Music contributes to the development of pupils and to the school curriculum by providing a powerful and distinctive form of communication and expression. It develops thinking, increases perception, imagination and creativity and physical coordination; skills which can then be transferred to other areas of experience and learning. The Music Department seeks to provide an all-inclusive education and enjoyment through music, to all year groups in the school through class teaching, individual music lessons on instruments and voice, extra-curricular activities, concerts, workshops and educational visits.
Key Stage 3
Music at QEGS is concerned with nurturing and stretching the musical knowledge and ability of every individual. By teaching the key skills at an early stage, our pupils gain confidence and enjoyment in the subject. Therefore, we deliver a programme of study that covers important areas such as listening and appraising, composition, performance and music theory. We also develop a cultural, spiritual and contextual understanding through exploring music history, from the Medieval period through to Modern times and World Music. We also encourage developments in keyboard skills, understanding notation and performance techniques.
Key Stage 4
Pupils who choose to study music in Years 10 and 11 follow a course leading to a GCSE in Music from the Edexcel Examination Board. There are approximately 6-8 pupils in each GCSE Music class and our results are exceptional. Marks on average are at least 10% above the national average and we have had 100% A*-C pass rate over the last 5 years. The GCSE Music course consists of listening and appraising, composing and performance. Pupils will be able to demonstrate an understanding of past and present styles of composition and produce their own music that embraces a range of techniques and ideas. The course covers a range of activities and more in-depth analysis of eight set-works. Pupils engage with the different genres of music and listen to different types of performances to inform their own work.
FACILITIES AND RESOURCES
The Music Department is situated in a historic listed building in Brooklands House. The building is very well suited to the subject, due to its rehearsal space, practice rooms, IT suite, Music Library and two large, well equipped classrooms.
The various music rooms are spread over two floors although some areas are for GCSE and A level students only. The IT cluster is fully equipped with ten networked computers that all have industry standard Sibelius 7 and Cubase software used purely for teaching composition to GCSE and A level Music classes. Another room houses ten laptop computers that have Acid-Pro, Sibelius 5 and Cubase.
The building has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with its hustle and bustle of music-making heard continuously throughout the day due to the many peripatetic lessons and extra-curricular activities.
TRIPS AND VISITS
The department offer trips each year that adapt to the course content that is being studied. Recent trips have included a Creative Composing day at Manchester University focussing on World Music, a Jazz Band performance tour to Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower, concerts at the Bridgewater Hall and the Lowry Theatre in Manchester to see live performances of set works. Whole year-group trips are organised for Year 7 to the Liverpool Philharmonic Key Stage 3 concert & Slavery Museum. Both activities link with the units of work in Year 7 on Instruments of the Orchestra and at the start of Year 8, The origins of Blues and Jazz. The Choir compete in an annual local Music Festival, this year pupils competed at the Burnley Music Festival to sing in the Thomas Witham Auditorium. Community trips include the annual Carol Singing at Boundary Mill and performing at Holmes Mill for the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival during the May Bank holiday weekend.
Visits from various Music industry professionals are organised throughout the year. Most recently; Music Careers advisors BIMM (The British & Irish Modern Music Institute) talked about job opportunities within the music industry to Year 9 pupils and Henry Priestman, an established composer for ensembles, film, television and radio hosted a practical composition workshop for selected Year 9, GCSE & A level students.
The department offers a rich variety of extra-curricular activities. This includes Choir, Chamber Choir, Folk Group, Jazz Band, Guitar and Ukulele Club, GCSE Jam Session, Dance Troupe, Music Theory Class and GCSE and A level tutorials. QEGS Music students perform in the services at Blackburn Cathedral, showcase their performance and compositional talents during the recitals and concerts held throughout the year, and can be entered for the local music festival competitions such as ‘The Rotary Musician of the Year’ and ‘The Burnley Arts Festival.’ The Music Department is committed to engaging with our local community and during the year we enjoy performing at the local markets, shopping centres and outdoor festivals.
INDIVIDUAL MUSIC LESSONS
The Music department employs a team of professional and highly skilled peripatetic teachers who offer lessons in the following disciplines; brass, woodwind, strings, percussion (including drum kit), piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and singing. Lessons are 25 minutes, scheduled on a rotational basis and there are 30 lessons per academic year.
Miss E Cockshott
Subject Leader of Music