What is our vision in Music?
Music Education enhances learning skills, communication skills, creativity, teamwork, discipline, cultural awareness, respect for others, self-esteem through personal accomplishment; and it is a lot of fun. Students at Oathall are encouraged to be musically active in and out of the classroom, approaching their study of music through performance, composition and critical evaluation. We aim to deliver a broad range of musical experiences from a wide range of genres, traditions and times, including a focus that takes into account students’ own musical preferences. Students are encouraged to take part in a full range of performance opportunities at school and in the community, building their skills and confidence over time and giving them musical memories that will last a lifetime. The Music department staff are committed musicians, passionate about musical education with specialisms in Contemporary music, Western Classical music and Ethnomusicology, and they strive to help each student achieve their goals. We have a strong focus on music literacy and approach analysis and composition through detailed study of the musical elements. Students use technology for composing, learn to play keyboards, guitars, ukuleles and percussion regularly in performance based lessons, and use their voices to sing and as an analysis tool.
Music at KS3
Students begin their learning journey with an introduction to the elements of music which are explored in increasing depth as their Key Stage 3 learning journey progresses. In Year 7, students are introduced to musical notation, form and structure, western classical music, Sub-Saharan African music and the ukulele. They are regularly assessed throughout the year through formative practical and summative end of unit tests on the work covered. In Year 8 students are introduced to Blues, where they deepen their understanding of the cultural influence of the development of musical genres and how music reflects society. They are introduced to harmony through learning the 12 Bar Blues chord progressions, building chords and using Roman numerals in their work on degrees of the major scale. This is followed by work on an introduction to improvisation using the C minor Blues scale. Their knowledge, skills and understanding are expanded in their work on North Indian Classical music where they explore tonality and further develop improvisation knowledge and skills.
Their final term focuses on consolidating the work undertaken in Year 7 and the first two terms of Year 8 with a composing project and then through Summer Performance projects. In Year 9, a focus on theory underpinning clefs is deepened and compound metre is introduced during the first topic on composition devices. A further journey into music from other cultures and times is covered in term 2 where students trace the development of the genre Reggae; beginning with Mento, then exploring Ska in Jamaica and later the UK and USA before a look at Rock Steady and finally Reggae. Term 3 consolidates the work over KS3 in their composing project and summer performance projects to prepare students to begin KS3 GCSE on the Eduqas Specification. The elements of music, theory and devices are threaded through every project and all units aim to focus on all three components of the curriculum; listening and appraising, performance and ensemble skills and composition concepts.
Curriculum learning grid
Support for students
Students are encouraged to work with buddies and with student mentors in every lesson and teachers are always on hand for feedback, advice and extra support through in class “master classes” as well as additional support for students at break, lunch and in our extra curricular clubs.
Music at KS4
GCSE Music students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of music that exists today and develop their own listening, composition and performance skills. Assessment is via coursework and a listening and appraising examination. GCSE students currently follow the Eduqas specification.
Extended Learning Opportunities in Music
Extra-curricular activities are fun and popular with students and provide regular performances throughout the year at the college Christmas and Summer Concerts, Carols in the Barn Service, Local Festivals such as The Power Of Music Festival and the Jubilee Jam, our Big Sing, Primary and Secondary Orchestra Days and musicals and plays, as well as in assemblies and college events such as Celebration Evening and The College Open Day. They involve large numbers of students in a range of ensembles and choirs including the Orchestra, Jazz Band, Brass Band, String Ensemble, Choir and Boys Singing Group and contemporary bands. Percussion groups, such as samba band, hand-chimes and chamber choir are run on a seasonal basis.
Instrumental and vocal lessons
Please follow this link for information concerning instrumental and vocal lessons which take place at the college for a wide range of instruments.
Further Education & Career Pathways in Music
Support for students
Theory and listening
Ensemble Reza look out for the “all about….instruments” section
Creating your own music
How can parents and carers support learning ?
There are a number of ways that you can support your child’s learning in music. Regular practice is key to making progress on any instrument or singing and our instrumental teachers use practice books as a way of helping students remember what their focus should be each week. Students interested in learning more widely about music can use any of the websites listed below to improve their listening skills or just to discover new composers and styles of music!