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Music

'Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.' Oliver Wendell Holmes

Our vision is to broaden the musical world of our students and to inspire and encourage them to participate, create and perform. We aim to develop commitment, curiosity and collaboration within a practical and positive environment.

Teaching Styles

Music is taught in mixed ability groups. Students principally use keyboards to complete their tasks but they are encouraged to use their own instruments and broaden their use of timbres. The Music department has excellent facilities including a host of practice rooms, computers and a recording studio. Lessons are generally lively and practical and students enjoy their music making.

Homework

Homework is set weekly at KS3, GCSE and A Level and can include practising, writing up compositions and research.

Extra Curricular

There are opportunities for extra-curricular ensembles on all instruments. The Junior String Orchestra, Wind Band, Keyband and Junior Choirs are an excellent way for students to develop their ensemble playing and enjoy making music. The Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra and Wind Band are long established groups that perform regularly in and out of school.

Instrumental Lessons

Instrumental lessons are available on voice, drum kit, brass instruments, string instruments, keyboard and piano, recorder and woodwind instruments. All lessons occur during school time and are provided weekly on a rota system.

Key Stage 3 

The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Y7- 9 in music are:

1) To expose students to a wide variety of different musical genres in order that they can understand, appreciate and comment upon familiar and unfamiliar genres of music.

2) To teach students the basic skills they need to access performance tasks (an understanding of different forms of notation and an introduction to a variety of different instruments).

3) To help students to understand the important role that music plays in societies all around the world.

The three strands that are covered in the music curriculum (KS3, GCSE and A level) are appraising, composing and performing. The KS3 curriculum is designed to introduce students to these three strands. Different topics may place greater emphasis on one skill over the others, but all are included in each year of KS3. Appraising skills are included in each topic as a means of discussing and understanding the key features of the genre. The appraisal skills are tested through the end of year exams.

In year 7, we aim to introduce students to the basic skills and vocabulary they will need to access future tasks.

In year 8, we aim to cover a broad spectrum of different genres and styles of music. This will enable students to practise the skills covered in year 7, whilst building an appreciation for music from different cultures and times.

The aim of year 9 is to allow students to develop independence in choosing their musical direction. By this stage, they should have the necessary skills to access these choices.

Click here for a detailed curriculum map for Key Stage 3 Music

Key Stage 4 

Music is an optional and popular subject at GCSE level. The course comprises of 3 units. In Unit 1 students will develop their performing skills in both solo and ensemble context. This unit encourages students to develop their creative thinking, self confidence, and self motivation. Unit 2 explores the technical and creative skills required for composing. Unit 3 will develop students listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The four areas of study are: Western classical music, music in the 20th century, popular music in context and world music.

Further details of the course content, method of study and assessment structure can be found in the Key Stage 4 Options booklet.

Key Stage 5 

Music at A Level is taught across the Hitchin Schools Consortium. It develops students in an academic direction through analysing music in detail whilst continuing to perform and compose.

Full details of the courses offered by the Hitchin Schools Sixth Form Consortium are shown in the Consortium Prospectus.

Useful Links 

Music at A Level is taught across the Hitchin Schools Consortium. It develops students in an academic direction through analysing music in detail whilst continuing to perform and compose. Full details of the courses offered by the Hitchin Schools Sixth Form Consortium are shown in the Consortium Prospectus.