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Music

 

Without music, life would be a mistake.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

Contact

Head of Music: Mr M Wilson - wilsonm@harpergreen.net 

 Subject overview

Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way we feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps students understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world. The teaching of music develops students’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality.

At Harper Green we encourage active involvement in different forms of music making, both individual and communal, thereby developing a sense of group identity and togetherness. Music also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic awareness, sensitivity and fulfilment. We firmly believe that music plays a vital role in a child’s development and seek to offer a range of opportunities for children to participate in playing instruments as well as experiencing music in other forms.

Our students experience wide-ranging musical genres throughout Key Stage 3 and 4. They have the opportunity to develop skills in ukulele, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, singing and music production. Lessons often employ spacing and pupils learn to build expertise by revisiting core skills and knowledge in different contexts. Enrichment opportunities support timetabled weekly lessons and give students the chance to develop a more in-depth understanding of music and to transfer and expand their understanding in new areas. The department provides opportunities for pupils to perform for others; developing self-esteem, confidence and helping them to experience the joy of making a positive contribution to the community.  

We have a team of outstanding peripatetic teachers who offer specialist training on all instruments and we have excellent facilities. The music department at Harper Green is always loud! Music is the dominant language. Students rehearse in every available space at breaks, lunchtime and after school – forming bands, vocal groups and instrumental ensembles. It is a vibrant place where everyone is treated as a musician. We are proud of the inclusive nature of the department and provide additional musical tuition for every student who wants to learn to play an instrument.

  

 Key Stage 3 overview

  We follow the National Curriculum for Music at Key Stage 3. 

Pupils will build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They will develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness, and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. They will be enabled to listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians. They will learn to use technologies appropriately and appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.

 

Year 7 

 

Half Term 1 Half Term 2 Half Term 3
What is Music? How do I learn to read music? What is the role of chords?

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Students will:

  • sing and learn 3 chord songs on ukulele/keyboard,

  • compose a rhythmic piece,

  • improvise using 3/4 notes,

  • perform a simple melody on ukulele, keyboard, guitar.

     

 

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Students will:

  • work on chair drumming,

  • work on notation,

  •  work on 3 note/5 note/octave piece performance,

  • learn to read crotchets, quavers and semiquaver rhythms and perform (drumsticks on chairs),

  • include dynamics f, p, crescendo, diminuendo, accents,

  • move on to transferring to full staff notation,

  • learn to read 3/5/octave tunes on keyboard, guitar, ukulele, bass or own instrument and perform individually or in pairs.

Skills and Knowledge:

 

 Students will:

  • develop understanding of triads in root position,
  • learn to play chord sequences,
  • develop different accompaniment patterns.
Half Term 4 Half Term 5 Half Term 6
How do we write a good tune? Can it be music if it hasn’t got a tune? How can 256 songs be the same?

Skills and Knowledge: 

 

Students will:

  • complete pentatonic composition,

  • develop understanding of pentatonic scale,

  • explore how it is used in different settings,

  • compose a successful melody using technology to support.

Skills and Knowledge: 

 

Students will:

  • learn how to play samba grooves with instrumental breaks,

  • improvise rhythmically,

  • complete a class performance.

Skills and Knowledge:  

 

Students will:

  • revisit chords,

  • introduce inversions where appropriate,

  • prepare a 4 chord song with increasing levels of complexity in accompaniment.

Year 8

 

Half Term 1 Half Term 2 Half Term 3
What is Music?

What can we learn about history through music?

Where did dance music come from?

Skills and Knowledge:

 

 

Students will:

  • sing and learn 3 chord songs on ukulele/keyboard,

  • compose a rhythmic piece,

  • improvise using 3/4 notes,

  • perform a simple melody on ukulele, keyboard, guitar.

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Students will:

  • further develop ability to perform chords fluently and accurately in different styles,
  • develop an understanding of the context in which early ‘pop’ music was created, performed and heard.

Skills and Knowledge:

 

 Students will:

  • develop understanding of the context in which modern dance music was born,
  • learn to use the technical aspects of GarageBand software to create a successful piece of dance music.
Half Term 4 Half Term 5 Half Term 6
What makes a good improvisation? How can music change how we feel?

What makes a great performance?

Band musicianship

Skills and Knowledge: 

 

Students will:

  • develop their improvising skills, using different stimuli – The Blues, Rag, Latin music.

Skills and Knowledge: 

 

Students will develop understanding of:

  • major scales,
  • minor scales,
  • different intervals
  • how these can be combined with other compositional techniques to portray a mood.  

Skills and Knowledge:  

 

Students will:

  • revisit chords,

  • play increasingly more complex accompaniment patterns.

Year 9

 

Half Term 1 Half Term 2 and 3
What is Music?

