Curriculum Rationale in: Music
Music is vitally important for children to be able to develop imagination and resourcefulness, resilience, problem-solving, team-working and technical skills. These are the skills which will enable young people to navigate the changing workplace of the future. Music is both a practical and academic subject. Musical learning is about thinking and acting musically. This means that music lessons are about learning in and through music, not solely about music. Music lessons are focussed on developing imagination and creativity, and building up pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding. Young people come into secondary school with a lifetime of musical experiences, which are practical and experiential, and which have contributed to their aural memory, practical, discriminatory skills, and personal and collective identity formation.
At AMA, through immersing students in every aspect of music, we aim to improve their communication skills; creativity; collaboration skills; cultural awareness and self-esteem. We aspire to open our learners’ eyes to the vast scope of opportunities and experiences that are available within the subject and teach them to appreciate how music is important in shaping our everyday lives. Our pupils come from a diverse range of cultural; backgrounds and the curriculum at AMA celebrates the differences in experiences these backgrounds bring, whilst also promoting equality and an appreciation of diversity.
Assessment of musical learning is rooted in the reality of musical activity that the young people undertake. Consequently, assessment is of the musical attainment they have evidenced in a range of learning activities in which they have been singing, playing, performing, improvising, composing, and critically engaging with music.
Year 7 & 8
The key skills covered in Years 7 and 8 link to the three main skills required at KS4 and 5: Performing, Composing and Listening/Appraising. Pupils will learn how to perform a range of pieces which increase in difficulty, focusing on accuracy; style; expression and technique. They will also compose pieces of music using musical devices and learn how different instruments and techniques can be used to create certain moods. The listening and appraising skills run right through each scheme of work with regular listening exercises on recognising instruments and how musical elements are used.
Year 7 will cover: Building bricks (elements of music), Keyboard Skills (performance skills), I’ve Got Rhythm (rhythm & pulse), Form & Structure (musical structures), Sonority City (instruments of the orchestra), Variations (developing musical ideas). Year 7 provides an introduction and exploration of the core components of performing, creating, listening and appraising.
Year 8 will cover: Feeling the Blues (improvisation), All About the Bass (Bassline patterns), Soundtracks (music for film & gaming), Saharan Sounds (textures & rhythms), Off-Beat (reggae & syncopation), Making Arrangements (popular song arrangements). Year 8 allows students to apply their knowledge and skills within a context and focused genre of music whilst building on these essential skills.
Year 9 is a foundation for the BTEC course, ensuring pupils are working from equal starting points and building upon the knowledge and skills of KS3 whilst introducing the vocational assignment brief focus for assessment. In Year 9, students explore a range of different musical genres through focused exploration of the stylistic features and characteristics that link each one. They develop an appreciation of the development of music and the techniques used to create products. They spend time realising these different techniques through a variety of performance, creation and production workshops.
The creative industries, including music, are vibrant, exciting and highly competitive; they contributed £100 billion to the UK economy in 2018, the fastest growing sector in the UK. This qualification is the same size and level as a GCSE. It is ideal for a pre-16 student working at level 2 and would like to learn about the different types of music practice – from composition and performance, to song writing – and the various musical styles and techniques that are required to create them. Learners will also develop important practical skills that are vital in the modern music industry, from rehearsing to experimenting with technology, equipment and instruments. The qualification is relevant to the music industry of today. This qualification will allow you to develop your knowledge and skills through practical and creative application in a vocational context.
The course is assessed through 100% Coursework; there is no written exam. Pupils studying music at KS4 achieve excellent results at AMA.
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