Music

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In the Music Department, we strive to inspire, nurture and challenge the musical ability in all students. Our aim is to make music enjoyable, relevant, inclusive and challenging. In a typical lesson, students will debate, analyse, practise and perform music across a range of styles relevant to young musicians, including hip hop, punk, disco, RnB, experimentalism, the blues, reggae, and music for film and video games.

We pride ourselves on our practical and project-based lessons where students work over a series of months with their peers to produce a performance for the class that demonstrates their academic and musical excellence. By the end of Year Nine, students will have not only learned how to read notation and TAB but also how to write a song, prepare a performance and play guitar, ukulele, piano, drums and bass guitar. These skills prepare our students for further music study and, we hope, a lifelong interest in music. Our teachers encourage students to demonstrate their growing independence by creating unique compositions, developing their musicality and pursuing their musical interests, growing a new generation of talented musicians.

To enhance the musical experience at Chis and Sid, we offer a range of extracurricular activities including choirs, orchestras, jazz groups and rock bands.

KS3

Expected Equipment

  • Pencil
  • Writing Pen (Blue/Black)
  • Assessment Pens (Red/Purple)
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Headphones (3.5mm jack)

Curriculum Information

  • Classes are taught in form groups split into two classes of 24
  • Students have 2 lessons over a two-week timetable
  • Homework is set most lessons (guided completion time of 30mins) but will cover a range of key skills; as such, sometimes the homework is practical which students can complete at school outside of lesson time.
  • Students will be assessed at least once per half term, with some assessments being practical in nature and some being listening tests.
  • We run a range of extracurricular clubs including extra sessions for piano enrichment.

Resources for Learning

  • Students in KS3 have booklets provided which have all classwork and resources.

Extracurricular Enrichment

A range of extracurricular activities available including:

  • Senior Choir (Monday Lunchtime, Y10+)
  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable)
  • Choir (Tuesday Lunchtime, KS3)
  • Music Clinic (Tuesday lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Jazz (Tuesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Junior Orchestra (Tuesday 3-4pm, all welcome)
  • Guitar or Ukulele Ensemble (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • String Ensemble (Wednesday 3-4pm, all welcome)
  • Senior Orchestra (Thursdays 3-4.15pm, Y10+ or Grade 4+ players)
  • Band (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and Wednesday 3-4pm, invitation only)
  • Flute Ensemble (Friday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles.
  • ‘Informal’ evening solo concerts in November
  • Whole school musical which is performed in the spring term.
  • Performing Arts Committee – two students from each year group are selected to represent the music department in meeting relating to the extracurricular activities the music department has to offer.

KS4

Music 

Expected Equipment 

  • Pencil 

  • Writing Pen (Blue/Black) 

  • Assessment Pens (Red/Purple) 

  • Rubber 

  • Ruler 

  • Exercise book, folder, tracking booklet (provided by the department) 

  • (for some lessons, notice given): Own instrument, if applicable 

Resources for Learning 

  • Students will need to listen to music independently to prepare for unfamiliar elements of the listening exam. Listening to BBC Radio 3 and attending BBC Proms during summer holidays are excellent ways to achieve this. For each area of study and wider listening, Spotify playlists can be found online. 

  • Students can purchase the Rhinegold AQA GCSE Music Student Guide, however it is not vital to the course (ISBN 9781785581526, RRP £19.95) 

Curriculum Information 

  • The AQA Music GCSE is assessed in performance (30%), composition (30%) and listening skills (40%). 

  • Students have 5 lessons over a two-week timetable. 

  • Homework is set once a week and students are expected to spend roughly 30 minutes on each piece. 

  • Students are also required to build their ensemble skills and support the department by attending at least two ensembles regularly, or one ensemble regularly if proof of sustained attendance to an ensemble outside of school (eg. BYMT or Bird College) is provided. 

  • Students will be tested roughly once per half term with mock listening and performance exams at the end of year. 

