Introduction to the Subject and Team
Mr Andrew Delaney
Curriculum Team Leader of Music
The Music department is staffed by a highly committed team of teachers with extensive musical experience from a wide spectrum of musical genres.
The focus of music lessons is placed firmly on learning through active and engaging practical experiences. The department ethos is ‘Music for All’ in both the classroom and beyond.
Ossett Academy students are actively encouraged to involve themselves in the wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities provided by the music team. Instrumental ensembles include Ossett Academy Orchestra for students already developing instrumental skills. Additionally, the department offers a variety of clubs designed specifically to include students at the start of their musical journey and with perhaps a more limited experience of playing musical instruments. These include both the popular Ukulele Group and Team Guitar. All ensembles receive regular opportunities to perform in a variety of concerts throughout the year, both within the Academy and the wider Ossett community.
An active experience of music making will support individual students in developing a wide set of personal and interpersonal skills in areas such as analysis, research and presentation. It can promote the ability to successfully self-manage and to play a comprehensive role in team work activities. Additionally, music can support the enhancement of an individual’s self-confidence as well as developing successful planning and organisational skills.
Course Content at Key Stage 3
Students receive one hour of Music each week in Year 7 and Year 8. These sessions are taught in mixed ability learning groups.
In Year 7 we look to develop an understanding of The Elements of Music through practical activities in performing, composing and listening. Our aim is to extend musical language and notation skills and further develop the musical skills of the individual student.
The Year 7 course has a strong emphasis on practical experience. Students will have the opportunity to use a varied assortment of classroom instruments, including keyboards, ukuleles and tuned and untuned percussion. A differentiated learning programme will enable the development of individual skills in performance and composition and encourage creativity and self-expression.
In Year 8 we take a close look at the developments of Jazz and Pop styles. The programme of study continues to develop a wide variety of musical skills, with an emphasis on practical experience. Activities include modules such as ‘Rock n’ Roll’ and ‘The Beatles’ and composing activities such as ‘Work songs’ and ‘The Blues’. Students will also have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of classroom instruments.
Differentiated learning programmes are used to ensure that students are able to further develop their individual practical skills.
The Music department consists of two classrooms equipped with a full suite of computers to promote the use of specific music software in every Key Stage. These facilities are used to extend the individual student’s knowledge of music and enhance practical and composition skills.
Course Content at Key Stage 4
GCSE Music (AQA Specifications)
The GCSE Music course consists of three components:
Component 1: Understanding Music: 40%: Written exam (1 hour 30 minutes)
- Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.
- Section A – unfamiliar music (68 marks)
- Section B – Study pieces (28 marks)
Component 2: Performing Music: 30%:
As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:
- Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks)
- Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks)
A minimum of four minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.
Component 3: Composing Music: 30%:
- Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)
- Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks)
A minimum of three minutes of music in total is required.
Students are introduced to the vocabulary connected with the Component 1 Listening Paper through a variety of practical and listening activities which link with the four areas of study:
- Western classical tradition 1650–1910
- Popular music
- Traditional music
- Western classical tradition since 1910.
All students are required to demonstrate the ability to sing or play individually and in an ensemble of two or more players on their chosen instrument(s). Regular private practice is essential to ensure the development of performance skills to the highest possible level for each individual student. Liaison with peripatetic or private instrumental teachers is important in order to choose the most appropriate repertoire. It is advantageous if the student has regular lessons on their chosen instrument(s). Performance standards are monitored at regular intervals throughout the course.
Two original compositions (see above for further information) are to be submitted by all candidates over the course. Pieces need to be recorded and scored before submission. Students are encouraged to use the Logic Pro X software available in the Music Department to develop, realise and notate their compositions which can be created in any musical genre.
Career Opportunities and Progression within the Subject
Studying music can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. In addition to being a practising performer or teacher, opportunities can be found in a variety of related careers. These include:
- Sound Technician and recording.
- Sound Engineering
- Radio & TV presenting and production
- Camera Person or Video Editor
- Stage management
- Music Therapist
- Marketing and advertising as well as many others.
How Parents Can Support Learning
- Encourage your child to play an active role in practical music making activities. Ossett Academy Music department organises a variety of extra-curricular opportunities for all levels of musical experience throughout the week.
- Encourage your child to listen to a wide and varied selection of musical styles to inform and suggest ideas for inclusion in future practical tasks.
- Encourage your child to undertake revision of subject specific music vocabulary and music notations such as treble clef, guitar and ukulele chord patterns etc.
- For those students in receipt of instrumental tuition, encourage regular and detailed practice of their chosen instrument.
For further details on how your child may access instrumental tuition at Ossett Academy, please contact Mr Delaney in the Music Department.
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