Music

The Music Department is headed by Director of Music, Stephen Hussey, who has taught at the school for more than 25 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, Trinity, Rock School and Trinity Rock and Pop. Students can enrol in our instrumental teaching programme working with one or more of our nineteen tutors to enhance their skills as players and singers. We also run fifteen music ensembles including a Big Band, a Senior Orchestra, Senior and Junior Strings, a Senior and Junior Wind Band, a Senior Choir, Guitar Groups and a Percussion Ensemble.

Over four hundred students attend rehearsals and perform in the seven concerts that we run each year.

Music Facilities

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. 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 grand, likewise the foyer, and students have the opportunity to use a harpsichord. 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 to make progress as performers and composers, and thereby increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. The music curriculum gives students ample opportunity to work with the elements of music in their composing, performing, listening and appraising. The course 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 are also taught how to use music notation and how to engage appropriately with music technology to enhance their compositional skills. Over the last two years, students have been learning about some of the great compositions through the BBC Ten Pieces series.

Year 7

UNIT 1-RHYTHM, PULSE AND METRE

UNIT 2-SOLO PERFORMANCE

UNIT 3-THE ELEMENTS

UNIT 4-THE ORCHESTRA

UNIT 5-INTRODUCTION TO SIBELIUS

UNIT 6-NOTATION AND THE FANFARE

UNIT 7-MELODY MATCH

UNIT 8-FREE COMPOSITION

UNIT 9-MELODY AND DRONE

UNIT 10-EOY PERFORMING AND APPRAISING

 

Year 8

UNIT 1-GROUND BASS STRUCTURES

UNIT 2-THE CONCERTO

UNIT 3-MADNESS

UNIT 4-AN INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE MUSIC

UNIT 5-THE MUSICAL

UNIT 6-RONDO

UNIT 7-EOY PERFORMING AND APPRAISING

 

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. In Year 9, students study four topics, The Blues, Film Music, Popular Music and Minimalism and there are opportunities during the study of music in each of these areas to compose a piece of music, to perform as part of an ensemble and to appraise music. In Year 10, the three main disciplines of the subject are combined in lessons to enable the study of eight set works covering four Areas of Study, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions. These works are: Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto, Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, Purcell’s Music for a While, Queen’s Killer Queen, Defying Gravity from Wicked, the Main Title from Star Wars Episode 4, Release by Afro Celt Sound System and Samba Em Preludio by Esparanza Spalding. The learning students undertake is tested in the following way to award them with a grade from 9-1 at GCSE;

 

Performing as a soloist and as part of an ensemble for a minimum of 4 minutes.

Composing one free composition and one set to a brief by the Examination Board lasting at least 3 minutes in total

A listening and appraising examination based on the eight works and other unfamiliar music.

 

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 over a period of two years. 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 Pearson Specification for A2 are as follows:

A selection of solos lasting at least 8 minutes taken between March and May in the Upper Sixth.

One free or brief –set composition and one technical exercise.

A listening and appraising examination based on the study of the music of 18 composers in six Areas of Study as listed below. Students also need to have a good knowledge of other works in these categories by other composers. Students build up this knowledge through their own study as well as being part of our extra-curricular music programme where related works are performed.

 

Vocal Music

 ● J. S. Bach, Cantata, Ein feste Burg, BWV 80: Movements 1, 2, 8

● Mozart, The Magic Flute: Excerpts from Act I no. 4 (Queen of the

Night), 5 (Quintet)

● Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge: Nos. 1, 3 and 5 (On Wenlock

Edge, Is my team ploughing? and Bredon Hill)

Instrumental Music

● Vivaldi, Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No. 11

● Clara Wieck-Schumann, Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17: movement 1

● Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique: Movement I

Music for Film

● Danny Elfman, Batman Returns: Main theme (Birth of a Penguin Part

II), Birth of a Penguin Part I, Rise and fall from grace, and Batman vs

the Circus

● Rachel Portman, The Duchess: The Duchess and End titles, Mistake of

your life, Six years later, and Never see your children again

● Bernard Herrmann, Psycho: Prelude, The City, Marion, The Murder

(Shower Scene), The Toys, The Cellar, Discovery, Finale

Popular Music and Jazz

● Courtney Pine, Back in the Day: Inner state (of mind), Lady Day and

(John Coltrane), and Love and affection

● Kate Bush, Hounds of Love: Cloudbusting, And dream of sheep, and

Under ice

● Beatles, Revolver: Eleanor Rigby, Here, there and everywhere, I want

to tell you, and Tomorrow never knows

Fusions

● Debussy, Estampes: Nos. 1 and 2 (Pagodes and La soirée dans

Grenade)

● Familia Valera Miranda, Caña Quema: Alla vá candela and Se quema

la chumbambà

● Anoushka Shankar, Breathing Under Water: Burn, Breathing Under

Water and Easy

New Directions

● Cage, Three Dances for two prepared pianos: No. 1

● Kaija Saariaho, Petals for Violoncello and Live Electronics

● Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring: Introduction, The Augurs of Spring, and Ritual of Abduction