There is a proud tradition of musicmaking at Henry Box, and we have specialist facilities to accommodate music lessons and activities.
Key Stage 3
Music is a practical subject, and the weekly Music lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9 are based around learning through practical skills. There is no need for any prior knowledge or tuition before the start of Year 7, because all students can strengthen their performing, composing and appraising skills in classroom tasks as they work towards GCSE Music.
In today’s world we can access so many types of music. In our lessons we explore music from all over the world, in many different forms and styles. Students also have the chance to develop their music technology skills using Soundtrap.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Music offers students the opportunity to continue to develop their performing, composing and appraising skills in more depth. There are three components to the course according to the WJEC/Eduqas specification:
Performing (30%) – students produce a portfolio of performances, to last between 4 – 6 minutes. This includes at least one ensemble (minimum duration of 1 minute) and any other solo items. These can be recorded at any time during the course. It is anticipated that at least one piece will be done before the end of Year 10. For those who follow exam syllabuses, the required standard is approx. Grade 4 – but played well.
Composing (30%) – two pieces recorded digitally, lasting between 3 – 6 minutes between them, and written as some sort of score, or a brief piece of written work explaining the working processes behind the composition. These compositions will be based on work done through Year 10 and the Autumn Term of Year 11. One is a ‘free’ composition (the student’s choice), the other based on a brief published by the exam board at the start of September of Year 11.
Listening (40%) – at the end of Y11 there will be one 1½hr exam. There are 8 questions based on Areas of Study (set out below). The material examined is based on work done through the course, including features of musical knowledge (rhythm, pitch, time signatures, keys, common terminology), and instrumentation, historical and cultural context. There are also two set works for in-depth study, and 2 of the 8 questions will be on these set works.
Areas of study (and sub-strands):
AoS 1 Musical Forms and Devices Baroque, Classical, Romantic
(set work: Mozart Minuet from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik)
AoS 2 Music for Ensemble Chamber Music, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Blues
AoS 3 Film Music
AoS 4 Popular Music Rock and Pop, Fusions, Bhangra
(set work: Rainbow Since You’ve Been Gone)
Key Stage 5
A Level Music offers students the opportunity for students to further strengthen their appraising, composing and performing skills in more depth. Students study key musicians from Stevie Wonder to Bach, using these masters to influence their composing, whilst continuing to develop their performing skills.
The course follows the AQA syllabus, and it is broken down into the same 3 components as GCSE:
1. Performing Music 30% (Practical Assessment)
2. Composing Music 30% (Portfolio)
Two compositions, one free, and the other completed to a brief set by the exam board in Year 13
3. Appraising Music 40% (Written Exam)
Study of three Areas of Study: Pop Music, The Baroque Concerto
The Music Department
The department boasts 7 practice rooms, plus an ensemble room and 3 large classrooms. We welcome musicians to practise whenever they can, and we operate a booking system for this purpose.
The department offers many extra-curricular activities, based around the skills and interests of students. These include Orchestra, Choirs, Samba Band, Ukulele Club, Music Tech Club, and Theory club. We also stage a series of concerts throughout the year, formal and informal.
These will be a regular feature of the Music calendar, and not just for Music students! We scour the lists of musicals in the West End and other venues, and the trips are valuable for students at all stages.
Every other year the Drama and Music Departments join forces and produce a full scale musical production, usually open to Year 9 and upwards. Most recently Disney's High School Musical (2018), Oliver! (2016), Beauty & the Beast (2014) and Jesus Christ Superstar (2013).
BBC Bitesize - useful revision tips specifically for the Eduqas Music GCSE specification.
My music practice diary 2021-22
Music Year 10 - Knowledge Organisers
Music Year 11 - Knowledge Organisers