"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." - Plato
Music has many benefits for young people. Nearly everyone enjoys music whether by listening to it, creating it or performing it. Studying music helps to develop skills such as creativity, imagination and intellectual curiosity that can be applied in other subjects.
The main focus of the department is to develop key skills that will enable all students to understand and appreciate the music they encounter throughout their school lives and beyond. Students study a range of different musical styles and cultures developing listening, performing and composing skills.
Students in Key Stage 3 focus on practical music making, exploring each topic through a balance mixture of performing, composing and listening and appraising. Every student has one music lesson a week throughout Key Stage 3 and skills are revisited and developed throughout the course.
Topics covered in Year 7 include samba music, pop music production, keyboard skills and the elements of music.
Topics covered in Year 8 include African drumming, RAP and Hip Hop, minimalism and film music.
Topics covered in Year 9 include Jazz, remixing and song writing.
Students are assessed at the end of each topic on their performing, composing and listening skills and all performances are recorded.
Homework is set in every Key Stage 3 Music lesson and is designed to extend and consolidate learning taking place in the classroom. It is expected to be completed for the following lesson. All homework is uploaded to Show My Homework.
Useful links for help with homework:
Music at Key Stage 4 is an increasingly popular option choice at St George’s School. Students have the opportunity to choose to study the Edexcel GCSE Music or Rock School Level 2 Music Technology. Students who study GCSE Music or Music Technology are provided with free instrumental lessons.
Edexcel GCSE Music
The GCSE course focuses on three components, performing (30%), composing (30%) and listening and appraising (40%).
The performing and composing components of the course take place under controlled conditions and students must be attending regular instrumental/voice lesson in order to achieve well.
The listening and appraising component is a 1 hour 45-minute written examination, taken at the end of Year 11. The examination will test the students’ ability to respond to extracts of music, studied during the course.
In addition to instrumental/voice lessons, we also advise students to ensure that they belong to at least one musical ensemble e.g. choir, orchestra or rock school. The skills developed in these activities will benefit students in all areas of the GCSE Music Course.
Rock School Level 2 Certificate in Music Technology for Music Practitioners
The Rock School Music Practitioners qualifications are for Learners who want to develop their skills in the core elements of the Music Industry. These fully accredited qualifications are a real alternative for Learners who prefer a 'hands-on' approach to learning.
The qualifications are developed with Access to Music and industry professionals so that they are relevant to the current dynamics of the Music Industry. Music Practitioners qualifications are uniquely designed to have one core unit and an expansive choice of optional units in order to build a practical qualification that is specifically tailored to the Learners strengths.
Homework is set in every Key Stage 4 Music lesson. It is designed to extend and consolidate learning. It will frequently involve learning facts about the set works and developing key skills in preparation for the externally assessed components of each course.
Useful links and Revision Guides
The textbooks we use are produced by Pearson.
Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Music Student Book
Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Anthology of Music
Edexcel GCSE Music Revision Guide
Students studying music at Key Stage 5 are able to choose either A Level Music or Rock School Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology. Students who study A Level Music or Music Technology are provided with free instrumental lessons.
A Level Music
A level Music at St George’s offers a vigorous and academic syllabus to prepare students for university study. Students must achieve a 6 at GCSE in order to take this subject onto A level where we follow the Eduqas A Level Music Course.
The A Level course offers a range of music experience including solo or ensemble performance, composition and analysis. Students can choose whether to specialise in performance or composition with a 35% / 25% weighting on their chosen practical music specialism. Musical analysis (40%) is assessed in a 2 hour 15 minutes written examination at the end of Year 13 and examines students on their knowledge and understanding of specific areas of study.
There is one compulsory area of study – The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750 – 1900). The remaining areas of study are chosen with the cohort in mind from the choices below:
Rock and Pop Into the Twentieth Century
Musical Theatre Into the Twenty-first Century
Students studying A Level music will receive at least two homework tasks every week, in addition to independent study and instrumental practice. In order to prepare them for the terminal exam paper - the homework tasks will include harmony work, learning music vocabulary, revising key facts about the set works and completing exam-style questions.
Rock School Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas in Music Technology
The RSL3 Subsidiary Diploma continues to develop the technical skills gained at Level 2 and provided a detailed insight into the music industry and potential career paths. It offers greater flexibility and enables the students to develop skills in a practical and vocational context. All students are actively encouraged to develop their understanding of Logic Pro X and professional recording techniques through the use of our suite of MACs and recording studio.