in key stage 3 and achieve mastery in music, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology. Most importantly, students should engage with practical music as much as possible, from hearing live music in concert halls and gig venues, to practising their own instrument to refine performance skills, and composing their own music either on their own instrument or using computer software.

Recommended reading in music for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

Please click on the download button below to open the reading list for Key stage 3:

Download

Music-specific language to master in Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • All required terminology is given on the termly Knowledge Audits
  • Students will use performance, composition, and musicology-specific terminology in each area of the curriculum as relevant

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the national curriculum for music. The SHSG music curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in music that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The music curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital, practical skill development – including composition, and instrumental or vocal performance.
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate, compose and arrange music.
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations.

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Key Stage 3 music ready to study at GCSE

  • Students should be comfortable performing to at least a grade 2 standard on their chosen instrument.
  • Students should be able to compose music with an intended purpose with a clear sense of key, structure, and melodic line.
  • Students should have good aural skills in identifying a range of instruments, have a secure understanding of the elements of music (perhaps having completed some ABRSM theory grades), and a genuine interest in studying music from a range of musical styles.

Adjustments from the pandemic for GCSE if applicable?

  • Students have not had as extensive composition experience at Key Stage 3 as would normally happen, therefore composition is expected to be weaker for cohorts starting the GCSE in September 2021 and September 2022.
  • Students may have stopped instrumental lessons during the pandemic, therefore performance skill may have been affected.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the exam board specification, and as a grammar school, also challenge students beyond the exam board specification. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our music intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 10, Term 1

Topic 1

  • Form and Structure, Chamber Music, Badinerie (J S Bach)

Assessment

  • Baseline test
  • Listening exercises
  • Score analysis tasks
  • Short-answer questions
  • Unit test

Topic 2

  • Periods of Music

Assessment

  • Composer presentations
  • Listening exercises
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition sketches begin
  • One in-class performance workshop per half term

Year 10, Term 2

Topic 3

  • Jazz and Blues

Assessment

  • Listening exercises
  • Composer presentations
  • Short-answer questions
  • Unit test

Topic 4

  • Musical Theatre

Assessment

  • Listening exercises
  • Short-answer questions
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition draft 1 due before Easter
  • One in-class performance per half term

Year 10, Term 3

Topic 5

  • Africa (Toto), Bhangra and fusions

Assessment

  • Listening exercises
  • Score analysis tasks
  • Short-answer questions
  • Unit test

Topic 6

  • Rock and Pop

Assessment

  • Listening exercises
  • Short-answer questions
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition completed for PPE
  • Solo performance recorded for PPE

Year 11, Term 1

Topic 7

  • Film Music and minimalism

Assessment

  • Listening exercises
  • Short-answer questions
  • Essay writing
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Set Brief’ composition draft 1 due November
  • Final solo performance recording in September
  • Ensemble performance recording 1 in November

Year 11, Term 2

Revision

  • Practice papers
  • Targeted listening exercises
  • Timed essays
  • PPE

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Set Brief’ composition completed before February half term
  • Ensemble performance final recording in January
  • Final performance and composition submission 14 February

Year 11, Term 3 (one half term only)

Revision

  • Practice papers
  • Targeted listening exercises
  • Timed essays

Performance & Composition

  • N/A

Achieving outstanding outcomes in music – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school GCSE curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of a music student at GCSE and achieve outstanding outcomes in music, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology. Most importantly, students should engage with practical music as much as possible, from hearing live music in concert halls and gig venues, to practising their own instrument and participating in at least one extra-curricular ensembles, as well composing their own music using appropriate computer software.

Recommended reading in music for GCSE

To view the reading list for Key Stage 4, please click on the download link below:

Download

Music-specific language to master at GCSE

  • All required terminology is given in the Eduqas specification glossary (Appendix C)
  • Students will use performance, composition, and musicology-specific terminology in each area of the curriculum as relevant

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the national curriculum for music. The SHSG music curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in music that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The music curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital, practical skill development – including composition, and instrumental or vocal performance.
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate, compose and arrange music.
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations.

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from GCSE music ready to study at A Level

  • Students should be confident performers in their chosen instrument, playing at a Grade 5 level by the end of Year 11 as a minimum.
  • Students should be able to compose music to a given brief, demonstrating good creativity and independence, as well as a sound grasp of relevant software to assist in the composing process.
  • Students should have good aural skills in identifying a range of instruments (Western classical, pop, jazz, and those from other cultures), have a secure understanding of the elements of music (preferably having completed ABRSM Grade 5 theory), and a genuine interest in studying music from a range of musical styles.

Adjustments from the pandemic for A Level if applicable?

  • There is an entire cohort of students who have not had full ‘coursework’ requirements (those starting September 2021 and September 2022) and therefore the workload of two compositions across two years will be a notable step-up for them, as will the requirement to perform in front of a live examiner.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the exam board specification, and as a grammar school, also challenge students beyond the exam board specification. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our music intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 12, Term 1

Topic 1

  • The Western Classical Tradition (1750-1900): Haydn

Assessment

  • Short-answer questions
  • Score analysis tasks
  • Unit test

Topic 2

  • Musical Theatre

Assessment

  • Composer presentations
  • Listening exercises
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition sketches begin
  • One in-class performance per half term

Year 12, Term 2

Topic 1 (continued)

  • The Western Classical Tradition (1750-1900): Mendelssohn

Assessment

  • Score analysis tasks
  • Supported essay-writing
  • Unit test

Topic 3

  • Jazz

Assessment

  • Composer presentations
  • Listening exercises
  • Unit test

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition draft 1 due before Easter
  • One in-class performance per half term

Year 12, Term 3

Topic 1 (continued)

  • The Western Classical Tradition (1750-1900): Development of the Symphony (essay)

Assessment

  • Essay writing
  • PPE

Topic 4

  • Into the 20th Century: Set Work 1

Assessment

  • Score analysis tasks
  • Listening exercises
  • Composer/piece presentations

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Free’ composition completed for PPE
  • One in-class performance per half term

Year 13, Term 1

Topic 4 (continued)

  • Into the 20th Century: Set Work 2

Assessment

  • Score analysis tasks
  • Listening exercises
  • Composer/piece presentations

Topic 4 (continued)

  • Into the 20th Century: Expressionism

Assessment

  • Score analysis tasks
  • Listening exercises
  • Composer/piece presentations

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Set Brief’ composition draft 1 due before Christmas
  • Mock Recital before Christmas

Year 13, Term 2

Revision

  • Practice papers
  • Targetted listening exercises
  • Timed essays
  • PPE

Performance & Composition

  • ‘Set Brief’ composition completed before Easter
  • Recital on or after 1 March
  • Final composition submission 1 April

Year 13, Term 3

Revision

  • Practice papers
  • Targetted listening exercises
  • Timed essays

Performance & Composition

  • N/A

Achieving outstanding outcomes in music – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school A Level curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of a music student at A Level and achieve outstanding outcomes in music, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology. Most importantly, students should engage with practical music as much as possible, from hearing live music in concert halls and gig venues, to practising their own instrument, participating in at least two extra-curricular ensembles, and finding the opportunity to lead ensembles, as well composing their own music of very high quality using appropriate computer software.

Recommended reading in music for A Level

To view a reading list for Key Stage 5, please click on the download link below:

Download

Music-specific language to master at A Level

  • All required terminology is given in the Eduqas specification glossary (Appendix C)
  • Students will use performance, composition, and musicology-specific terminology in each area of the curriculum as relevant