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    “Music is a thing that changes people’s lives. It has the capacity to make young people’s lives better.” – Noel Gallagher

    The Music department is all inclusive, encouraging and inspiring, providing students with a wide range of opportunities.


    Mr M. Bartlett (Director of Music)

    Mr B. Shaw

    Throughout Key Stage 3 we aim to prepare students for GCSEs as much as possible. Students develop both subject specific and personal skills through a variety of performing, composing and appraising tasks. Each year, students will have three main topics we focus on, each one containing elements from the three areas of music (performing, composing and appraising). Throughout Year 7, students will be part of an instrument based curriculum that enables all students access to an orchestral instrument. Students learn the basic building blocks of music, learn how to understand music through basic theory, and explore all of this through learning to play their instrument in both solo and ensemble situations. Years 8 and 9 will follow a more common curriculum that will continue to build on top of students learning from the previous year(s).

    Year 7: Elements of Music; Class Ensemble; Composing Techniques I

    Year 8: Blues and Jazz Improvisation; Composing Techniques II; Soundtracks

    Year 9: Songwriting; Composing Techniques III; A Capella Arrangement

    The Music GCSE course continues the areas developed at KS3. There are three components: Performing, Composing and Appraising. For the performing component students will develop their musical skills and understanding through collaborative and solo classroom work using the instruments available and their voice. Students will also develop their skills on their chosen instrument. For the composing component students will compose music in varied styles and learn about many different instrumental techniques. They will compose their own ‘free’ composition and compose a piece to a set brief. For the appraising component students will learn about and analyse some set works and be able to critically comment on music from different cultures and historical periods.

    In Sixth Form, Music can be taken in a variety of ways. The main qualification is the A Level which is a 2-year course. Like GCSE, A Level consists of three components: performing, composing and appraising. This course aims to build on what is learnt at GCSE. For component 1, the performance needs to be a full recital and must be performed to an audience. For component 2, there are two compositions, one free composition and one to assess technique. For component 3, students sit a written assessment paper on the set works analysed throughout the course.

    Music can also be taken as an extra lesson as part of the 3+ system.

    Details about Independent Study (HW/Further Reading etc.)

    Homework is set regularly across all year groups. In Key Stage 3, homework will mainly focus around the development of theory and understanding of music. Through Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, this becomes more focused around analysing set works and practising individual performances for the course. Alongside the specific homework tasks set throughout the year, students will be expected to complete a set of independent tasks, from which there is a wide variety to choose. This encourages students to complete further reading, wider listening and/or undertake some research based projects.

    We also run an instrument programme, separate to the school curriculum, which allows students to access individual lessons on their instrument of choice. This provides students who wish to take up the opportunity a specialist instrumental tutor for weekly lessons to develop their skills and overall love of music. These lessons cover all instruments, from strings, woodwind, brass and percussion, including guitar, piano and singing.

    In Music we offer a wide range of enrichment opportunities. We can boast a joint Grammar School Band, which includes members from Dover Grammar School for Boys; three different choirs; and a range of smaller ensembles. Students are also encourages to get involved and set up their own groups and bands, and the number of groups we offer is steadily increasing as the department continues to grow and flourish.

    We run a European Music Trip bi-annually to give students the opportunity to experience music in different cultures and participate in some of the local music festivals. This is always a popular trip and the students get so much from performing in these situations.

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