There is never a dull moment in the Music department! With a fully-equipped, purpose-built suite of rooms in both the Junior and Senior Schools, music is accessible to all girls. There is a large stock of classroom and orchestral instruments and electronic keyboards.
The aim of the Music Department is to stimulate a love of and an interest in Music. All work is related and interlinked to the areas of: Listening and Appraising; Composing; and Performing.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, Year 7 have 1 lesson per week in smaller classes while Years 8 and 9 have three lessons per fortnight. A wide curriculum is followed:
Classical Pop World Music
Notation – traditional and graphic Rhythm
Melody Harmony Opera
Instruments and Acoustics Conducting
Dance Rap Music Technology
Learning is both experiential and differentiated by task and outcome in order to ensure that individual pupils reach their potential and are stretched beyond.
ICT and resources
Electronic keyboards, percussion and orchestral instruments are used in lessons and the Sibelius programme is available for pupils to explore Music Technology. Pupils are encouraged to use their ICT skills for written homework and projects. All teaching takes place in the purpose-built, well-equipped Music wing. The Music Technology room runs Sibelius 7, Protools, Musition and Auralia and is used at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level work.
The curriculum is enhanced by individual lessons in voice and a wide range of instruments, given by a team of 20 teachers, details of which can be obtained from the Director of Music. Over half of the school have lessons from our experienced and highly qualified team of teachers.
Girls are continually encouraged to participate in the ensembles which rehearse each week - Wind, String, Jazz or Rock group, Orchestras, Choirs or smaller ensembles. Girls are able to join the Choirs which perform in school, at local and London venues during the year and tour all over the world; recent tours have been to China and Disneyland, Paris. The Choirs and Orchestra took part in the 125th Birthday Event at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008.
The Music and Drama departments work closely together on annual productions.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 the course and specification offered is EDEXCEL GCSE Music (Specification 2MU01) with 6 lessons of 50 minutes per fortnight.
During the year the course is broken down into the following units: Listening and Appraising – Set Works: Performance: Composition. Coursework is started at the beginning of Year 10 and runs through until the end of the spring term in Year 11.
The assessments are split into the following areas:
• Listening and Appraising – Set Works (40%)
• Performing (30%)
• Composing (30%)
Pupils are expected to compose 4 different composition sketches in varying styles of which the best two are selected for completion under controlled conditions.
They are required to submit one Solo and one Ensemble performance. At least one performance will be recorded each term and the best will be submitted. Regular coursework clinics will run in two lunchtime slots for help with composition and performance.
GCSE results are excellent. With detailed analysis of twelve Set Works, ranging from traditional Western Music to Indian Raga to Serial Works, pupils have come to terms with in-depth analyses, equipping them well for A Level studies. Their Performances and Compositions are always inspirational and many gain full marks.