  • Most students entering the GCSE course take private music tuition on voice/an instrument. This is the most common way to achieve an outstanding mark in performance and access top grades. The school can subsidise private music performance tuition for GCSE and A-level students who are in receipt of Free School Meals; please email finance@csgrammar.com for more information. Other pathways are available – please contact the Curriculum Leader for Music. 

  • We run revision sessions in the build up to exams on Thursday lunchtime and afternoon. Students are welcome to drop in to either of these sessions and we may recommend to parents that their child attends a particular session. 

Extracurricular enrichment 

  • Students are expected to attend at least two of the below ensembles regularly. Where there is a clash with other departments (eg. sport) students are expected to arrange to alternate weeks with the respective curriculum leaders 

  •  Senior Choir (Monday Lunchtime, Year 10+) 

  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable) 

  • Music Clinic (Tuesday lunchtime, all welcome) 

  • Jazz (Tuesday Lunchtime, all welcome) 

  • Guitar or Ukulele Ensemble (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome) 

  • String Ensemble (Wednesday 3-4pm, all welcome) 

  • Senior Orchestra (Thursdays 3-4.15pm, Y10+ or Grade 4+ players) 

  • Band (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome) 

  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and Wednesday 3-4pm, invitation only) 

  • Flute Ensemble (Friday Lunchtime, all welcome) 

  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles. 

Other enrichment opportunities - 

  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles. 

  • ‘Informal’ evening solo concerts in November and May. 

  • Whole school musical which is performed in the spring term. 

  • Performing Arts Committee – two students from each year group are selected to represent the music department in meeting relating to the extracurricular activities the music department has to offer. 

  • Year 10 and above students are encouraged to lead Junior ensembles to gain valuable experience in leadership, management, arranging music and conducting. Outstanding students will always be recommended for this but all students are welcome to enquire. 

 

KS5 Music Technology

 

Music Technology

Expected Equipment

  • Pencil
  • Writing Pen (Blue/Black)
  • Assessment Pens (Red/Purple)
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Exercise book, folder (provided by department)
  • (for some lessons, notice given): Own instrument, if applicable

Curriculum Information

  • The Pearson Music Technology A-level is assessed in recording (20%), composition (20%), listening (25%), producing/analysing (35%).
  • Students have 10 lessons over a two-week timetable.
  • Homework is set twice a week and students are expected to spend roughly 45 minutes on each piece.
  • Students are also required to build their ensemble skills and support the department by attending at least two ensembles regularly, or one ensemble regularly if proof of sustained attendance to an ensemble outside of school (eg. BYMT or Bird College) is provided.
  • Students will be tested roughly once per half term with mock listening and performance exams in June.

Resources for Learning

  • Students will need to listen to music independently to prepare for unfamiliar elements of the listening exam. 
  • Students can purchase the Rhinegold Edexcel/Pearson Alevel Music Student Guide, however it is not vital to the course (ISBN 9781785581694, RRP £24.95)

Extracurricular enrichment

Students are expected to attend at least two of the below ensembles regularly. Where there is a clash with other departments (eg. sport) students are expected to arrange to alternate weeks with the respective curriculum leaders.

Year 12 -

  • Senior Choir (Monday Lunchtime, Y10+)
  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable)
  • Music Clinic (Tuesday lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Jazz (Tuesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Guitar or Ukulele Ensemble (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • String Ensemble (Wednesday 3-4pm, all welcome)
  • Senior Orchestra (Thursdays 3-4.15pm, Y10+ or Grade 4+ players)
  • Band (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and Wednesday 3-4pm, invitation only)
  • Flute Ensemble (Friday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles.

