Welcome to Stanley High School’s Music Department. Here we offer a varied programme of music education at both Key Stage 3 and 4 in our two well-resourced classrooms and practice studios.
Our department prides itself on promoting a ‘can-do’ culture offering a supportive environment for students to express their musicality. This philosophy spreads across the whole ability range, from students picking up an instrument for the first time to accomplished musicians studying for external examinations.
Music is studied as a core subject in Years 7 and 8 and as a GCSE option in Key Stage 4. In Key Stage 3 we cover a wide range of musical genres and relate this to practical musicianship through a variety of instruments. These include keyboards, percussion, guitars, drums and singing. Our aim is to develop musical progression primarily through practical activities, complimented through listening, appraising and music theory.
Subjects covered in Year 7:
- Rhythm and Ostinato
- Musical notation
- Elements of Music
- Graphic scores
- Marches and Waltzing
Subjects covered in Year 8:
- Groundbass / bass riffs
- Rock ’n’ Roll
- Music in the Media
- Music Technology
In Key Stage 4, we offer Music at GCSE level. The course is divided into three components:
Unit 1: Performance (30% of final mark)
Unit 2: Composing (30% of final mark)
Unit 3: Listening and Appraising (40% of final mark)
In Unit 1, students will have to perform a solo piece and an ensemble performance on an instrument of their choice or singing.
Unit 2 requires the students to compose two of their own pieces influenced by the set works covered in Unit 3. As well as their own compositional ideas, students will also learn how to use the Music software (Cubase) as a tool to support their learning.
Unit 3 looks at 4 areas of study of various musical genres:
- Western Classical Music (1600-1899)
- 20th Century Music
- Popular Music in context
- World Music
Each area consists of 3 pieces of music that students will study in detail. It will be assessed by a 1hr 30mins theory paper worth 40% of their final mark.
The Music Department prides itself on its extra-curricular provision and opportunities for students of all abilities to engage with the subject. We currently offer lunchtime club twice a week for students to drop in and rehearse / practice / jam session / prepare for exams. We also offer a Cubase club once a week for aspiring music producers to work on their own compositions. We pride ourselves in going the extra mile to help students achieve their musical goals, both within school and in the wider community. In addition to supporting school productions, Christmas shows and primary outreach, we also have bands performing in the local and wider community.
As a department, we are also signed upto the Sefton Music Service tuition service. For a small yearly charge, we currently offer lessons in:
- Music Department Homework
Homework forms an integral part of the study of GCSE Music. As with the course, homework is divided into 3 sub-categories: Performance, Composition and Set-Works.
Performance – It is essential that every student spends time away from lessons practising their chosen instrument. Only then will they be able to achieve their potential within the subject. There are opportunities to practice within lunchtime and after-school clubs if it is not feasible at home.
Composition – Cubase Club is available once a week after school for students to progress their knowledge of the software and develop their composition skills. There is an expectation that all GCSE students attend Cubase Club once every two weeks.
Listening and Appraising – Homework is set based around the 12 set-works of the syllabus. Homework will be based around an extension task from the lesson furthering understanding of a certain piece, listening to a set work, analysing a piece of music, revising key terms and practice questions.
The music department actively encourages all students to develop their musical skills through a variety of different instruments. Practical performance homework is one way we like to do this. We acknowledge that every household is not in a position to support instrumental homework which is why we also offer lunchtime and after-school clubs to provide students the opportunity to practice an instrument. Students are practically assessed within groups or individually every half term and there is an expectation that students will practice their performances as part of their homework.
Students will also be given research tasks for homework when starting a new area of study. Revision of key terms also forms part of the homework schedule when preparing for a written assessment