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St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School

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Music

Music is so much a part of the background of everyday life that it tends to be taken for granted. Yet, for many people it is a powerful focus for creative energy, and one that both stimulates and guides the imagination. Our heavily practical based Music curriculum aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all students so they can develop musicianship skills in relation to their own musical interests.

Year 7 

Term 1 

Key study piece – ‘Stranded’ 

Students are introduced to the basic techniques needed to play tuned percussion instruments.             They begin to: 

· Locate the notes for themselves                                                                                                                     · Hold the beaters correctly                                                                                                                               · Adopt the best posture for playing                                                                                                                  · Develop accuracy                                                                                                                                            · Play with an accompaniment                                                                                                                           · Develop listening skills 

All students are given the opportunity to perform in every lesson. 

Term 2 

Key study piece – ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley 

Students are introduced to the basic techniques needed to play the Guitar.                                             They begin to: 

· Locate the chords of A, E and D for themselves                                                                                              · Adopt the best posture for playing                                                                                                                   · Build stamina                                                                                                                                                    · Play with an accompaniment                                                                                                                           · Develop listening skills 

All students are given the opportunity to perform in every lesson. 

Term 3 

Key study piece – ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles 

Students develop the basic techniques needed to play tuned percussion instruments.                             They develop the skills of: 

· Locating the notes for themselves                                                                                                                   · Playing accurately                                                                                                                                           · Rehearsing and performing as a duet                                                                                                             · Timing                                                                                                                                                              · Dynamics and balance                                                                                                                                     · Develop listening skills

Term 4

Key study piece – ‘Summer of ‘69’ by Bryan Adams

Students will develop their guitar technique further by developing rhythm and timing.                            They develop the skills of:

· Identifying chord symbols and the ability to apply them                                                                                 · Playing chords accurately with the correct finger placement                                                                          · Using strumming patterns with accurate timing                                                                                              · Playing with an accompaniment

Term 5

Key study piece – ‘Waterloo’ by Abba

Students will develop their knowledge of tuned percussion techniques further using the xylophones and marimbas.                                                                                                                                                    They develop the skills of:

· Playing as a member of an ensemble                                                                                                             · Musical communication with others                                                                                                                 · Using dynamics in their performance                                                                                                              · Accurate note placement to get the best sound

Term 6

Key study piece – ‘7 Years’ by Lukas Graham

Students will continue to develop their skills on guitar by attempting more difficult chords and strumming patterns. They will also begin to develop their solo skills.                                                                           They develop the skills of:

· Reading and understanding chords using a lead sheet                                                                                   · Playing as a member of a band                                                                                                                       · Writing music using conventional chord patterns                                                                                            · Reading guitar tablature 

Assessment 

Students will work on learning six pieces of music in each year. They are assessed on their progress through these pieces in each lesson. They will rotate between learning the Guitar and Tuned Percussion so that they focus on each of these instruments for three terms in each year. They will be marked according to levels 1- 9. These are then used to track their progress on each instrument. The students will also be involved in assessment through peer marking and personal assessment. This will prepare them for the GCSE or BTEC Music courses where they are able to specialise in a specific instrument.

Year 8 

Term 1

Key study piece - ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ – by Journey 

Students will develop their playing on the xylophones and marimbas with pieces of a higher difficulty.    They develop the skills of: 

· Understanding and using conventional notation                                                                                            · Playing as a member of a musical ensemble                                                                                                  · Writing notation                                                                                                                                                · Composing 

Term 2 

Key study piece - ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ – by Justin Timberlake 

Students will use lead sheets and guitar tablature to learn a song.                                                             They develop the skills of: 

· Reading tablature to play solo guitar parts                                                                                                     · Bass lines                                                                                                                                                        · Playing as a member of a band                                                                                                                       · Combining melody lines and chords 

Term 3 

Key study piece - ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran 

Students use their knowledge of playing tuned percussion to learn a piece increasing in difficulty.          They develop the skills of: 

· Co-ordination using both hands to play chords                                                                                              · Musical communication, combining musical parts                                                                                          · Playing in small groups to develop timing                                                                                                        · Playing as a class to develop ensemble skills 

Term 4 

Key study piece – ‘Up’ by Olly Murs 

Students develop their knowledge of playing the guitar using more advanced techniques such as barre chords.                                                                                                                                                         They develop the skills of: 

· Finding barre chords on the guitar                                                                                                                   · Building strength in their fingers                                                                                                                      · Co-ordination using more complex strumming patterns 

Term 5 

Key study piece - ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson 

Students learn a multi-layered piece for tuned percussion with various sections of increasing difficulty They develop the skills of: 

· Rhythm and timing                                                                                                                                           · Combining sections to create an ensemble performance                                                                              · Harmony 

Term 6

Key study piece - “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran

Students use the skills they have developed so far to perform a piece that requires a number of guitar techniques.

They develop the skills of:

· Palm muting                                                                                                                                                       · Chords in different inversions                                                                                                                           · Complex strumming patterns                                                                                                                           · Rhythm and timing 

Assessment 

Students will work on learning six pieces of music in each year. They are assessed on their progress through these pieces in each lesson. They will rotate between learning the Guitar and Tuned Percussion so that they focus on each of these instruments for three terms in each year. They will be marked according to levels 1- 9. These are then used to track their progress on each instrument. The students will also be involved in assessment through peer marking and personal assessment. This will prepare them for the GCSE or BTEC Music courses where they are able to specialise in a specific instrument.

What will I gain from studying Music? 

By studying Music in years 7 and 8 you will be prepared for further musical study and success at KS4. In addition, the skills students develop in music lessons such as presenting themselves to an audience, focussing on detail, and improvising can be invaluable across a range of subjects. We aim to provide students with a life long love of music and to equip them with the skills and knowledge to learn independently. 

Extra curricular opportunities 

We aim to encourage as many students as possible to continue their learning outside of lessons. The following activities are available: 

Choir – Wednesday 3:30 – 4:30 

Tuned percussion – Monday 8:30 – 9:00 

Guitar – This is arranged on an individual basis 

Vocal – This is arranged on an individual basis 

Drum Kit - This is arranged on an individual basis 

Instrumental lessons are also available from our visiting teacher.