The Music Department is headed by Director of Music, Stephen Hussey, who has taught at the School for the last 23 years. The department is situated in the Clarendon Muse, our specialist and award-winning music centre, consisting of several classrooms, 24 sound-proofed practice rooms, a music technology suite and recording studio and a 200 seat auditorium.
The department is made up of three classroom teachers and a team of Peripatetic Instrumental Tutors, who teach a range of instrumental lessons. Students have the chance to take Associated Board Music Examinations.
The Clarendon Muse offers outstanding specialist music facilities in a modern and purpose-built environment. The classrooms are equipped with keyboards and there are 43 computers which run the award winning Sibelius software, Cubase and Dance Ejay. The 24 sound-proofed rooms provide ample opportunity for small groups to rehearse. At other times these rooms are also available to students for private practice. The auditorium is equipped with a Steinway, likewise the foyer and students have the opportunity of using one of two harpsichords.The Recording Studio is fitted out to a high standard to enable students to learn music production and recording.
Key Stage 3
The teaching of Music at KS3 aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop both a love of music, and talent as performers and composers, and thereby increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. The music curriculum gives students ample opportunity to compose, perform, listen, review and evaluate through the understanding of the elements of music. It covers a wide variety of music drawn from many different traditions, including music by the great composers. Each unit of work allows students to perform as soloists or in a classroom ensemble and to develop their instrumental and vocal skills with an emphasis on fluency, control and expression. Students can also enrol in our instrumental teaching programme and further enhance their skills as players, by joining one of the fifteen ensembles that run in School. Students are also taught how to use music notation and how to engage appropriately with music technology to enhance their compositional skills.
UNIT 1-RHYTHM, FORM AND STRUCTURE
UNIT 2-THE BASIC ELEMENTS
UNIT 4-MELODY AND DRONE
UNIT 5-LATIN AMERICAN DANCE MUSIC
UNIT 6-MUSIC FOR FILM
UNIT 7-GROUND BASS STRUCTURES
UNIT 8-RIFFS AND CLICHES IN BAROQUE AND ROCK
UNIT 9-JAPANESE MUSIC
UNIT 10-THE MUSICAL
UNIT 13-CHORDS INTO MELODY AND THE POPULAR SONG
UNIT 14-FOLK MUSIC AND COMPOUND TIME
UNIT 1-HAVE YOU GOT THE BLUES?
UNIT 2-WRITING FILM MUSIC TRACKS
UNIT 3-POPULAR MUSIC-SONG WRITING
UNIT 4-MINIMALISM-USING LIMITED RESOURCES!
UNIT 5-ANYONE FOR SAMBA?
UNIT 6-ASSESSMENT UNIT
Key Stage 4
The teaching of Music at KS4 encourages students to be inspired by a variety of music from different cultures. The course aims to develop skills in performing and composing and generally to foster a love of making music individually and with others. It also aims to enhance broader life skills, including critical thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation. The three main areas of the subject are combined in lessons to enable the study of twelve set works drawn from the Western tradition, popular tradition and a range of World Music. These works are: Handel's And the Glory of the Lord, Mozart's Symphony No 40 (1st movement), Chopin's Raindrop prelude, Schoenberg's Peripetie, Bernstein's Something's Coming from West Side Story, Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint, Miles Davis's, All Blues, Grace by Geoff Buckley, Moby's Why does my heart feel so bad?, Capercaillie's Skye Waulking Song, Yiri by Koko and Rag Desh by Anoushka Shankar, Chiranji Lal Tanwa and Steve Gorn with Benjy Wertheimer.
Key Stage 5
The teaching of Music at KS5 continues to develop performance skills and compositional techniques, along with a growing understanding of harmony, aural awareness and analytical confidence. The lessons aim to provide the appropriate preparation for higher education courses in music whilst simultaneously hoping to foster a life-long appreciation of the subject.
The requirements of the Edexcel Specification for AS are as follows:
One solo performance of a student's choice, lasting 5 to 6 minutes
One composition written to a brief supplied by Edexcel
A listening and essay-writing paper based on up to 12 of the extracts of music studied during the course.
The requirements of the Edexcel Specification for A2 are as follows:
A selection of solos lasting between 12 and 15 minutes
One or two compositions written to a new brief supplied by Edexcel and/or the completion of one or two technical exercises.
A listening and essay-writing paper based on the study of up to a further 12 extracts of music.