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Music Department

"Music gives a soul to the universe, ?wings to the mind, ?flight to the imagination, ?and life to everything." ?~ Plato ~

The music department is an active and thriving part of School. We pride ourselves on a curriculum that is aimed at developing knowledge and skills for all pupils and where pupils feel secure to develop at their own rate. We use a wide variety of teaching methods and resources making sure that students are exposed to a broad variety of styles and genres of music through time and place. There is a series of extra-curricular groups available for all ages and abilities. The Department has a commitment to excellence and encouragement of all students to develop their musical potential.

KS3 Overview 

 

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Year 7

The Elements of Music

Exploring Rhythm

Exploring Structure and Notation

Voiceworks

Year 8

‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst

Medieval Music

Exploring Scales

Indian Music

Year 9

Blues and Jazz

Fanfares and Music for Special Occasions

Music for Film

Popular Song

 

KS4 Overview

 

KS5 Overview

 

Extra Curricular Opportunities

The Music Department runs a lively and broad extra-curricular programme. Not only do we utilise our departmental teaching staff to run ensembles, and to rehearse with students at break times and lunchtimes, but we also are fortunate to have the expertise of our very experienced peripatetic staff who assist in the running of our Drumming Group and Guitar Ensemble.    We currently run School Choir, Drumming Ensemble (African and Samba), Guitar Ensemble,  and Band Practice.  Smaller  ensembles are invited to rehearse at break time and lunchtimes and practice rooms are equipped with amps, keyboards and drum kits.

We have several high profile events throughout he school year.  The Christmas Carol Concert in December is an opportunity for our School Choir, Drumming Group and Guitar Ensemble to perform in public, as well as a selection of soloists and other small ensembles.  This event  has  areal community feel, with parents, friends and students participating in Carol singing. And enjoying some festive music. We also work alongside the Drama Department during this term to stage a Musical.  In 2015 we performed ‘Oliver!’ to great acclaim.  Students learnt so much from the collaborative experience in Music and Drama.

We also run a whole school House Music Competition where we encourage participation from as many students as possible.  Pupils represent their House through solo or ensemble performance.  Those who reach the final perform in front of a packed Hall and judges.  This is a great whole school community event supporting the House System and encouraging musical talent.

Our various Rockschool ensembles perform and organise small recitals and concerts as part of their coursework during the Spring terms.   We draw together the best examples of Music from across the school to showcase in the Gloucestershire Schools Celebration of Success event which takes place yearly in June.

Our Department has very close links with the Gloucestershire Music Hub and we continue to support our students  by offering them the opportunity to take part in the various Music Centre Ensembles and the prestigious County Ensembles such as Gloucestershire Youth Choir, Youth Orchestra and Jazz Band.  These groups perform regular concerts at Cheltenham Town Hall or the Pump Rooms, working with a variety of professional musicians which gives our students  some wonderful opportunities. We have very recently had students taking part in the County Choir, and the Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra  culminating in the Music for Youth final at the Royal Albert Hall – it doesn’t get much better for a musician!

Trips

The Music Department continues to seek out relevant experiences for students. 

We are shortly going to visit Colston Hall to watch the BBC 10 Pieces live which is aimed at inspiring young people in the world of classical music.   Our students who take part in the wider County ensembles have been lucky enough to attend and perform in the National Music For Youth finals at the Royal Albert Hall which was a fantastic experience.

Our Level 3 students record their debut albums at a professional studio as part of their course, an experience which offers real insight into the music industry.

Next steps or Where the subject leads

The creative industries are now the fastest-growing sector in the UK economy, with some areas expanding at three times the national rate.  Five out of 6 of our students in 2015 went on to study Music at University – an incredible statistic.  Courses ranged from ‘Popular Music, to ‘Jazz Improvisation’ to ‘Composition for Film and Television’.  The Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma is an excellent industry relevant course and this proves its accessibility for Further Education.

The various units that we study on that course equip students to follow a variety of pathways.  Performance work can lead to work as a recording artist, session musician, music teacher, composer.  Our project work can lead to becoming an event promoter, a festival organiser, a sound engineer, a record producer.  Creating a music video can learn to wprk as a video producer, graphic/web designer, photographer or vlogger. 

With so many transferable skills gained on the Subsidiary Diploma, anything  career path is open to students.  Many gain jobs working in other sectors, or as creative people in non-creative companies. 

 

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