Key Stage 3
All students in years 7 to 9 study Music once a week. During lessons, students are taught three key skills:
- Listening to and Appraising music
In class, students have the opportunity to compose and perform live, or multi-track record on Apple iMac computers using GarageBand. Each iMac is linked to a MIDI keyboard or an electric piano with MIDI outputs.
Six topics are covered each year, with one topic being covered each half-term. The topics for each year groups are:
- A Brief Musical History of Time
- Popular Music of the 1980s
- Musical Clichés
- The Music of China
- The Baroque period
- Blues and Jazz
- Hooks and Riffs
- The Classical Period
- Rock Music
- The music of India
- Film score composition
- Popular music of the 1960s
- Working in the Music Industry
- The Romantic Period
- Dance Music
- Albums that changed the world
Key Stage 4
In year 10, students have the option of studying music for GSCE. The Edexcel exam board syllabus, specification 1426, is followed focusing on 12 set pieces that form 4 areas of study. These are:
Western classical music 1600-1899
- Handel – 'And the Glory of the Lord'
- Mozart – 1st Movement of Symphony No. 40 in G minor
- Chopin – Prelude 15 (The Raindrop)
Music in the 20th Century
- Schoenberg – 'Peripetie'
- Steve Reich – 3rd movement (fast) from 'Electric Counterpoint'
- Leonard Bernstein – 'Something’s Coming' (from West Side Story)
Popular music in context
- Miles Davis – 'All Blues'
- Jeff Buckley – 'Grace'
- Moby – 'Why does my heart feel so bad?'
- Capercaillie – 'Skye Waulking Song'
- Anoushka Shankar - 'Raag Desh'
- Koko – 'Yiri'
We offer the Edexcel Level 2 Extended certificate, equivalent to two GCSEs. This course is designed for students who have an interest in how the music industry works and what it takes to be a professional musician today. The units currently covered are:
- Working in the Music Industry
- Professional Development in the Music Industry
- Solo Musical Performance
- Producing a Music Recording
Extra Curricular Music
The Music Department has 4 music practice rooms that are open at lunchtimes for students to practise and perform in, as well as a dedicated drum studio, an ensemble/band studio and a recording studio. Drummers can record performances using our Alesis DM10 Studio Kit, Alesis DM8 Pro kit or one of the 5 acoustic drum kits. Nine MacBook computers are set up with Line 6 recording equipment for guitar and bass and USB microphones are available for singers and orchestral players. Guitarists and bassists also have access to Line 6 amplifiers and many acoustic guitars, electric guitars and bass guitars.
There are various opportunities for musicians and singers to perform together in an ensemble:
- Jazz band rehearsals take place on Mondays after school with Mr Perrin from the Richmond Music Trust.
- The various singing groups meet with Mr Cragg every lunchtime.
- Music GCSE catch-up sessions are on Tuesdays after school with Mr Cragg
- Orchestra rehearsals take place on Tuesday lunchtime with Ms Bowman.
Instrumental lessons for individual students are offered through the Richmond Music Trust on a variety of instruments. Please see the Richmond Music Trust’s website for details.