Subject Overview: The Music Department at The Douay Martyrs School is continually growing and is also persistently improving with regards to examination results. The Department consists of a small team who are committed to working together. The Department is very supportive of change and has continually sought to challenge and motivate learners through the courses it offers as well as the extra-curricular provision on offer.
Each year the Department puts on a large scale production and this year saw students from Years 7 to 13 perform in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The Department creates regular opportunities for students to perform including Carol Concert, Spring Concert, Y10 Music Evening, Y11 Music Evening, Mass and Liturgies. This enables a range of students to demonstrate their talent, as well as a variety of other performing arts clubs, including a Lower School Choir, African Drumming club and Orchestra. Students also have a daily opportunity to perform in front of an audience in morning assembly.
The Music Department has a suite of two classrooms and three practice rooms. One of the teaching rooms is equipped with computers, whilst both Music rooms contain keyboards and interactive whiteboards. All students in Year 7 and Year 8 study one hour of Music per week. In Year 9 students study 2 hours a week. In KS4, students who choose to continue with a course in Music take a GCSE (Edexcel). At KS5 students study A Level Music (Edexcel).
What we cover in each year group: In years 7, 8 & 9 students are provided with a Music Booklet. The booklet consists of five units that cover performance, composition and listening. Students will learn to:
- perform using different styles of music, working by ear and notation.
- compose extended compositions with direction and shape using a given structure.
- evaluate and make critical judgements about the way others use musical conventions.
- compose using Sibelius (compositional software)
- recognise and compare difference between musical styles, commenting on the relationship between the music and its cultural context and justifying the judgements.
Year 7: The five units students will study are: Rhythm and Metre, Ode to Joy, Chinese New Year, Vocal Skills & Jazz Improvisation
Year 8: The five units students will study are: Notation Skills, Pachelbel’s Canon, Reggae, Song Writing & Minimalism
Year 9: The five units students will study are: Composing with Computers, African Rhythms, Film Music, Song Writing & Classical Music
Years 10 & 11 GCSE Music (Edexcel): The GCSE course comprises of three main elements: performance, composition and the study of twelve set works. Students will be expected to work on their performance skills both within and outside lesson time. Students will express their musical idea in a composition, using computer software, Sibelius. Students will study set works ranging from compositions from the baroque, romantic to modern day.
Students are assesed in a variety of methods: Performing– 30% of final grade (internally assessed), Composing Music – 30% of final grade (internally assessed) & Listening and Appraising – 40% of final grade (externally assessed).
Year 12 & 13 A Level Music (Edexcel): Anyone who has a keen interest in creating and listening to different styles of music and who wishes to broaden their experience and deepen their understanding of both live and recorded music. According to which Areas of Study and options you choose, you could follow a route which focuses mainly on classical music or popular music. A Level Music is a subject drawing on many transferrable skills. It allows creativity in terms of composition and performance and the academic ability of studying music history and being able to appraise music.
Music is a highly regarded academic subject whether you take it with a view to career in music or as an additional A Level subject. Most people study music because they have a passion and love of the subject! The course demands performing, composing, listening and analytical skills in almost equal measure. You will improve your skills in performing and composing in a range of styles. You will also listen to a wide variety of music and develop a more informed appreciation of how and why it was written and/or performed. We also encourage students to get involved in extra-curricular activities in order to enrich their subject knowledge.
Qualifications and Pathways: Music is a subject that draws on many transferrable skills. It is a subject that allows creativity in terms of composition and performance and the academic ability of studying music history and being able to appraise music. Music is a highly regarded academic subject whether you take it with a view to career in music or as an additional A Level subject. Most people study music because they have a passion and love of the subject!
Enrichment Programmes: Students are strongly encouraged to having instrumental lessons for their chosen instrument or voice. This will help to strengthen and develop skills and techniques needed for the performance element of the course. We also encourage students to take part in musical performances and become members of our choir and orchestra. In both Y10 and Y11 GCSE Music students perform at a Music Evening to showcase their talents. Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don't. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child's reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain.
Head of Department: Mrs C Dennis