Year 13 -

  • Senior Choir (Monday lunchtimes, all welcome)
  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable)
  • Senior Jazz (Tuesday lunchtimes, all welcome)
  • Music Film night (Tuesday 3-4pm)
  • Senior Orchestra (Wednesday 3-4.15pm, all welcome)
  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and 3-4pm, invitation only)

Other enrichment opportunites:

  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles.
  • ‘Informal’ evening solo concerts in November and May.
  • Whole school musical which is performed in the spring term.
  • Performing Arts Committee – two students from each year group are selected to represent the music department in meeting relating to the extracurricular activities the music department has to offer.
  • Year 10 and above students are encouraged to lead Junior ensembles to gain valuable experience in leadership, management, arranging music and conducting. Outstanding students will always be recommended for this but all students are welcome to enquire.

KS5 Music

Music

Expected Equipment

  • Pencil
  • Writing Pen (Blue/Black)
  • Assessment Pens (Red/Purple)
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Exercise book, folder (provided by department)
  • Anthology (important: see note below)
  • (for some lessons, notice given): Own instrument, if applicable

Curriculum Information

  • A Pearson A-level Music anthology is lent to the student by the school. Students will need to annotate in pencil but are expected to return the Anthology with all notes erased at the end of Year 13. Alternatively students can purchase their own copy of the Anthology (ISBN 9781292118369, RRP £46.50) which will not need to be returned.
  • The Pearson Music A-level is assessed in performance (30%), composition (30%) and listening/analysing skills (40%).
  • Students have 10 lessons over a two-week timetable.
  • Homework is set twice a week and students are expected to spend roughly 45 minutes on each piece.
  • Students are also required to build their ensemble skills and support the department by attending at least two ensembles regularly, or one ensemble regularly if proof of sustained attendance to an ensemble outside of school (eg. BYMT or Bird College) is provided.
  • Students will be tested roughly once per half term with mock listening and performance exams in June.
  • Most students entering the A-level course take private music tuition on voice/an instrument. This is the most common way to achieve an outstanding mark in performance and access top grades. The school can subsidise private music performance tuition for GCSE and A-level students who are in receipt of Free School Meals; please email finance@csgrammar.com for more information. Other pathways are available – please contact the Curriculum Leader for Music.

Resources for Learning

  • Students will need to listen to music independently to prepare for unfamiliar elements of the listening exam. Listening to BBC Radio 3 and attending BBC Proms during summer holidays are excellent ways to achieve this.
  • Students can purchase the Rhinegold Edexcel/Pearson Alevel Music Student Guide, however it is not vital to the course (ISBN 9781785581694, RRP £24.95)

Extracurricular enrichment

Students are expected to attend at least two of the below ensembles regularly. Where there is a clash with other departments (eg. sport) students are expected to arrange to alternate weeks with the respective curriculum leaders.

Year 12 -

  • Senior Choir (Monday Lunchtime, Y10+)
  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable)
  • Music Clinic (Tuesday lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Jazz (Tuesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Guitar or Ukulele Ensemble (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • String Ensemble (Wednesday 3-4pm, all welcome)
  • Senior Orchestra (Thursdays 3-4.15pm, Y10+ or Grade 4+ players)
  • Band (Wednesday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and Wednesday 3-4pm, invitation only)
  • Flute Ensemble (Friday Lunchtime, all welcome)
  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles.

Year 13 -

  • Senior Choir (Monday lunchtimes, all welcome)
  • ABRSM Music Theory classes (Monday 3-4pm, additional charge payable)
  • Senior Jazz (Tuesday lunchtimes, all welcome)
  • Music Film night (Tuesday 3-4pm)
  • Senior Orchestra (Wednesday 3-4.15pm, all welcome)
  • Chamber Choir (Thursday Lunchtime and 3-4pm, invitation only)

Other enrichment opportunites:

  • Christmas and Summer Concerts for all ensembles.
  • ‘Informal’ evening solo concerts in November and May.
  • Whole school musical which is performed in the spring term.
  • Performing Arts Committee – two students from each year group are selected to represent the music department in meeting relating to the extracurricular activities the music department has to offer.
  • Year 10 and above students are encouraged to lead Junior ensembles to gain valuable experience in leadership, management, arranging music and conducting. Outstanding students will always be recommended for this but all students are welcome to enquire.