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What will students learn?

Year 7

Term 1 - Finding your voice - using the voice in various ways (from part singing to beatboxing). Working as a group to create a vocal performance. Writing lyrics. Adding simple chords.

Term 2 -Stomp - understanding rhythms and basic elements of music to create rhythmic performance. Students use various percussion or household items.

Term 3 - Modes and scales - Performing gamelan music using tuned percussion. Writing music to fit with a Wayang Kulit performance.

Term 4 - Melody - how to write basic melodies using chords.

Term 5 - Song Structure - A group performance of a popular song utilising the Ukulele. Understanding popular music song structure.

Term 6 - Music of the Caribbean - listening to various styles from of the Caribbean and its relationship to African Slavery. Keyboard performance of yellow bird.

Year 8

Term 1 - African Music - Singing African songs and combining it with a composed African Drumming rhythm.

Term 2 - Groove, Head, and Solo - Group performance and composition of a simple tune and improvisation using a simple structure and the chord of Dm.

Term 3 - Variation form - using different composing techniques used to create music for computer games for own composition.

Term 4 - Minimalism - Image Junction. Using minimalist techniques to compose and perform as a group.

Term 5 - Band Skills - Use Somebody. A band performance of Use Somebody using all band instruments.

Term 6 - Keyboard - Stand By Me: A solo/duo/group performance of Stand By Me with a focus on the bass line and bass clef.

Year 9

Film Music
Aims to give pupils the experience of being “film soundtrack composers” and explores the challenges and musical devices used in film soundtrack composition. Pupils begin by exploring Leitmotifs and how they have been used to represent certain “characters” or “situations” in films, before exploring how Themes have been used in film soundtracks and performing a number of Themes. Pupils compose their own soundtrack and learn how film composers use “Cue sheets” to create music to fit with exact timings.

This unit explores Reggae Music and the culture it comes from. Pupils look at the famous reggae musician, Bob Marley and his influence on Rastafarianism to a worldwide audience through the lyrics of reggae songs. Pupils learn about the importance of bass lines in reggae music and how offbeat chords are a key feature of music of this genre.

This unit develops pupils’ understanding of bass lines and chords as a harmonic foundation upon which a melody can be constructed upon and as a foundation for improvisation. Pupils begin by learning about the history, origin and development of the Blues and its characteristic 12-bar Blues structure. Pupils examine the lyrics of blues songs before composing their own set of lyrics for a performance of their blues song.

Keyboard skills
Students discover how music technology plays an important role in musical performance and composition. They develop keyboard skills and explore computer music using Cubase and Sibelius 8. They will learn to read music notation more accurately and fluently and be able to perform with both hands on the keyboard. They will perform a selection of solo and ensemble songs.

Ground bass
Pupils learn how Ground Bass is used in popular songs. They perform an arrangement of a Popular Song as part of a group with an awareness of structure and textural layers. They evaluate their own and others arrangements of a Popular Song and explore how other artists and groups have created their own arrangement of the same song.

How will students be assessed?

Students will be assessed continuously during each topic. They will be working towards a final performance, however, work done during the lessons and for homework will also contribute to their assessment. During their course they will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Perform
  • Compose
  • Listen


There are a variety of different instruments available for students to play. Teachers will also support and challenge students by choosing appropriate music for them to read. For the most able they will be expected to read notation