Music

Our approach to the Music curriculum

Creativity, problem solving, self-discipline and teamwork are some of the key skills the Music Department aims to develop in our enterprising boys. The Music Department will give students opportunities to perform, create and engage with music whatever their ability or previous musical experience.

We are passionate about making use of London’s wealth of cultural resources to give students a rich and diverse musical experience and to develop these boys into confident, creative men with a lifelong love of music.
 

Our approach to lessons

The Music department design outstanding lessons that are geared towards boys and ensure that every boy is able to make progress. We cover a broad range of topics which develop the boys as performers, composers and musicologists.

Our use of music technology is a key feature in our approach to developing boys as musicians in the digital age and we aim to equip our students with skills that can be applied in a variety of situations. Our lessons are primarily practical with composition and performance forming the basis of the majority of our lessons; alongside this we teach music theory and listening skills.

Department staff

Year 7 curriculum

Unit 1: Introduction to Music at FBS

  • Singing
  • Keyboard skills
  • Learning to play Wake Me Up by Avicii

Unit 2: Introduction to Composition 

  • Use of compositional softwares and DAWs
  • Structure
  • Basslines
  • Chords

Unit 3: Songs That Make a Difference & the Ukulele

  • Answering the question - can songs make a difference in the world?
  • Ukulele chords
  • Strumming patterns
  • Timing & rhythm
  • Composing lyrics

Unit 4: Baroque Music

  • Texture
  • Timbre, including instruments of the orchestra
  • Introduction to music history

Unit 5: African Music

  • Drumming
  • Singing
  • Rhythmic notation

Unit 6: Music Theory & Keyboard Skills

  • Pitch notation
  • Musical vocabulary 
  • Keyboard skills

How the boys will be assessed in Year 7:

  • Practical performances

  • Composition assessment
  • Three Listening & Appraising assessments (written)
  • Self and peer evaluation

Year 8 curriculum

  • Unit 1:  Blues Music
  • Keyboard skills
  • Singing
  • Improvisation
  • History and context

Unit 2: Film Music

  • Compositional techniques
  • Listening & appraising
  • Tonality, texture & timbre

Unit 3: Baroque Music

  • Texture
  • Timbre, including instruments of the orchestra
  • Introduction to music history

Unit 4: African Music

  • Drumming
  • Singing
  • Rhythmic notation

Unit 5: Music Theory & Keyboard Skills

  • Pitch notation
  • Musical vocabulary 
  • Keyboard skills

How the boys will be assessed in Year 8: 

  • Practical performances
  • Composition assessment
  • Two Listening & Appraising assessments (written)
  • Self and peer evaluation

Year 9 curriculum

Unit 1:  Blues Music

  • Keyboard skills
  • Singing
  • Improvisation
  • History and context

Unit 2: Film Music

  • Compositional techniques
  • Listening & appraising
  • Tonality, texture & timbre

Unit 3: Rap

  • Composing lyrics, rhyming couplets
  • Timing & Rhythm
  • Music production
  • How the boys will be assessed in Year 9: 

Practical performances

  • Composition assessments
  • One Listening & Appraising assessment (written)
  • Self and peer evaluation

GCSE

Exam Board: Edexcel
Written Components: 40%
Practical Components: 60%

Year 10 curriculum

Listening & Apprising

  • Meet the set works
  • Killer Queen analysis
  • Music for a While analysis
  • Beethoven, Piano Sonata Pathetique analysis
  • Mock Listening & Appraising exam paper

Composition 

  • Compositional techniques
  • Melody writing
  • Harmony writing

Performance

  • Solo performance mocks
  • Ensemble performance mocks

How the boys will be assessed in Year 10:

  • Solo performance mock
  • Ensemble performance mock
  • Listening & Appraising mock
  • Composition preliminary work

Year 11 curriculum

Listening & Apprising

  • Star Wars Theme analysis
  • Brandenburg Concerto analysis
  • Defying Gravity analysis
  • Release, Afro Celt Sound System analysis
  • Samba em Preludio analysis
  • Revision of previous set works
  • Mock Listening & Appraising exam papers

Composition 

  • Free composition
  • Set brief composition

Performance

  • Solo performance 
  • Ensemble performance 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 11:

  • Solo performance (15%)
  • Ensemble performance (15%)
  • Listening & Appraising mock (internal)
  • Free composition (15%)
  • Set brief composition (15%)
  • Listening & Appraising summer exam (40%) - externally assessed

A Level 

AQA Music A Level incorporates the skills of Performance, Composition and Appraising. This includes study of a number of set works from genres including Western Classical Art music, Pop music and Music for Theatre. 

 

Developing and applying the musical knowledge, understanding and skills set out in this

specification can ensure our students form a meaningful relationship with music.

They will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts. The specification allows students to develop particular strengths and interests, encourage lifelong learning and provide access to higher education and university degree courses in music and music-related subjects and careers.

 

Year 12 curriculum

Term 1

  • Set works Western Classical: Vivaldi, Bach, Purcell
  • Set works Pop Music: Stevie Wonder
  • Set works Music for Theatre: Sondheim
  • Solo Performance preparation and initial mock
  • Introduction to A Level Composition

Term 2

  • Set works Western Classical: Mozart
  • Set works Pop Music: Joni Mitchell
  • Set works Music for Theatre: Sondheim, Schonberg
  • Appraising Exam preparation and initial mock
  • Ongoing Performance and Composition coursework and skill development

Term 3

  • Set works Western Classical: Grieg, Brahms, Chopin
  • Set works Pop Music: Beyonce, Daft Punk, Labrinth
  • Set works Music for Theatre: Kurt Weill
  • Appraising Exam preparation and full mock
  • Ongoing Performance and Composition coursework and skill development

Year 13 curriculum

Term 1

  • Set works Western Classical: Revision of previous material
  • Set works Pop Music: Revision of previous material
  • Set works Music for Theatre: Revision of previous material
  • Appraising exams - alternating short and extended answer questions each week
  • Performance mock 
  • Set Brief Composition completed

Term 2

  • Set works Western Classical: Revision of previous material
  • Set works Pop Music: Revision of previous material
  • Set works Music for Theatre: Revision of previous material
  • Full Appraising exam mock
  • Full Performance Coursework 
  • Free Composition completed

Term 3

  • Revision and exam technique focus

 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 13

Component 1: Appraising music

What's assessed:

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding
  • How it's assessed

Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.

Questions

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks)

This component is 40% of A-level marks (120 marks)

 

Component 2: Performance

What's assessed:

  • Musical performance

How it's assessed:

  • Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).

Requirement

  • A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required.

This component is 35% of A-level marks (50 marks)

 

Component 3: Composition

What's assessed:

  • Composition

How it's assessed:

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

Requirement

  • A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

This component is worth 25% of A-level marks (50 marks).

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