Music and Music Technology

Department staff:

Mrs E Dunbar: Subject Leader

Mr T Burnage (HPL)

Mrs K Welford

Mr I Wilson

Key Stage 3:

Overview of the course

Through a range of practical and analytical tasks, students will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to compose, arrange, perform, record, edit and evaluate music. In lots of ways the final musical product is a bonus, since so much of what we do develops key life skills, like tenacity, initiative and communication, alongside creativity and imagination.

What kinds of learning experiences do students have in Music at Huntington?

  • Being creative, being spontaneous, using their initiative, taking the lead

  • Being adventurous, taking musical risks, developing the ability to cope with change

  • Learning how to listen, how to memorise, using non-verbal and non-visual forms of communication

  • Enjoying Music for Music’s sake, as well as recognising its transferable properties

  • Using ICT confidently to develop, edit, refine and evaluate ideas

  • Exploring the unfamiliar, celebrating cultural diversity, challenging their own cultural perceptions

  • Working with and listening to others, making a positive contribution to the classroom, the school and the wider community

  • Organising learning, independence, tenacity, self-management, forward planning, self-confidence, perseverance, self-motivation


Year 7

  • Holst “Planets”: Become familiar with an important historical work. Work to a brief extending and modifying musical motifs from the stimulus provided. Use entry level specialist language accurately and in a meaningful way to analyse and evaluate the original music, and students’ own work. Begin the process of connecting sound with language.

Year 8

  • Salsa: Capture the essence of a style through arrangement and improvisation, extending skills to include free string and counter-melodic writing. Record, edit, balance and mix down using Cubase software. Develop analytical musical language.

Year 9

  • Original song writing: Compose and perform an original song (lyrics, melody and harmony). Be able to self-manage, discuss, compromise and negotiate with others. Accommodate creative freedom within the constraints of having to meet tight deadlines. Become increasingly discerning about the quality of musical ideas.

Key Stage 4: GCSE Music

This is an immensely creative and fulfilling course suitable to a really wide range of musicians, with different tastes, and different starting points. Students can begin the course without being particularly skilled as an instrumentalist or vocalist but must have the desire to want to develop their playing or vocal skills.

We are often asked why students would want to take Music if they don’t want to be a musician when they leave school. Breadth and balance of subjects is really important at this stage of students’ learning. The most important thing is that students take Music at GCSE because they love it. Beyond that it’s a fantastic way to experience the challenges of working to a brief, working to external deadlines, and seeing a project through. It’s also a brilliant course for developing high quality analytical language, developing resilience, and enjoying seeing a job well done.

Assessment details

60% coursework controlled assessment, 40% examination.

Unit 1 Listening (40%): Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music. (similar style to listening tests at GCSE)

Unit 2 Performance (30%): 1 solo, 1 group piece (15% each)

Unit 3 Composition (30%): 2 Compositions. 1 to a brief, 1 free.

Examination board: AQA

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