Music

Aims of the Music Department

We hope that through our teaching we create a stimulating and creative environment all students and staff.

We aim to provide music experiences for all that will:

• Promote music as an enjoyable activity and provide all students with exciting opportunities to develop and broaden the music skills and knowledge required to participate in all music challenges to the best of their abilities.

• Allow students to enjoy their making music, listening to music and to be able to talk knowledgeably about the music they play and the music they listen to.

• Give every student in our classes opportunities to be successful.


Staff Names and Roles

Teaching Staff

Mrs M. Rodger : Principal Teacher of Music

Ms L. McEachen : Principal Teacher of Music

Mrs E. Rae : Principal Teacher of DYW

Mrs R. Elliott

Mrs S. Connolly

Miss B. Logan

Mr G. Magee

Visiting Instrumental Staff

Mr B. Molley : Woodwind : Monday

Miss G. Grant : Upper Strings : Wednesday

Mr C. Mitchell : Brass : Wednesday and Thursday

Mr J. Petrak : Lower Strings : Wednesday

Mr A. Smith : Guitar and Bass Guitar : Thursday

Mrs V. Briggs : Woodwind : Thursday

Mr E. Alfonso : Percussion and drum kit : Friday

Course Layout

First Year

S1 Pupils will be given the opportunity to play music from a range of styles and cultures, performing music confidently. They will be given the opportunity to listen to a range of music and identify features and concepts within the music. They will also learn about musical notation and will have the opportunity to evaluate their own performances. Pupils will be given the opportunity to compose their own music and recognise the composition techniques used by others in particular styles.

All of these activities will take place within four units, where pupils will also learn skills on a particular instrument. These are :

· Guitar

· Pitched Percussion (Glockenspiel)

· Keyboard

· Drum kit

Pupils will also take part in Integrated Learning Challenges throughout the year which will give them further opportunities to take part in creative tasks.

Homework is given regularly to pupils using a homework booklet. Feedback will be given to pupils through teachers in class and to parents through tracking and monitoring and reporting.

Second Year

S2 Pupils will be given the opportunity to revise the guitar and drum kit and will be introduced to the ukulele and bass guitar. After this, pupils will be asked to choose two instruments to “specialise” on during S2. Pupils will play music from a range of styles and cultures, performing music confidently. They will be given the opportunity to listen to a range of music and identify features and concepts within the music. They will also learn about musical notation and will have the opportunity to evaluate their own performances. Pupils will be given the opportunity to compose their own music and recognise the composition techniques used by others in particular styles. Pupils will also be given the opportunity to create music using Music Technology and will have a greater understanding of the use of Technology in the production of music.

The choice of instruments can be :

· Guitar

· Pitched Percussion (glockenspiel or xylophone)

· Keyboard

· Drum kit

· Ukulele

· Bass Guitar

· Voice

· Any instrument a pupil receives lessons on (both in and out of school)

Pupils will also take part in Integrated Learning Challenges throughout the year which will give them further opportunities to take part in creative tasks.

Pupils will also take part in Integrated Learning Challenges throughout the year which will give them further opportunities to take part in creative tasks.

Homework is given regularly to pupils using a homework booklet. Feedback will be given to pupils through teachers in class and to parents through tracking and monitoring and reporting.

Third Year

In S3 pupils can choose to study Music Performing or Music Technology. These are two separate courses.

S3 Performing

In S3 pupils will review their choice of instruments with their teacher and will settle on two instruments to continue studying in S3. Pupils will continue to play music from a range of styles and cultures, performing music confidently. They will also learn about musical notation and there will be an emphasis on them evaluating their own performances at certain times throughout the year, identifying next steps in conjunction with their teacher.

They will be given the opportunity to listen to a range of music and identify features and concepts within the music. This will be through the following topics of study :

· Revision of S1/S2 concepts

· Scottish Music

· World Music

· Instruments, Bands and Groups

· Musical Styles

· Vocal Music

Pupils will be given the opportunity to compose their own music at various points throughout the year and recognise the compositional techniques used by others in particular styles.

Pupils will be asked to complete homework tasks that introduce good study skills. They will also be expected to practice their instruments on a regular basis.

Feedback will be given to pupils through teachers in class and to parents through tracking and monitoring and reporting.

S3 Music Technology

In S3 Music Technology pupils will be given the opportunity to use music technology to compose, record and produce music and to enhance performance. They will learn about different technological advances and how this has affected the musical genres of the time. This is a practical class and pupils will have the opportunity to create the following projects using computers and technology in both groups and as individuals.

· Radio Advert

· Radio Show

· Mutitrack Recording

· Film Foley (creating sound effects for films)

· Creating music for a computer game

Feedback will be given to pupils through teachers in class and to parents through tracking and monitoring and reporting.

Fourth Year

Pupils will continue to study the pathway they began in S3, either Music Technology or Music Performing. They will aim to complete the requirements for National 3, National 4 or National 5 and this will be decided through dialogue with their teachers.

