Music

 

Our Vision: The Music department is committed to nurturing the musical, social and academic development of individuals by encouraging a strong team ethic, as exemplified by both staff and students in its curricular and extra-curricular pursuits. As a heavily practical subject, we place a high level of importance on the acquisition of practical musical skills and seek to offer a positive musical experience to all of our students, regardless of prior musical knowledge or background. Practical music-making is supported by the development of other musical skills and strengths, such as aural perception, analytical work and contextual understanding. We strive to allow pupils to express themselves creatively through music, as well as to understand music’s place and importance in society and different cultures.

Our school has a strong tradition of excellence in music. Many students learn and practice a variety of instruments under the tuition of a team of highly qualified visiting musicians and most become members of the varied groups and ensembles. There are regular concert tours to Europe with recent successful tours including the South of France (2018), Belgium (2016), Spain (2015) and Italy (2013).

Music is taught throughout Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Staff teach across the age and ability range as well as leading extra curricular activities.

We have a spacious and specialised music department with two classrooms, a sixth form study space, 4 practice rooms and a dedicated percussion studio. We currently offer pupils tuition on woodwind, strings, percussion, brass, voice and guitar. Our extra curricular groups include the School Choir, Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Chamber Choir (junior and senior), Junior Choir, String Ensemble, String Quartet, Clarinet Ensemble, Beginners Band and Rock Band.

We also boast a suite of computers running Sibelius which is used in all key stages.

Music at Key Stage 3 is approached in a practical and creative way, with musical sound being the target language of learning. Skills are developed in creativity, improvisation, composition, performance, listening and aural perception through individual, paired and group-work activities. Pupils are encouraged to participate enthusiastically in all activities and have regular opportunities to reflect on their own work as well as that of their peers.

We strive to ground pupils in musical styles and traditions that are new and exciting to them, as well as preparing them for future study at GCSE and A Level. Topics covered throughout Key Stage 3 include Descriptive Music, Gamelan, Film Music, Chords and Songwriting, as well as lots of performing and singing opportunities.

The Music department at Sandbach High School regularly attracts a KS4 cohort that is larger than the national average. We follow the Edexcel specification which offers pupils a thorough curriculum of performance, composition, listening and analysis. Coursework is completed in the latter half of Year 10 through into Year 11, with performances being recorded in April of Year 11. The listening exam is in May/June of Year 11.

Students who continue Music into Key Stage 5 study the Edexcel A Level Music specification. This allows them a thorough grounding in harmonic practice, performance skills, musicology and analysis, all of which prepare them for further study in Higher Education. Small group sizes consistently lead to excellent results and many students go on to study music at University. Recent former students have successfully gained places at the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the RNCM and University of Manchester Joint Course and the University of Oxford.

Sixth formers are encouraged to participate and lead extra-curricular ensembles, as well as mentoring girls in the lower years.

pdfMusic Booklet 2018-2019