Pupils in Key Stage 3 have one 50 minute lesson of music per week, in which they perform and compose on wide range of instruments include classroom percussion, electronic keyboards and guitars. By listening to a wide range of musical styles, pupils learn about the context and history of music, and use the understanding they have gained to create their own original music.
Beginning with graphic scores and rhythms in Year 7, pupils develop their knowledge with a range of classical styles and music from India, China and Japan in Year 8, and conclude with the development of pop music through blues and jazz in Year 9. Pupils are encouraged to make use of their own instruments in lessons, and many participate in extra-curricular activities, ranging from choir to samba, jazz to African drumming.
In Key Stage 4, pupils have access to GCSE Music (Edexcel), which builds on the skills learnt in Key Stage 3 through the three key skills of Listening, Performing and Composing. GCSE is taught through fours areas of study, which cover the techniques used in classical music, new directions in classical music in the twentieth century, popular song in context and non-Western musical traditions - pupils listen to, perform and compose music relating to all of these topics.
Most pupils learn to play an instrument and many have lessons at school with specialist tutors from Hampshire Music Service. Throughout the course, pupils have contact with professional musicians, by means of visits and workshops in school. There are regular trips to the West End to see musicals and shows.
Other pupils in Key Stage 4 opt for the NCFE Music Technology course, in which they create their own music using computers and recording techniques. Our recording studio allows pupils to gain experience in working with microphones and a mixing desk. A wide variety of visitors from audio and music technology fields are invited to work alongside the pupils and the course has a strong vocational element.
Currently pupils also have the opportunity to study NCFE Performing Skills. In this area of study the pupils can develop their skills in their chosen instruments and also learn how to become a better performer. Next year the music department will be offering a new DJ Skills course to Key Stage four pupils.