All students in Years 7 to 9 are taught in classes no larger than 20 in size. This enables more group work and guarantees access to excellent facilities every lesson. Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments to Music lessons. They follow a classroom Curriculum in line with the National Curriculum recommendations.
Our pupils have the opportunity to study diverse styles of music from many different cultures and eras to gain a wide overall understanding of Music using traditional notation and music technology to support their learning. We teach interactively to give pupils the chance to discuss and perform to the class to not only vary different teaching styles but also to help build confidence. Music at Townley is an enjoyable and creative subject and helps build a platform for pupils to develop and explore different skills.
In the first term we cover basic theory including the names of the notes and rhythm (for gifted and talented pupils they are given more advanced theory), the orchestra and its instruments and we sing various songs to introduce the idea of practical music and developing vocal technique.
In the second term we look at African drumming to develop the idea of rhythm and diverse styles which includes ensemble work through creating a call and response rhythm composition.
In the third term pupils explore the music of the British Isles and learn about the keyboard to be able to play the Suffolk Morris with extension work on chords and accompaniment for the gifted and talented. There is also singing of folk songs which is of course an important skill.
In the fourth term pupils learn how to write a 2 part composition based on 3 bars of music using various techniques and written with notation. This is an excellent unit to develop many skills and for pupils to gain confidence in composition.
In the fifth term pupils explore a different form of notating/depicting music through graphic scores. Not only do they attempt to follow a graphic score to Beethoven’s ‘Egmont’ but they also create their own and perform it to the class. This is also the term where they have their year exam with revision.
In the sixth term pupils are involved with head girls’ day so we learn and perform some mass singing pieces. Also this term pupils get the opportunity to be involved in a 2 day workshop of music from different cultures. Last year was a Samba workshop with art, music and dance classes with a concert at the end of it all.
In the first term we study the Blues looking at chords and the 12 bar blues structure and pupils compose their own Blues songs learning various techniques to set words to music.
In the second term pupils learn how to sequence music using GarageBand software on the computers. They also begin to explore the Baroque period in music and sequence Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’.
In the third term pupils learn about the Classical period and Mozart and even how to conduct. The bulk of the term is in taken up by a composition task to write a Minuet which involves choosing chords and composing a melody to accompany them in the 3/4 time signature. The last lesson involves showing how the Minuet turned into the Waltz in the Romantic period including singing some popular Waltz tunes.
In the fourth term we explore different National Anthems and how the music is suitable for grand occasions. The pupils then create their own country and compose a National anthem for it to suit the place. They then make a flag, a dance and a national costume to go with their song and the best from each class goes through to a competition for their year group.
In the fifth term pupils look at how to create a ‘Sinister’ composition and consider the use of chromatics, the minor key and other techniques to make a piece sound sinister. This is also the term where they have their year exam with revision.
In the sixth term pupils learn about the Indonesian Gamelan and composing their own short piece using Glockenspiels, cymbals and drums to mimic a Gamelan and a chance to use the interactive Gamelan on the computers.
In the first term pupils learn about variations and how to vary a theme using different techniques and listening to various recordings. They then compose their own variations piece based on ‘Frère Jacques’.
In the second term we look at the differences between sacred and secular and look at various Christmas carols and songs. Pupils then compose their own Christmas song/carols using their own or school instruments and two chosen pieces are played in assembly.
In the third term we learn about Pop music and students learn how to write songs and get to record them in our recording studio.
In the fourth term pupils learn how to edit and produce their pop songs on some of the latest music editing software.
In the fifth term pupils learn about Reggae and Salsa and do various listening exercises on these styles. Pupils also compose their own Reggae songs and learn to play and improvise different Salsa rhythms.
In the sixth term we look at how music is used in film to heighten the action and events. Pupils then go on to compose a score to go with a video clip paying specific attention to timings and suitable sounds and background music.