People of every culture have found a need to express and share feelings, thoughts and ideas by ordering sounds into forms which symbolise and interpret their experience. The creation of music stems from our need to communicate through patterns of sound which have significance, and which may be re-created on subsequent occasions.
Music is so much a part of the background of everyday life that it tends to get taken for granted. Yet for many people it is a powerful focus for creative energy, and one which both stimulates and guides the imagination. Music at Taverham High aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all students.
The development of musical perception and skills is dependent upon the quality, range and appropriateness of these musical experiences, as they are provided within and outside school. There are many different styles of music appropriate for different purposes and offering different kinds of satisfaction and challenge; excellence may be found in any style of musical expression.
The study of music provides for the progressive development of:
- skills in movement, vocal skills, and in aural imagery, acquired through exploring and organising sounds
- awareness and appreciation of organised sound patterns
- sensitive, analytical and critical responses to music
- the capacity to express ideas, thoughts and feelings through music
- awareness and understanding of traditions, idioms and musical styles from a variety of different cultures, times and places
- the experience of fulfilment which derives from striving for the highest possible artistic and technical standards.
What will I learn?
Students develop their skills as practical musicians from the start of the course. They learn to perform expressively, making a good sound using their voice, the keyboard, the guitar, the ukulele, percussion and their own instruments. Students follow various units of work to develop their understanding of the way in which music is constructed, produced and influenced by time and place in the context of a particular genre or style. Each unit of work contains suitably differentiated materials to allow for the wide ability range to be found in the KS3 classroom. Students learn to perform in ensembles, to compose (in pairs and small groups) and to listen to music actively. They also learn how to use music software Dance Ejay, Sibelius and Cubase in order to develop their understanding of the musical elements and a variety of styles also. They become more confident in practical music-making, and, when talking about music, in a variety of styles.
How will I be assessed?
Students are given regular verbal feedback on practical work. This feedback will sometimes be one-on-one, and sometimes for the whole group. Students also peer-assess. Peer and self-assessment activities build up and revisit musical vocabulary and help pupils to develop an increasingly critical and analytical ability. In addition lesson plans incorporate opportunities to develop students’ thinking and problem-solving skills, particularly through the activities proposed for starter and plenary sessions. Students' work is videoed so they can discuss strengths and areas for improvement with their teacher and as a whole class. They can watch these videos again as a reminder of the advice given. They will be given targets for development and a musicianship profile to aim for by the end of KS3.
How will I be taught?
Each unit focuses on a discrete repertoire – for example, a selected genre, style or musical process. The chosen repertoire is then explored in terms of its devices/compositional techniques, resources, conventions, processes, procedures and influences that affect the way the music is created, performed and heard. Within each year, an appropriate breadth of repertoire is introduced. Listening materials explore many aspects of the western European repertoire, from the medieval period to the present day. They also include a range of world and intercultural music, selections from folk, jazz and popular genres, and introduce a similar wide range of performers and performing styles.
Opportunities are available for students to play a key role in their own learning, rather than exclusively relying on the teacher’s expertise and specialist knowledge to spoon feed them. Discussion is one of the main ways in which these opportunities are provided. Discussion gives students a chance to explore their own and others’ knowledge, understanding and experience of an area. This gives the work far greater relevance to each individual and hence provides the class with greater motivation for moving forward with their learning.
Students develop their skills in self-assessment after initially developing their skills in peer-assessment and therefore need to be taught the skills of collaboration in peer-assessment. This will help them to assess their own progress objectively and become increasingly independent learners. The teacher will model practical instrumental work, so that students can watch and listen to how it is done, pre-empting misconceptions and ensuring better understanding. Students make progress as a performer since teachers will describe, explain and demonstrate how to produce work of a high standard.
Composition work is mainly carried out in small groups so ideas can be tried out and considered. All practical work is explored in relation to a particular style or tradition, for example the Blues. Students will, therefore, develop their understanding of the origin and context of the music. Great emphasis is placed on musical understanding; students will learn in music, not about music. They will be encouraged and provided with the opportunity to perform in public.
Students are also given many opportunities to take part in extra-curricular clubs and activities including jazz band, training band, brass band, singing group, rock band, samba, ukulele and wind band. Students can pay to receive individual instrumental or singing lessons at school.