Music is a very unique subject which ALL students enjoy and can learn from. It is a language, a science, a mathematical formula, an expression, a range of emotions and (very often) a story. Playing, composing and singing reinforces numeracy and literacy, promotes positive peer relationships and is ‘instrumental’ in growing confidence and sense of self.
The St George’s Music curriculum is exciting, innovative and engaging – and all students, regardless of prior musical experience will…
- Be able to play and compose catchy tunes (melody)
- Develop accompaniment skills (chords, bass lines, drum beats)
- Sing as a group, improving posture and promoting well-being and humour!
- Embrace creativity and produce high level musical work
- Advance their ICT literacy using Digital Audio Workstations
Studying and playing Music improves long and short term memory function, so it is often the case that GCSE musicians go on to become Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers etc.
Our Extra Curricular Programme is vibrant and varied; featuring choirs, orchestras, training bands and chamber ensembles. For further details refer to the timetable and parent notices.
Key stage 3 (years 7, 8 & 9)
Music is taught in mixed ability groups, with an hour each week in Year 7 and 9. In Year 8 students have a short but intensive term of music, as part of a wider carousel of subjects. Music is taught in our iMac Suite’s – where students have access to midi-keyboards, recording and notation software. They also have the opportunity to bring in their own instruments, or perform using the piano. Students are assessed across a range of projects – not limited to:
- Medieval Music (Y7)
- Spanish and Latin Music (Y7)
- Swan Lake (Y7)
- Beethoven (Y8)
- West Side Story (Y8)
- 12 Bar Blues and Jazz (Y9)
- Reggae (Y9)
- Protest Music and Politics (Y9)
Curriculum Maps will be available/linked here
Key stage 4 (years 10 & 11)
Music is a popular GCSE choice for a diverse range of students, and the flexible Edexcel course makes it suitable for musicians of any experience*. GCSE Music is a great choice for students aiming for Universities with rich musical histories – eg. Oxbridge, Bristol, Salisbury, York, Exeter, Liverpool. Classes are mixed ability and taught across 5 hour long sessions per fortnight.
GCSE Music is divided into 3 components. Coursework: Performance (30%) and Composition (30%) and a 1 hour 45min Listening Exam (40%)
Coursework is teacher assessed and externally moderated, with stepped support at each stage to ensure confidence and success. Performances are recorded (audio) in the Old Library, with students choosing their best version. Compositions can only be completed during lesson time, and are done so using music composition software – they are not performed.
The Listening Exam revolves around 8 Set Pieces of music, where students are played familiar extracts and asked questions like “which instrument plays first?” or “describe the dynamics at the start”. Contrary to popular misinformation – it is NOT a theory exam. The Set Works are varied and interesting – including Star Wars, Queen, Defying Gravity, Beethoven and Esperanza Spalding.
We encourage all KS4 students to commit to at least one of our extra-curricular groups, as this exposes them to a wide range of repertoire, which is great inspiration for compositions and their general musical knowledge. This makes up a proportion of their home-work, with the remainder focused around regular singing/instrumental practice and wider listening.
* For students wanting to achieve a GCSE grade 9 – a Music Grade 4-5 piece is needed.
Key stage 5 (years 12 & 13)
A Level Music is a very enjoyable course, often selected by students hoping to take Music further – or requiring a highly regarded balancing subject that requires creative and academic flair. Classes tend to be a small (<20) but dedicated group. We have carefully incorporated the arranging aspect of House Music into the KS5 curriculum, so that students can prepare for this as part of their A Level.
We undertake the Edexcel syllabus, largely an extension of the GCSE – where much of the content and skills overlap and develop further. All coursework is submitted to an external examiner.
At A Level students
- Perform an 8 minute recital at the end of Year 13, to a small audience. This takes place in the old library, students can choose their best recording to submit*
- For composition students submit one free choice, and then undertake the ‘arrangement’ option – where they arrange music in timed conditions.
- Similarly to GCSE Music – students will be taken through a variety of set pieces of music – this time ranging from the Beatles, to Bach, to Batman. Students are expected to be able to effectively describe the composers intentions, and identify musical techniques through listening to short excerpts.
* For students wanting to achieve an A-A* a Music Grade 7-8 piece is needed.
- Chamber choir
- Senior Choir
- House Senior Choir
- Jazz Band
- Wind Band
- Opportunities to perform as a soloist
- Senior Strings
- House Orchestra
- Trips to concerts and West end musicals
On average there are 8 concerts and events a year.