Overview

Aims & Objectives

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Music is a natural form of expression in the development of children and should be an integral part of the school curriculum. The music curriculum at Aberdare Community School features elements which enhance the creative, social, cultural and academic qualities of all pupils. The department is responsible for helping all children understand and enjoy music, hence assisting them to discover and nurture musical talents. Every child should have the opportunity to develop their potential for musical expression through exploration, experimentation, exposure and enrichment.

In the Music Department we aim to:

  • promote excellence in performing, composing and appraising.
  • develop a wide range of musical talents and skills which will prepare pupils to take their place in the community in a range of occupations requiring musical ability, oral and written communication skills.
  • develop an understanding of the value and inspiration that music provides in supporting cultural and societal unity and to enhance the ability to develop critical cogitative skills.
  • afford pupils opportunities for cultural and aesthetic experiences through active participation in music enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the arts.
  • promote enjoyment and to develop important skills of performing, composing and appraising, facilitating the awareness of the elements of music.
  • ensure that pupils are able to undertake independent study.
  • impart to pupils a range of skills appropriate to the level of study.
  • motivate and encourage pupils to realise their full potential.
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Key Stage 3

Year 7

Pupils in Year 7 have two music lessons per fortnight. Here is the overview of the Scheme of Work:

Term Units of Work Details
AUTUMN
  • Elements of Music
  • Rhythm
Through performing, composing and appraising pupils will learn about pitch, pace, dynamics, duration, structure, silence, texture and timbre. Pupils will experience performing complex rhythms and have an opportunity to compose a piece of music for Christmas.
SPRING
  • Welsh Music
  • Reggae
We will research the main characteristics of music in Wales by performing and learning how to compose music using ostinato and drone. Pupils will perform in the style of Bob Marley and learn how to compose successful riffs.
SUMMER
  • Gamelan
  • Blues
We will study Indonesian music and pupils will learn how to compose and perform in layers to create an effective texture. There will be a focus on 12 Bar Blues, as well as performing as an ensemble and improvising for the first time!
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Year 8

Pupils in Year 8 have two music lessons per fortnight. Here is the overview of the Scheme of Work:

Term Units of Work Details
AUTUMN
  • Elements of Music
  • Ensemble Performance
Through performing, composing and appraising pupils will develop their knowledge and experience of pitch, pace, dynamics, duration, structure, silence, texture and timbre. Pupils will experience performing as a member of an ensemble and will work on the main features that make a group performance successful.
SPRING
  • Welsh Music
  • Musical Theatre
We will research the main characteristics of vocal music in Wales by performing as an ensemble and composing in a pop style. Pupils will then learn about the origins of musical theatre from “Grease” to “Les Miserables” and “Wicked”. They will perform in this popular style.
SUMMER
  • Africa Song
  • Project
We will study the main characteristics of African music and pupils will learn how to compose and perform in this style. There will be vocal and instrumental opportunities for pupils to work on a “Musical Futures” project to compose and perform their own song.
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Year 9

Pupils in Year 9 have two music lessons per fortnight. Here is the overview of the Scheme of Work:

Term Units of Work Details
AUTUMN
  • Elements of Music
  • Irregular Beats
Through performing, composing and appraising pupils will develop their skills by using the elements of music. Pupils will experience performing and composing in a range of irregular time signatures and will be striving to recognise contrasting rhythms in appraising extracts of music.
SPRING
  • Cwl Cymru Film
  • Music
We will research the main characteristics of popular music in Wales by performing as an ensemble and composing in a rock style. Pupils will then learn about the origins of film music and compose their own music to accompanying a movie scene.
SUMMER
  • Latin America
  • Project
We will study the main characteristics of Latin-American music and pupils will learn how to compose and perform in this style. There will be vocal and instrumental opportunities for pupils to work on a “Musical Futures” project to compose and perform their own song.
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Key Stage 4 (GCSE) - years 10 & 11

Pupils in Year 10 and 11 have five music lessons per fortnight. We will be studying the WJEC GCSE Music specification.

