Welcome to Kents Hill Park’s Music Department. We offer a broad range of musical experiences for all pupils in Key Stage 3. In music lessons pupils will be able to develop their understanding and awareness of the importance of music within society, as well as gaining contextual awareness of different cultures, genres and styles. Pupils will learn to read music and will develop skills in singing, keyboard, guitar, ukulele, drums and percussion. The emphasis is always placed upon ‘sound before symbol’ (George Odam) and this philosophy underpins the thinking behind our teaching approach. Pupils will learn about the history of music from 1500 to the present day as well as developing awareness and understanding of a variety of popular music styles. Pupils explore this subject through making music and have opportunities to perform, compose, listen and appraise.
Staff and Facilities
Mr Humphries is Head of Music and has a real passion for performance and performance technique. He has completed an MA in Music Performance on the Tuba, and is currently the musical director of a number of different musical ensembles. He has a keen interest in the theory of music and has published a series of books to help instrumentalists develop their understanding of music theory.
Our music room is fully equipped with instruments such as keyboards, guitars, and ukuleles available for pupils.
The music department organise a number of trips and visits throughout the year that allow pupils to broaden their musical experiences. Trips include the opportunity to attend local performances, such as musicals, operas or orchestral performances held at the MK Theatre and the Open University. Trips to the West End allow pupils to experience the thrill of live performance in a busy London theatre where performances of a musical or opera are provided on a more permanent basis.
Clubs & Bands
The music department offers the opportunity for pupils of all age ranges to be involved in singing in the school choir, as well as being part of smaller year group based chamber choirs. The school orchestra is available for all pupils that play an orchestral musical instrument. For those that play guitar, bass or drums there is Band Club.
There are a number of events throughout the year that the music department are involved in. These include a musical or tour, on a rotation basis. In addition to this, pupils will be able to become involved in a number performances in and out of school, and take part in National Music Day.
Year 7 Curriculum
Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7. On entry into year 7, pupils will develop their singing and performance skills through a topic that culminates in a performance for the whole year group. They will then begin to broaden and expand their musical awareness through studying rhythm and drumming, music theory and basic keyboard skills. During year 7, pupils will develop an awareness of different musical instruments by learning about the instruments of the orchestra, with a focus on fanfares and the brass and percussion sections. They will gain an understanding of the origin of the musical and develop basic skills in guitar and ukulele playing. All pupils will have the opportunity to compose and perform their own music throughout the year.
Year 8 Curriculum
Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 8. During this year, pupils enhance and deepen their understanding of music theory and learn about how music is constructed. Pupils gain a good understanding of different cultures and the role of music within society through the study of Indian Music, Reggae, Samba and the blues. They will also have the opportunity to build their skills in music technology through using a sequencer, mixing desk and microphone. Pupils will learn about a variety of dance music forms and develop compositional skills within a given brief.
Year 9 Curriculum
Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 9. During year 9, pupils will deepen their knowledge and understanding of conventional music notation and learn about alternative notation systems. They will learn how to compose music in a number of twentieth century styles and learn about Serialism, music for film and how to write their own song in a popular music style. Pupils will develop greater fluency in keyboard, guitar and drum kit and will form ensembles within their class groups. Pupils will gain an awareness of how popular songs are constructed, and the role of each instrument, through listening, exploration and performance.
GCSE Art & Design
At Key Stage 4, pupils may opt to study Music. We follow the Edexcel syllabus for music and this course breaks down in to three main areas that cover performance, composing and listening.
Pupils will need to be able to perform confidently on an instrument as a soloist and a member of an ensemble. The pieces of music that they choose to perform as part of their final assessment during year 11 should be of a standard between ABRSM grade 3 and 5. The range of instruments that are able to be used for GCSE performances is vast and includes the voice, all orchestral instruments and rock and pop instruments. Although it is not a pre-requisite of the course, it is strongly advised that all pupils taking music at GCSE should receive instrumental lessons with an instrumental tutor. This may be undertaken through the school, or privately. Pupils at GCSE level will be expected to participate regularly in musical performances at school and will have the opportunity to lead ensembles and concerts during years 10 and 11. The solo and ensemble performances are coursework elements and the two performances form 30% of the overall grade for this course.
Pupills will be required to complete two compositions during their GCSE course and will have the chance to create a free composition of their choice using any instruments in any style. They will also need to complete a composition to a brief set by Edexcel during year 11. Each composition will need to be around two minutes in length and will be written on computer using Sibelius or Cubase. Composition is coursework and forms 30% of the overall grade.
At the end of year 11, pupils will complete a listening exam covering 8 set works from four different areas of study. Pupils will need to develop their listening skills throughout the course as the exam will ask questions about the set works as well as other relevant music from the following four areas of study; Instrumental Music from 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusion. Pupils will be asked to write an essay during the exam that compares and contrasts features from a range of familiar and unfamiliar musical examples. Pupils will begin to study the set works and develop wider listening skills throughout the course. They will begin to gain a deeper awareness of the fundamental elements of music and understand how to pick ok salient features with increased confidence. The exam covers an extremely wide range of music from the western classical tradition through to popular styles across a range of cultural contets. The listening exam is worth 40% of the final grade for this course.