Music

"The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes." — Sir Thomas Beecham

We are very proud of our musicians. Almost a third of the school population learn to play a musical instrument and pupils of all ages are progressing from beginner through beyond Grade 8. We have many pupils who perform with county groups and in some cases, national ensembles. What is most rewarding is the way in which our pupils support each other. Our experienced visiting staff help to nurture and encourage our younger pupils and they are the reason that Teesside High School Music Department is the success that it is.

Key Stage Three Curriculum

Music is all around us.  Every day we can hear music on the television and radio, when we go to the cinema, when we go shopping.  Even in lifts and when we are on ‘hold’ on the telephone, music is part of our everyday lives – try to imagine a world without music!

In music as a classroom subject, students explore three main activities which remain consistent throughout – Listening, Performing and Composing. These areas help students to understand how music ‘functions’ within different styles and genres of music, and start to understand why they like some styles of music and not others.

They will learn how to describe music using appropriate musical language, how to perform music as an individual and as part of a group, and how to create music through composing using both traditional instruments and our state of the art music technology facilities.

The course covers a vast range of musical styles and forms – Popular Music from The Beatles to Ed Sheeran, Minimalism, Music for Film, Songs from Musicals, Jazz and Blues, Classical and Romantic, Indian, African and Chinese music.  Not only will students learn about the vast range of instruments used to perform these styles of music, but also they will understand how important the role of music is within all cultures throughout the world.

Students do not have to play a musical instrument to a high standard to do well in music, but it is a demanding subject and requires a lot of effort and energy!  It will be very rewarding if they put their heart into it.

GCSE Music (Edexcel 1MU0)

During the course students will learn about and listen to a rich and diverse selection of musical styles and genres from all corners of the Earth – some will inspire, some will surprise, some will certainly not be to everyone’s taste, but it will give them a fascinating insight into the world of music and how much it means to people from all walks of life.  At GCSE students study a range of set works, ranging from Instrumental Music (1700-1820), Music for Stage and Screen, Vocal Music and Fusions.

They will also perform on their chosen instrument/voice during the course in addition to creating a portfolio of musical compositions, one of which will be based on a set brief.

There are three units in total:

Unit 1: Performing Music Internally marked and externally moderated 30%

You will need to offer at least two pieces (solo and ensemble), with a combined duration of at least four minutes. You can choose any style of piece, and should be at least grade 4 standard or above.  The recordings must be completed in the academic year of certification.

Unit 2:  Composing Music Internally marked and externally moderated 30%

You will compose (or arrange) two pieces of music, one in response to a set brief linked to one of the four areas of study, and one free composition. The minimum time allowed is one minute for both pieces but the combined total must be over three minutes. The set brief composition must be completed based on the brief set in Year 11. No time limit, but there is a minimum of five hours of work that must be completed in the centre, under supervision.

Unit 3: Music - Listening and Appraising Written Paper – 1 hour 45 minutes 40%

Listening based largely on the set works below with some unfamiliar extracts. The paper will include multiple choice, short open and extended writing questions

Area of Study

Set Works

Instrumental Music 1700-1820

J.S. Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenberg Concerto no.5 in D Major

L van Beethoven: 1st movement from Piano Sonata no.8 in C minor ‘Pathetique’

Vocal Music

H Purcell: Music for a While

Queen: Killer Queen (from the album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’)

Music for Stage and Screen

S Schwartz: Defying Gravity from ‘Wicked’

J Williams: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – Main Title/Rebel blockade runner

Fusions

Afro Celt Sound System: Release (from the album ‘Volume 2: R Release’)

Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio (from the album ‘Esperanza’)

A Level Curriculum

AS/A Level Music (Edexcel 8MU0/9MU0)

If music is your passion, this A Level course will give you two years of bliss. Of course there’s study and work ... but if you love music the time will fly by. And along the way you’ll give your own musical ability wings. Music is a synthesis of logic and imagination. Based on the firm foundation of musical knowledge, you can interpret and create compositions which will satisfy yourself and inspire others. This exciting course guides you through the history of music, from the baroque and classical periods right up to jazz, pop and other 21st century music.

This new course for first teaching in September 2016 is an excellent preparation for university whether the intention is to read music or not because it involves creativity, analysis, problem-solving, listening skills and applied factual recall.

AS Music

Component 1: Approaches to Performing (Externally assessed worth 30%) 60 marks

A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.

Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Performances must be recorded between 1 March and 15 May in the year of certification.

Component 2: Approaches to Composing (Externally assessed worth 30%) 60 marks

Total of two compositions:

One composition to a set brief, and one either free composition or also set to a brief.

Each composition must be at least 2 minutes in duration.

Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Each composition carries equal weight for this component.

Component 3: Appraising (Written examination: 1 ½  hour paper worth 40%) 80 marks

Content overview:

Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.

Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with two set works: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions, New Directions

This paper is based on both listening to extracts, and answering questions based upon the set works.

A Level Music

Component 1: Approaches to Performing (Externally assessed worth 30%) 60 marks

A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.

Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.

Performances must be recorded between 1 March and 15 May in the year of certification.

Component 2: Approaches to Composing (Externally assessed worth 30%) 60 marks

Total of two compositions:

One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 40 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.

One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique, carrying 20 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration, unless the brief specifies a longer minimum duration.

Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Component 3: Appraising (Written examination: 2 hour paper worth 40%) 100 marks

Content overview:

Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.

Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions, New Directions

This paper is based on both listening to extracts, and answering questions based upon the set works.

Will it fit my other subject choices…………..? YES!! Choosing AS/A Level Music is a great pivotal subject option as it complements The Arts, Maths, English and Science in ways you may never have thought possible.

Enrichment

For those who sing or play an instrument there are many opportunities to gain performance experience as soloists or as part of a group.  There are school concerts involving the School Orchestra, Choir and Jazz groups, to name but a few – some of which perform outside school and compete in local and national music festivals.  Pupils are encouraged to take part in major musical events such as the Carol Service, Teesside’s Got Talent, Instrumental recitals and the Winter, Easter and Summer concerts as well as other events such as half termly teatime concerts, assemblies, Open Days and Speech Day.  We also have a Senior School production every other year in conjunction with the Drama department. Our recent shows have included ‘The Jungle Book, ‘Oliver!’, ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Panto-Crime’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

Where might this subject lead?

Further study: A University degree course in an increasing number of subject areas, including Music, History of Music, Media Studies and Performing Arts. History, Art, Languages, Computing and Psychology are all popular combinations with Music, and many others are possible.

Career opportunities: Advanced Courses may lead to an exciting career in performing, recording, composing, music publishing, promotions and marketing, journalism, broadcasting, studio work including sound engineering, instrument making and repair, teaching, retail, arts administration, music therapy.