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“His GCSE and A level results reflect the hard work, commitment, enthusiasm and dedication of all the teaching staff and of course fully recognise the excellent leadership.”

Music

Introduction

The Music Department plays an important part in working toward the aims of the school. In accordance with the school’s stated aims Music Education strives to:

  1. develop the full potential of all students
  2. develop pride in achievements in an atmosphere which encourages respect for one another
  3. provide appropriate and varied challenges for all.

Above all, the Music Department aims to encourage creativity through a musical education which is broad and varied, encompassing music of many styles, periods and genres.

Facilities

The Music Department is housed in the Charles Read Music Suite which was built in 1993. This purpose-built accommodation consists of a main teaching room for whole class teaching, an ensemble room with Bechstein grand piano and four tutorial rooms for individual and small group work.

In all music lessons at Queen Elizabeth's pupils are encouraged to explore the expressiveness and spirituality of music through listening and appraising, composing and performing. It is the aim of the department to help every pupil to develop his or her musical ability by providing a broad range of activities. Work done in the classroom and in extra-curricular groups is drawn upon for school assemblies. Also, concerts and musical productions are performed to members of the public both at the school and at other venues in the community.

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

All pupils will be introduced to the skills and knowledge of music as outlined in the programmes of study in the National Curriculum for music. Teaching will ensure that areas of listening and applying knowledge and understanding are developed through the following skills:

  • performing skills - controlling sounds through singing and playing
  • composing skills - creating and developing musical ideas
  • appraising skills - responding and reviewing music by listening and applying knowledge and understanding.

During the key stage, pupils will be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding of music through:

  1. a range of musical activities that combine performing, composing and appraising
  2. responding to a range of musical and non-musical starting points
  3. working on their own, in groups of different sizes and as a class
  4. using ICT to create, manipulate and refine sounds
  5. a range of live and recorded music from different times and cultures including music from the British Isles, the 'Western classical' tradition, jazz and popular genres, and by well-known composers and performers.

Key Stage 4

The course studied is the Edexcel GCSE Music. It is designed to offer candidates opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in Performing, Composing, Listening and Appraising.

There is considerable flexibility in the course, allowing candidates to follow their own musical interests and aptitudes, including popular as well as classical styles.

The aims of the course are to:

  • engage actively in the process of music study
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
  • broaden musical experiences and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology

Course content

Performing Music (30%)

All candidates will be assessed on their performance on the instrument of their choice (including voice). They will be expected to develop their skills in playing or singing, showing technical control and good interpretation.

Composing Music (30%)

Candidates will produce two compositions. Each of these will be based upon a brief provided by the teacher.

Appraising (40%)

Candidates study a series of eight set works. Students will use their knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language to make critical judgements about the repertoire and context with the areas of study.

A level

In Years 12 and 13 students are prepared for the Eduqas A level in music. As with GCSE, there is considerable potential for students to develop skills in their own preferred style of music, and there is the opportunity to explore new, exciting areas. The units of work are as follows:

Component 1: Performing (35%)

This unit gives students with opportunities to extend their performance skills as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 10-12 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. This component is externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

Component 2: Composing (25%)

The composition section further develops students’ composition skills, leading to the creation of two pieces of music. One free composition in any style and another composition to a brief set by the exam board.

Component 3: Further musical understanding (40%)

This unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works. Set works from the anthology provide the focus for much of the unit. It is recommended that students familiarise themselves with each work as a whole, before concentrating on important musical features, context and/or elements of continuity and change. Between works students should also listen to a wide range of unfamiliar music which relates to the two compulsory areas of study. They should learn how to compare and contrast pairs of excerpts, contextualise music and identify harmonic and tonal features.

Extra-curricular music

Instrumental lessons

Tuition is offered in singing, piano and orchestral stringed, woodwind and brass instruments to those pupils who show the required potential. Queen Elizabeth's is a major contributor of members of the Lincolnshire Youth Orchestras, Band and Choir.

Parents are required to make a contribution of £85 payable three times a year for lessons (in September, January and April), though in cases of financial hardship parents may apply to pay in smaller instalments or contribute a reduced amount.

Pupils are expected to join school ensembles when they reach the appropriate standard – this is a condition of receiving instrumental tuition in school. They are encouraged to take examinations by their instrumental tutor.

Music groups and clubs

The school has its own orchestra, choir, ukulele group, handbell group and wind quintet. Music theory tuition is also available.

The Music Department has an important public relations role. Concerts are given both in school and at various venues in the local community. It has a particularly good reputation for the quality of its Christmas Carol Concerts and productions of stage musicals.

Staffing

All music classes are taught by the Subject Leader for Music Mr S Wray