Curriculum Overview

 

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Sixth Form

Term 1: Music Through Time

This unit aims to introduce students to the wide variety of amazing and beautiful classical music and the composers from the genre. Students will learn some of the most popular pieces from the genre and will explore the lives of the some of the great composers. With GCSE Music in mind, students will be introduced to some of the important classical structures and compositional devices that were created and used during this time. A grounding in simple harmonic understanding will also be taught and students will begin to try exam style listening questioning where their appraisal skills will be tested.

A performance of a well know classical piece, either in it's entirety or a shorter, simplified version. Listening and appraising questions and a chance to make an arrangement of a well known classical piece.

Mickey-Mousing
In animation and film, "Mickey Mousing" (synchronized, mirrored, or parallel scoring) is a film technique that syncs the accompanying music with the actions on screen.

Sound Effect
In motion picture and television production, a sound effect is a sound recorded and presented to make a specific storytelling or creative point without the use of dialogue or music. The term often refers to a process applied to a recording, without necess

Soundscape
The component sounds of a piece of music.

Electronica
Electronic dance music (also known as EDM, electronic dance, dance music, club music, or simply dance) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres produced largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals.

Accompany
Accompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner.

Storyboard
A rough, pictorial outline of the different scenes, camera angles, or perspectives in a movie or interactive sequence, such as a video game.

Leitmotif
A short, constantly recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.

Motif
In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition.

Diagetic
Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: voices of characters. sounds made by objects in the story.

Non-Diagetic
Sound that does not occur as part of the action, and cannot be heard by the film's characters.

Underscore
In film production, underscoring is the playing of music quietly under dialogue or a visual scene. It is usually done to establish a mood or theme.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Working in pairs, comparing work and evaluating performances and compositions.

Create a supportive community:
Working together in small groups.

Term 2: Film Music

In this unit students will be introduced to the world of film music and its many incredible composers. Students will explore sound tracks and film scores, diegetic and non-diegetic and the impact of music within film. Students will study compositional devices, orchestration and structure within a film score. Students will be given the opportunity to create a soundtrack for a short piece of film using music software and they be given listening exam-style questions to consolidate their understanding of film music.

Students will have a listening assessment with GCSE style questions, plus they will be given the opportunity to play a range of music from a variety of films.

Harmony
Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords.

Melody
A rhythmically organised sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea.

Structure
The building blocks or components of a piece of music.

Historical Context
The past and how it influences a piece of music or work.

Influences
A person's past experiences will affect their work.

Genres
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions.

Politics
A person's opinions regarding how a place or thing should be led which relates to their beliefs about human beings and how they interact.

Audience
Listener; watcher.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Consolidation of learning and how to put that learning into practice.

Create a supportive community:
Working collaboratively on a project.

Term 3: Rock and Roll

This unit introduces pupils to the genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll and its emergence in the 1950’s. Pupils learn about the origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll and features which are characteristic of its style including bass lines, chords and revise the twelve-bar blues as a basis upon which many Rock ‘n’ Roll songs are constructed. Pupils learn about the construction of triads and how these are formed from bass lines as a type of chord producing harmony. Pupil’s take part in an ensemble performance of “Rock Around the Clock” before composing their own Rock ‘n’ Roll songs using features they have learned about during the unit.

Students are assessed on their performance of a given Rock and Roll song, plus a simple Rock and Roll Composition.

Chord
A chord is three or more notes that combine harmoniously. You can play chords on a piano or guitar, but not on an instrument that plays one note at a time, like a trumpet.

Structure
The building blocks or components of a piece of music.

Sequence
The order of something.

Melody
A pleasing succession or arrangement of sounds.

Harmony
Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords.

Backing Vocals
Voices that sing behind a main singer as a compliment to the main sound. They may use different notes to the main singer.

Theme
An idea or topic.

Syncopation
In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat.

Walking Bass
A bass line (low notes) often featured in a variety of jazz styles. It goes for a walk, up and down a pattern of notes, and is often played on a double bass.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Understanding how Rock and Roll fits into the history of music and the influence it had on society. It also covers a range of performing skills for individuals.

Create a supportive community:
It sees music in the wider context of society and how it has broken racial barriers down. It can bring people together through a universal love of music.

Term 4: The Beatles

This unit explores the work of the icon band The Beatles. Students will study their impact on the world of popular music and examine how the band became to be so successful and popular. Students will learn to play a selection of their pieces and study the harmony and structure of these pieces. Students will work with a range of classroom and rock and pop instruments, working collaboratively in groups to produce high quality performances.

Students will assessed on their performance and listening skills throughout the unit and students will have the opportunity to compose a Beatles style piece.

