Key Stage 3 Music
At KS3 our students learn the skills to create an excellent foundation for their future musicianship. Our KS3 Music lessons have music making at their heart, as we believe we should ‘teach through music’. Our students are given a good theoretical knowledge but always with a practical objective to each lesson. During their time in KS3, pupils build up a good repertoire of songs and improve their vocal skills, learn basic keyboard skills and progress to playing hands together. Pupils learn to compose songs and themes both individually and in groups, using acoustic instruments and through the use of music technology. A lot of our lessons are group based, with pupils working with their peers to create arrangements of well-known songs. We do this through a wide variety of topics including folk, classical, jazz, world and pop.
We do not set homework at KS3 due to the wealth of extra-curricular clubs we offer instead. As work at KS3 is largely practical, we ask pupils to practice anything they are working on in class. Many students choose to use the music facilities at lunch times and after school and all are welcome.
In Year 7, pupils study the following units, incorporating performance and composition tasks:
- Just Play The Keys! Keyboard Performance
- STOMP! Rhythm Notation and Body Percussion
- Sounds and Songs. Orchestral Instruments and the House Singing Competition
- Reggae Reggae! Reggae music performance and composition
- African Drums
- Producing. Using Music Technology to produce their own version of Billie Jean
Each unit also includes some music theory and listening tests. Pupils learn the basics of pitch and rhythmic notation, learn to play piano, ukelele and drums, and to become proficient using music software. All pupils in Year 7 take part in the House Singing Competition each year.
In Year 8, pupils continue to build on the practical and theoretic foundations laid in Year 7. The following units are offered in Year 8:
- The Blues. Exploring Jazz and Blues Music and Improvisation
- 4 Chords. Exploring pop music performance, composition and 'mash-ups'
- Live Lounge. Exploring cover versions and arrangements
- Patterns and Shapes. Exploring minimalist music, and the underlying patterns in music
- The Greats. Becoming familiar with important works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, amongst others
- Remixing. Using music technology to recreate genres such as House Music and Dubstep
Pupils continue to build knowledge of music theory, focusing on chords and some bass clef notation, and students also continue to gain key skills on piano, guitar and bass, drum kit and ukelele. Pupils in Year 8 also take part in the House Singing Competition each year.