KS3 Curriculum Guide - Year 7 Music
Term 1The Elements of Music (Night and Day)   
This unit looks at how different composers have used the elements of music to describe different times of the night and day through music from different times and places. It develops awareness and understanding of the elements of music providing pupils with a foundation of musical vocabulary to describe a variety of music at Key Stage 3. During this unit, pupils will explore how the elements of music can be adapted and manipulated to create a composition describing morning and sunrise and perform and listen to morning and night music.
Assessment: Students create a short composition which depicts night and day, using the studied elements of music. The piece must fit within a studied structure and must be notated either graphically or using staff notation. Key Words and Terms
Term 2Rhythm and Pulse   
This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed. Through the integrated activities of performing, composing and listening, pupils will begin to develop their own feeling for and awareness of a regular pulse. Pupils will be able to make a clear distinction between pulse and rhythm and learn to use rhythm grids as a method of recording rhythms. Pupils are introduced to note values and notation and compose, perform and notate their own rhythm compositions including time signatures and the grouping of note values into bars to form regular units.
Assessment: Students compose a group piece demonstrating their understanding of how Rhythm and Pulse work together. Key Words and Terms
Term 3Form and Structure   
Pupils learn about call and response and how musical question and answer phrases balance with each other to form a complete structure. Pupils move onto explore Binary Form exploring how musical contrast is achieved between two different sections and develop this into Ternary Form by repeating the first section at the end to form a musical “sandwich”. Finally, pupils look at Rondo Form as a type of recurring musical structure and add contrasting melodic improvisations to a recurring “A” section. Throughout the unit, pupils listen to examples of music based on each of the musical structures they are exploring and compose and perform within these forms. Particular emphasis in this unit is placed on staff notation and melody writing skills and pupils are encouraged to use staff notation or letter names when notating compositions.
Assessment: Within a group students compose a binary piece using classroom instruments. Key Words and Terms
Term 4Instruments of the Orchestra   
This unit develops pupils’ understanding about orchestral instruments and families/sections of orchestral instruments. Pupils learn about the construction, sound production and timbres of different orchestral instruments using Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” to enhance their learning. Pupils are introduced to the modern symphony orchestra and learn about its layout, grouping and the instruments that belong to each section including their individual and characteristic timbres. This unit is brought to life by pupil’s experiencing actual orchestral instruments (where possible) and pupils join together to play a class orchestra piece to gain an understanding of what it’s like to perform as part of a larger group and the role of individual parts to the overall texture of the music.
Assessment: A class performance of a given piece, working within instrumental families. Key Words and Terms
Term 5Introduction to World Music   
This unit introduces pupils to the timbres, rhythms, melodies and structures that are commonly used in types of World Music; The Indonesian Gamelan and Western African Drumming. Pupils begin by exploring the cultural context of Gamelan before learning about the “interlocking” structure of Gamelan melodies, performing and composing their own “interlocking” melody parts. Students move onto learn about Polyrhythms, Ostinato, Call and Response and Improvisation techniques used in Western African Drumming.
Assessment: A two part assessment which includes a performance of a pre-written Gamelan piece followed by a group Gamelan composition. Key Words and Terms
Term 6Samba   
This unit is loud, fun and exciting. Samba is the wonderful music of Brazil and students will study its origins and the rhythms that make it so exciting and unique. They will have the opportunity to play on Samba instruments and create an exciting class performance.
Assessment: Students have a listening and performing assessment. A group performance of a studied Samba piece is recorded and a short listening exam that tests their knowledge of instruments is given. Key Words and Terms