We aim to develop Chase students as musicians with the skills and musical literacy to perform, compose and appraise across a range of styles in an environment that fosters creativity, encourages exploration, and instils a lifelong love and appreciation for music.
Through class Music lessons students learn creative skills, cultural understanding, social skills and both independence and interdependence. At The Chase we firmly believe that music is for all: every student will have the chance to learn to play the keyboard and guitar; every student will have the chance to improve their singing.
Students have many opportunities to showcase their musical progress through regular performances both in and out of class. We believe that performing is a valuable skill that not only builds confidence but also enhances students' understanding of music and allows them to express themselves artistically.
Through various composition exercises, students learn about different musical elements, such as melody, harmony, and structure. They are encouraged to experiment with different styles and genres.
Students analyse and evaluate various musical works in order to understand how the different musical elements contribute to the overall musical experience. By developing their critical listening skills, students gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of music, enabling them to become more discerning listeners.
Students learn about the theoretical foundations of music, including notation and chords, which provide them with a strong understanding of music fundamentals. They also explore the cultural and historical aspects of music through various musical genres, styles, and periods.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with their peers, both in performing and composing activities, fostering teamwork and communication skills.
“Music can change the world, because it can change people” – Bono
Students may sign up to individual or small-group instrumental or vocal lessons, provided by a team of visiting tutors. We have several extra-curricular music groups, including Orchestra and Choir, which are open to all students: these groups change slightly each year according to students’ interests and may include Jazz Band, Band Night, Barbershop, year-group bands, Mix Club and Theory Club. We put on several concerts each year, ranging from lunchtime performances to full-scale musicals and our annual Carol Service, and every student has the opportunity to be involved in these.
Music is taught weekly to Years 7 and 8 and within a Performing Arts rotation at Year 9. Throughout KS3, students are taught a variety of skills within a wide range of topics.
The key areas are:
Performing – this includes singing and playing keyboard, percussion and guitar.
Listening & Appraising – learning to make musical judgements about pieces and specific elements of music, including a basic understanding of musical theory.
Composing – learning to create, adapt and refine your own music.
Year 7 is an introduction to the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in Music, including listening, singing, keyboard skills and notation. In Year 8 students develop this further, with an emphasis on performing in small groups and combining instrumental and vocal skills as well as basic composition techniques. Year 9 study Film Music, Dance Music and music of recent years in more detail.
There are many opportunities to perform within a classroom setting and in a wide range of performances throughout the year both in school and in the wider community. Visiting music tutors give students an opportunity to learn individual instrumental and vocal skills, and we have several extra-curricular music groups including Orchestra and Choir which are open to all students.
“Music is the strongest form of magic.” – Marilyn Manson
Music is an increasingly popular option at GCSE level, where students can continue the skills from KS3 and have opportunities to perform with like-minded peers and to compose using our purpose-built Music computer suite.
Music GCSE is much more than simply doing instrument grades: students will improve both practical and academic skills and learn about a wide range of musical styles. It is a mixture of performing, composing and musical analysis.
Performing and composing are 60% of the course, and students may choose which instrument (including voice) they use.
The exam covers a range of different styles, including close study of two contrasting pieces of music. Students will learn to analyse and describe the different styles as well as developing their general musical skills.
Unit 1 – Performing
Either 2nd Ensemble Performance OR Solo Performance
Controlled Assessment (60%)
This is split into 30% Performing and 30% Composing, completed during the course and submitted at the end.
One 1¼ hour examination (40%)
This is based on the four Areas of Study (Musical Forms & Devices; Music for Ensemble; Film Music; Popular Music) and includes short-answer questions and a short essay on extracts heard during the exam.
Unit 2 – Composing
Two compositions – one to a brief set by WJEC, one free brief.
Unit 3 – Listening & Understanding
Study of two Set Works and general aural & theoretical skills, examined at the end of the course
Having Music GCSE rather than just instrument grades shows employers and interviewers that you are creative (increasingly important in today’s society); that you can work both independently and in a group; that you can organise your time and much, much more. Music is highly-valued as a subject for university applications as it develops a wide range of academic and practical skills.
Many students go on to A Level or BTEC Music courses and some then progress to study music at university or music college. If you decide not to continue the subject beyond GCSE, you will still have gained much background knowledge, analytical skills and an understanding of cultures which can only help further the study of any subject.
The creative sector is ever-growing in the UK: popular careers involving music include performing (classical, jazz, rock etc....), composing (films, video games, song writing, concert items, advertising…), music journalism, school or instrumental teaching, radio/TV presenting, arts administration, orchestra or band management, concert promotion, recording engineer, music therapy, research, music law, musical instrument manufacture, and many more. Even with other career plans, a greater understanding of music’s place in society will help students to appreciate cultures and traditions as well as giving them a range of practical and transferable skills.