Here is the overview of the GCSE Music course:-

Unit 1
Performing Music
30% At the end of the course pupils will perform one solo and one ensemble piece of music in a practical examination. Pupils can choose to play an instrument and/or sing. One piece must link to an Area of Study.
Unit 2
Composing Music
30% Pupils will compose two contrasting compositions linking to an Area of Study.
Unit 3
Appraising Music
40%

This will be a listening examination based on the four Areas of Study:

  1. Music in Wales
  2. Music for Stage and Screen
  3. Music Evolution
  4. Forms and Devices

NB: This examination also includes a question where you will evaluate your own performance or composition (Unit 1 or 2).

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Key Stage 5 (‘A’ level) - years 12 & 13

Here is the overview of the A Level Music Scheme of Work:

MU1
Performing
15% At the end of Year 12 pupils will perform a programme of music lasting 8-10 minutes. Pupils can choose solo/ensemble performances on a chosen instrument(s) or voice.
MU2
Composing
15% In Year 12, pupils will compose two contrasting compositions (one linking to the Western Classical tradition).
MU3
Appraising
20% At the end of Year 12 you will complete two examinations on a variety of set works in the categories: chamber music and jazz, rock and pop. There will also be listening extracts based on unprepared musical extracts.
MU4
Performing
15% At the end of Year 13 pupils will perform a programme of music lasting 10-12 minutes. Pupils can choose solo/ensemble performances on a chosen instrument(s) or voice.
MU5
Composing
15% In Year 13, pupils will compose two contrasting compositions (one linking to the Western Classic tradition and the other linking to a 20th/21st Century style).
MU6
Appraising
15% At the end of Year 13 you will complete examinations based on unprepared 20th/21st Century musical extracts, broad musical perspective and an analysis of the Shostakovich String Quartet.

In Year 13, you are able to specialise the last 5% in any area but will have an extra task to complete:-

  • MU4 – The performance programme will last between 16 and 18 minutes.
  • MU5 – You will need to compose an additional free composition.
  • MU6 – You will complete an additional examination based on musical styles and composers.
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BTEC Level 3 Music Technology

Here is the overview of the BTEC Music Technology Scheme of Work:

All pupils must study the core units below:

Unit 5
Backline Technical Management
This unit enables learners to develop their knowledge and skills in the setting up and maintenance of backline instruments – guitars and basses with associated equipment, and the methods used to support musicians in performance situations safely.
Unit 11
Music Events Management
The aim of this unit is to develop the skills and knowledge needed to manage music events. Learners will become familiar with administrative tasks, strategies and factors that influence the success of an event then will put the theory into practice by planning and managing a music event.

We will also study the units below. All units are worth equal marks.

Unit 8 Concert Production and Staging – staging a concert effectively and working as a sound engineer. Unit 23Music Performance Techniques – a development of performance with structured rehearsal and evaluation of techniques.
Unit 24 Music Project – delivering a large scale music product. Unit 40 Developing as a Music Ensemble – working effectively in various musical groups.

Peripatetic Lessons

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Pupils have opportunities to study voice or an instrument. The following staff visit our school on a weekly basis.

UPPER STRINGS
Mr. A Walters & Mr S. Edwards
DOUBLE BASS/GUITAR
Mr. A Cleaton
WOODWIND
Mrs. A Lewis
BRASS
Mr. M George & Mr. R Gibbs
PERCUSSION
Mr. M Hibbert
HARP/PIANO
Mrs. M Martin
CELLO/PIANO
Mr. S Roberts
GUITAR
Mr. A Mulligan
VOICE
Mr. D Fortey

Extra Curricular Activities

The following activities are available in school on a weekly basis:-

Activity Year
School Production 7-13
Rock Club 7-13
Year 7 Choir 7
Junior Choir 8-9
Senior Choir 10-13
Junior Orchestra 7-9
Senior Orchestra 10-13
Jazz Band 7-13
Coursework Club 10-13
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