Band musicianship - Britpop

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Students will:

  • sing and learn 3 chord songs on ukulele/keyboard,

  • compose a rhythmic piece,

  • improvise using 3/4 notes,

  • perform a simple melody on ukulele, keyboard, guitar.

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Students will:

  • develop an understanding of the context in which Britpop was created, performed and heard.,

  • develop their ability to perform a wider range of chords in different keys.

Half Term 4 and 5 Half Term 6
How can we use technology musically to create film music?

What makes a great performance? Band musicianship

Skills and Knowledge: 

 

Students will:

  • develop knowledge and skills in using the technical facilities of GarageBand to create effective film music.

Skills and Knowledge:  

 

Students will:

  • revisit performing work from earlier in the year,

  • create and showcase an ensemble performance or a performance with at least one other of a more complex piece.

 Key Stage 4 overview

 

For students who wish to deepen their study of music, we offer a BTEC Level 2 First Certificate in Music at Key Stage 4. While this BTEC is an excellent stepping stone for further musical study or employment avenues, it is also an excellent choice for students who simply want to spend more time developing their craft.

This qualification has a core of underpinning knowledge, skills and understanding, and a range of options to reflect the breadth of pathways within the sector. This gives our young people the opportunity to:

  • gain a broad understanding and knowledge of a the music industry,
  • investigate areas of specific interest,
  • develop essential skills and attributes prized by employers, further education colleges and higher education institutions.

 

Please look at the Edexcel specification for more information about the Music BTEC course content

Year 10

Half Terms 1 and 2 Half Terms 3 and 4
Understanding composition

Understanding composition – assessment period

This unit is about the creation of music in the here and now. Learners will be introduced to a range of compositional concepts and techniques both past and present and will use these in the context of a client-driven music industry.

 

Skills and Knowledge:

 

Learners will need to explore musical ideas and should take inspiration from at least two different starting points, for example:

  • melodic ideas and fragments
  • rhythmic patterns
  • chords and chord progressions
  • harmonic systems
  • textures
  • riffs and hooks
  • sound palettes
  • improvisation and experimentation
  • non-musical starting points such as themes, texts and images.

During this section of the course, students will work on the assignment brief. In this phase, students are allowed very little feedback. This is where you show us what you can do!

 

Skills and Knowledge:

 Learners will:

  • create four musical ideas that show the potential for development into larger pieces using at least two of the starting points listed in the content,
  • develop two of their musical ideas into more substantial drafts,
  • show that they can extend their ideas, handling melodic, harmonic and structural techniques effectively, to achieve intended outcomes,
      have a completed composition that demonstrates a sense of style appropriate to the brief,
  • present work that demonstrates both clarity and accuracy,
  • show that the four musical ideas fulfil the brief, showing imagination and attention to detail,
  • select and use the most appropriate techniques to clearly and convincingly respond to the requirements of the brief
  • show an imaginative approach to extending their work,
  • complete a composition that shows imaginative and stylistic handling of musical form. 
Half Terms 5 and 6

Managing a music product

This unit will enable students to manage the planning, delivery and promotion of a live concert, recording, or other music product. The success of the music product will rely heavily on the planning and development process. It is important that different types of audience are understood and successful promotion is able to effectively engage these audiences. Students' research will introduce them to elements of industry practice.

 

Students will work in a defined role to apply the specialist skills, knowledge and understanding required for the aspect of the work for which they are responsible.

 

Students' planning will lead to the final delivery of the product and its presentation to others. They will be required to work with others as well as achieving their own personal goals, ensuring the product reflects their work and the qualities they show.

 

The music industry requires teamwork at all levels of operation and they must support others to achieve to their full potential.

 

Students' work will also include the promotion of the music product, reflecting the fact that the industry does not depend purely on what happens on stage, but also on what happens in the market place, in retail and in audience generation and engagement.

 

Skills and Knowledge:

 Learners will:

  • plan, develop and deliver a music product
  • promote a music product
  • review the management of a music product.

Year 11

 

 

Half Terms 1 and 2 Half Terms 3 and 4 Half Term 5
Managing a music product

Understanding Performance

Consolidation work - no new content taught during this time.

 

This unit is continued from Year 10 (see HT5 and 6).

During this section of the course, students will develop music performance skills and review their own practice.

 

Skills and Knowledge:

 Learners will:

  • take part in regular rehearsal activities designed to develop their technical music performance techniques in relation to their singing voice or chosen musical instrument,
  • be introduced to the notion of interpretive skills and stylistic qualities relevant to the music material, so that they can use them to improve their technique,
  • demonstrate their skills in the rehearsal and performance of at least two contrasting pieces,
  • demonstrate professional and personal management skills,
  • develop and demonstrate relevant musical qualities during the rehearsal and performance process.