KS3 Curriculum Guide - Year 9 Music
Term 1Rock 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.
Assessment: Students are assessed on their performance of a given Rock and Roll song, plus a simple Rock and Roll Composition. Key Words and Terms
Term 2Chords, Riffs and Hooks   
This unit aims to explore a range of chords and how to construct a successful and coherent sequence. Students will have a chance to develop their two handed keyboard skills, aiming to use bass line riffs effectively in the left whilst playing chords with the right hand. The use of a “Hook” line will be explored and students will work towards their own notated composition which incorporates all of these musical devices. Students will also explore the genres in which these devices can be found, from Motown and Soul to modern popular music.
Assessment: Students will learn and be assessed on a range of Chord Sequences, Riffs and Hooks. Can they perform them and then play them in the context of a song. Key Words and Terms
Term 3Popular Song   
In this unit, pupils explore the genre of popular song, learning how different artists and groups have created different musical arrangements of the same song. Pupils learn about different musical devices used in popular songs including how the different structural elements are sequenced horizontally to produce the classic form of a popular song, as well as how different textural layers combine vertically showing awareness of the different parts used in a popular song. Pupils explore hooks and riffs and learn about their function within popular songs. The unit ends with a choice of pathways building on skills, knowledge and understanding of learning during the unit – teachers can choose whether pupils spend the final two lessons composing their own popular song or whether to allow pupils to perform their own arrangement of a popular song from a wealth of options given.
Assessment: Students have choice to either perform a given pop song or to move onto an extension task and compose their own pop song. Key Words and Terms
Term 4An introduction to Classical Music   
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. Students will be introduced to some of the important classical structures that were created during this era and some of harmonic devices.
Assessment: A performance of a well know classical example or a composition which incorporates a given classical. Key Words and Terms
Term 5Soundtracks  
This unit (formerly called Film Music) puts pupils in the position of a film soundtrack composer and explores the challenges and devices used in film soundtrack composition. Pupils begin by exploring leitmotifs and how they have been used to represent certain characters or situations in films, before exploring how themes have been used in film soundtracks and performing a number of interesting and varied film themes.
Assessment: To create a soundtrack to a given piece of film. Key Words and Terms
Term 6Independent Learning Projects  
In this unit, pupils are given a choice of 15 tasks; ranging from composing a piece of music to recording a podcast. Pupils must complete at least three of these tasks throughout this term. This unit prepares pupils for GCSE courses, by developing them as Independent Learners. This unit also gives pupils the freedom to still enjoy and learn from music before they enter KS4.
Assessment: Students to create a composition using all the information they have studied during the year. Key Words and Terms