Chord
A chord is three or more notes that combine harmoniously. You can play chords on a piano or guitar, but not on an instrument that plays one note at a time, like a trumpet.

Hook
A hook is a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to "catch the ear of the listener". The term generally applies to popular music, especially rock music, R&B, hip hop, dance music,

Riff
The definition of a riff is a short rhythm phrase used in music, that is often played when a soloist is performing or when chords and harmonies are changing. An example of a riff is a repeated phrase that is used to lead up to an improvisational solo or u

Ostinato
An ostinato (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English: 'obstinate') is a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, usually at the same pitch.

Major
Music in a major key is music thats scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major.

Minor
Music in a minor key thats tonic chord is minor, since the scale on which it is based has a minor third from the starting note. The larger third that defines the major triad has a different emotional quality, it seems, from that of the smaller minor third

Harmony
The use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords.

Unison
Together.

Syncopation
In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat.

Rhythm
Rhythm is what makes music move and flow. Rhythm is made up of sounds and silences. These sounds and silences are put together to form patterns of sound, which are repeated to create rhythm. A rhythm has a steady beat, but it may also have many different

Tempo
The speed.

Beat
Beat is defined as a rhythmic movement, or is the speed at which a piece of music is played. An example of beat is the beating of a heart. An example of beat is the rhythmic noise played on a drum. An example of a beat is the tempo at which a conductor le

Pulse
A beat that mimics the beating of the heart and is continuous.

Sevenths
A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chord's root.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Develops listening and Performing skills, plus helps them to understand how a song is written (excellent ground work for GCSE).

Create a supportive community:
Working within a duet or group. Performing together.

Term 5: Motown and Soul

Moving on chronologically in the world of music this is a chance for students to explore and learn about the incredible world of Motown and Soul. Students will listen to, analyse and perform a range of songs from these genres. Students will explore the history of the Motown and Atlantic record labels and the stars that they produced.

Students will be assessed on a performance of a given Motown or Soul song, plus a listening assessment which tests students on the elements of music and compositional devices. There will a be a chance for students to also compose a song in a Motown style.

Theme
Idea; topic.

Topic
Subject.

Verse
In popular music, averse roughly corresponds to a poetic stanza. When two or more sections of the song have almost identical music and different lyrics, each section is considered one verse.

Chorus
A part of a song that recurs at intervals, usu. following each verse; refrain.

Strophic
Strophic form (also called "verse-repeating" or chorus form) is the term applied to songs in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music.

Through Composed
The opposite of strophic form, with new music written for every stanza, is called through-composed.

Major
Music whose scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major.

Minor
The scale on which it is based has a minor third from the starting note. The larger third that defines the major triad has a different emotional quality, it seems, from that of the smaller minor third that distinguishes the minor triad.

Arrangement
How and when instruments are played together.

Looping
A repeating section of sound material.

Sequencing
In music, a sequence is the restatement of a motif or longer melodic (or harmonic) passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Develops their aural and composing skills. It also develops their understanding of structure within music.

Create a supportive community:
Working in groups or pairs, sharing ideas and listening to others.

Term 6: Popular Song

Coming up to the modern day students will explore the world of popular music and the many styles that feature within it. Students will learn about harmonic structures, instrumentation, melodic writing and how to compose a successful pop song. Students will have the opportunity to perform a range of pop songs within class and smaller group ensembles. In addition students will work on their pop composition using music software.

The assessment this term will be a performance of a popular song, a listening assessment with GCSE style exam questions and a chance to compose their own pop song.

Phase Shifting
When two different parts are played together, but not in a way that they are in unison.

Layering
Recording (or playing) a musical part with other several similar sound patches playing simultaneously to add more body or fullness to the recording.

Looping
In electroacoustic music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections of material can be repeated to create ostinato patterns.

Harmonic movement
Usually the interplay between chords in a piece of music creates the feeling of movement and change. Some chord combinations sound uplifting, others sound sombre, and some sound like ocean waves.

Rhythmic device
Tools used to vary rhythm.

Dissonance
A simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion; an unresolved, discordant chord or interval.

Resolution
Resolution in western tonal music theory is the move of a note or chord from dissonance (an unstable sound) to a consonance (a more final or stable sounding one).

Texture
In music, texture is how the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece.

Triplet
A group of three notes having the time value of two notes of the same kind. Also called tercet.

Phrase
In music and music theory, phrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phras

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Understanding the historic power and importance of classical music and how composers have shaped the musical world. Also introducing students to a wide range of exciting music.

Create a supportive community:
Working together in groups and pairs.