S4 Music Performing

The National Qualification courses for Music performing require pupils to complete units in the three following areas :

· Performing Skills

· Composing Skills

· Understanding Music

Performing Skills

Pupils will continue to study the instruments that they have chosen in S3 receiving support from class teachers and, when appropriate, from instrumental staff. They will work towards completing at least two different pieces of Music on each instrument and will be assessed at various points on their journey to completing this. At each assessment point pupils will evaluate their own performance and identify steps to make improvements.

Composing Skills

Pupils will be given the opportunity to compose music at various points throughout the year. The focus of the compositions will tie in with concepts and music that pupils are studying in the Understanding Music Unit. At the end of each assessment pupil will evaluate their own performance and identify steps to make improvements.

Understanding Music

Pupils will continue to build on the knowledge that they have gained in S3, adding to their understanding of various musical concepts and musical notation. They will add to this knowledge by studying the unit “Music Through the Ages” and they will learn how to answer exam style questions in preparation for formal exams at prelim time and in May.

Added Value Unit

At National 4 pupils are required to complete an Added Value Unit. This will require all pupils to perform a programme of eight minutes on their chosen two instruments. This consists of at least two pieces on each instrument.

Course Assessment

At National 5 pupils work towards completing an 8 minute programme of at least two pieces on each instrument to play for an SQA Visiting Assessor who usually visits between February and March. Pupils also prepare for a formal listening exam in May.

Homework is given regularly to pupils using a homework booklet. Feedback will be given to pupils through teachers in class and to parents through tracking and monitoring and reporting.

S4 Music Technology

The National Qualification courses for Music Technology require pupils to complete units in the three following areas :

· Music Technology Skills

· Music Technology in Context

· Understanding Music in the 20th and 21st Century

Music Technology Skills

Pupils will continue to build on the skills they have gathered in S3. This unit requires pupils to learn about different types of equipment, from microphones to recording devices and looks at the best use for all this equipment in capturing sound. The unit also focuses on using technology to manipulate and change sound using computers and effects. There is also a focus on Health and Safety in the recording studio.

Music Technology in Context

Pupils will be given the opportunity to create different projects using the skills learned in the Music Technology Skills unit. They will create music and sound to accompany videos and will work with their teacher to devise their own projects that they may be interested in creating.

Understanding Music

Pupils will continue to build on the knowledge that they have gained in S3, adding to their understanding of various musical concepts and styles of the 20th and 21st Century. There will also be a focus on copyright and intellectual property.

Added Value / Course Assessment

In addition all pupils will prepare a project that will be unique to each learner. This will be decided through conversations between pupils and staff. Examples of these projects include

· Live Studio Recording

· Multitrack Recording

· Music for Film

· Music for computer games

Depending on the pupils level of study these projects may be sent to the SQA for marking.

Fifth Year and Sixth Year

The S5/6 Music course continues to provide our learners with opportunities to develop and build upon skills and knowledge learned in S1 to S3, during their BGE and S4 in their National Qualifications year. Pupils will normally continue to study the same instruments studied in S4 but, where required, a different instrument choice is a possibility through consultation with pupils, teaching staff and parents. Pupils continue to be able, where appropriate, to access the expertise of the many Instrumental instructors who visit the Music Department on a weekly basis.

Pupils in S5/6 will study at a variety of levels, determined to suit each individual learners needs. Pupils may study National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in S5/6 or, a more individual programme of study using SQA units may be personalised to each pupil.

Learners continue to be involved in the selection of music that they perform – with guidance from departmental and instrumental staff. All learners are provided with a variety of learning experiences to enable them to further develop their understanding musical styles and genres in addition to learning the ‘language of music’ through being introduced to new musical concepts.

In addition to concepts learned from the following topics in S3 and S4:

· Scottish Music

· World Music

· Musical Instruments

· Bands and Groups

· Musical Styles

· Vocal Music.

· Music Through the Ages

Pupils develop a much deeper understanding of music from different historical periods and there is a continued focus on answering exam style questions in preparation for end of term assessments and SQA examinations. Pupils are encouraged to ‘use the language of music’ whenever possible to talk about and describe the music they are listening to.

Composing skills are developed through activities which enable learners to incorporate concepts learned during the listening topic into their own music making. As a result of this learners are also demonstrating their understanding of musical concepts as they use them in their compositions.

The courses in the Music department are inclusive and always strive to maintain high expectations and standards, nurturing all pupils’ talents no matter what their level of ability is. We believe that we provide all learners with challenging, musical and enjoyable experiences in the music department and staff are more than willing to work with individuals during break times and lunchtimes to support their personal and musical development.

A very important aspect of their development in music is their ability to evaluate their performances and, in consultation with their teacher, identify what was good about their performance and to highlight ‘next steps’ to improve their performance. This element of their coursework is developing through the use of classroom discussion and evaluations booklets.

Learners are always given opportunities to perform whether it is in an informal situation in the classroom or during formal assessment events. Performances are audio recorded whenever possible to give the learners the opportunity to actually hear their music making – supporting the writing of their performance evaluation.