Music at KS3

Year 7
Pupils in Y7 study 5 varied units of work:

UNIT 1: Graphic Scores and the Elements of Music
In this unit, students learn all about the elements of music through a variety of group performance tasks involving singing and handheld percussion. They also learn to follow a basic score, using pictures and shapes and create their own composition using graphic symbols. The students will be assessed on their group performance and their final composition.

UNIT 2: Keyboard Studies 1
In this unit, students learn about basic music theory including a variety of rhythmic beats and the notes on a treble clef stave. They learn how to notate music accurately work within a simple time signature. Once students understand the basic rudiments of theory, they learn how to play a variety of pieces on the keyboard using the right hand. The students are assessed through regular performances on the keyboard in addition to a music theory test.

UNIT 3: Structure and the Percussion family
In this unit, students learn how music is often structured including the names of such structures. They sing a selection of songs throughout this unit and rehearse a 3 part piece (Love Me Tender) on glockenspiels and xylophones in small groups for a final assessment.

UNIT 4: Keyboard Studies 2
In this unit, students further develop their knowledge of music theory, now including bass clef notation and learn how major scales are constructed. They will rehearse and perform a selection of pieces on the keyboard using both hands together, which will lead to their final assessment for this unit.

UNIT 5: Blues Music and the Woodwind family
In this unit, students learn about the history of blues music and the context for which it was composed. They learn about the instruments used in blues music and the differences between blues and jazz. As they progress through the unit, students compose their own blues song based on the 12 bar blues chord sequence. Their final assessment will be a performance of this blues song at the end of the unit.  

 

Year 8
Pupils in Y8 study 5 units of work.

UNIT 6: Irish Music and the String family
In this unit, students learn about the history of Irish music and the context for which it was composed and played. They will study the 3 popular Irish dances, typical instruments used and the 6/8 time signature. They will experience playing a variety of these instruments, which will lead to an assessed solo performance at the end of the unit.

UNIT 7: Fanfare and the Brass family
In this unit, students learn about the origins of the fanfare, as they gain an understanding about why they were composed. They will study the brass family, concentrating on the use of the Harmonic Series, which will then enable them to compose a fanfare duet. Students will be taught how to use ICT in order to notate, develop and realise their own composition work. This will form the final assessment for this unit.

UNIT 8: World Music
In this unit, students learn about the similarities and differences of musical styles from China and India. They will study the history of music for each Country and be given the opportunity to play a variety of authentic instruments. Students will then compose a number of variations based upon a Chinese song, developing their composition skills further as well as undertake an ensemble performance of a more modern Bhangra composition.

UNIT 9: BTEC Performing Arts unit
In this unit, we show students the links between music and drama as they study a short African play, which they compose and perform music for.

Students will extend their learning of World Music as they now delve into the African music culture. They will be given the opportunity to play a variety of authentic instruments and record their own work. Assessment for this unit will be in the BTEC style, based on their lullaby composition and African ensemble performance.

UNIT 10: The development of ‘Pop’ music
In this unit, students learn about the history of pop music and about the typical structure of modern pop songs. They are taught how to compose their own catchy lyrics for a chorus and how to add this to a repetitive riff. Finally, students will create a PowerPoint presentation about a popular song style of their own choice.