Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.
As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.
In music our aim is :
- For all students to gain knowledge, understanding, appreciation and LOVE of music.
- To have successful learners, who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve their best in music.
- To help shape confident individuals, who are able to perform, listen and compose safely and find healthy fulfillment from discussing creative ideas.
Music education encourages active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and communal, helping to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness. Music can influence pupils’ development in and out of school by fostering personal development and maturity, creating a sense of achievement and self-worth, and increasing pupils’ ability to work with others in a group context. Music learning develops pupils’ critical skills: their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgements about musical quality. It also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
Curriculum and Assessment.
Students have one 60 minute lesson of music a week and work on each scheme of work for 5 to 7 weeks, depending on the skills they are learning. Students are taught in mixed ability groups with top sets in years 8 and 9.
The school has a huge variety of musical equipment for students to use including class sets of keyboards, xylophones, guitars, glockenspiels and Djembes. We have a music tech suite with a class set of PCs running Cubase (industry standard computer music production software) where students can create compositions to a high standard and even release them or take a copy of their work home.
Students are continually assessed in music and progress is recorded on a student pathway tracker. Every student has their own personal target to achieve and the tracker enables teachers to identify students’ progress and help them to master the necessary skills to stay on their pathway or progress further.
The three main areas of focus in the curriculum are Performance skills, Composition skills and Listening skills that are taught through various schemes of work over KS3.
Year 7 Topics
In year 7 students take part in six schemes of work where they gain a basic understanding of music. Students learn and understand how to read and compose music, they improve their rhythmic skills and look into music from around the world learning how music is linked and influenced by other styles.
Schemes of work year 7:
- Bridging Unit
- Form and Structure
- Rhythm (Harry Potter)
- The World in Music
- 20th Century Western Pop Music
Year 8 Topics
In year 8 students expand their musical knowledge, skills and ability. Schemes of work build on previous knowledge and progress students understanding of music with relation to time, the place and the culture.
Schemes of work year 8:
- Music for Dance
- Film Music
- The Guide to the Orchestra
- Remix Project
- Pop Music
Year 9 Topics
In year 9 students use essential skills learnt over the last two years to take part in more independent focused learning projects. Students have the opportunity to personalise their own projects and choose what they want to do within the given context.
Schemes of work in year 9:
- Cover Version
- Jazz and Blues
- Electronic Music
- Film Music
- Song Writing
As part of the enriched curriculum offered by the Music Department the below activities are just some of the things our students have been involved with :
- Christmas concert – Held at Ivanhoe College involving school music groups.
- Liaison Concert – Hosted at Ivanhoe College with Ashby School, Ibstock School and three primary schools within the family of schools.
- Summer Concert – Held at Ivanhoe involving school music groups, also giving any student the opportunity to perform.
- Music Recitals – Lunchtime recitals for musicians to perform in front of friends and staff in a personal intimate environment.
- Moira Canal Festival – Choir and Glee Club performed a variety of songs on Saturday. A selection of solo singers from all years performed on the Sunday.
- Primary Liaison Sessions – African Drumming Sessions with Ivanhoe Percussion Group including Gumboot Dancing (AH) or African Singing (LP).
- Coalville SummerFest – Solo singers performed in the Belvoir Centre for SummerFest 2015.
- Dunfield Music Residential Trip – Talented year 9 students attended the Ashby School trip 2014.
- Live Gigs at Ivanhoe – Working with Tornado Productions to bring up and coming signed acts to the students at lunchtime including many different genres from RnB to Pop, Hip-Hop to Rock.
- The Rotary Young Musician – Local competition for talented musicians.
- Ashby Orchestra – For talented year 9s.
- A wide range of peripatetic teachers also offer private tuition on a variety of instruments
How does Music embed cross curriculum literacy skills?
During music lessons students get to experience mainly practical work, but still have chance to improve and develop their literacy skills. There are many opportunities for this during lessons from reading from a powerpoint to using key words to describe the music. Here are a few more examples:
- Students plan compositions individually and in groups using composition write up sheets to record their ideas.
- Students review their work and write up about the work they have produced describing what went well and how they could improve for their next piece of work.
- Students develop their literacy skills through song writing tasks that help them discover new vocabulary and progress on their poetry skills.
- Stuck sheets and handout sheets refer to music vocabulary that students are encouraged to use during their lessons both written and verbally.
- During certain topics students have the opportunity to research areas of interest and create a presentation using PowerPoint.
How does Music embed cross curriculum numeracy skills.
So the supposed correlation between Mathematics and Music may be a myth! To be good at Music does not necessarily make you amazing at Mathematics or visa versa but it does help when it comes to learning about notation and how to write music. This gives opportunity in music to grow and reaffirm student’s mathematical knowledge.
Here are a couple examples of how we improve students numeracy skills:
- Composing – adding note values when writing music or adding notes for games to learn note lengths.
- Adding note values together to create a full bar of music, looking at adding fractions and whole notes to create a 4 or 3 beat bar.
- Fractions – Quavers, Semi-Quavers and other notes.
- Listening – counting bars/analysing the beat of the bar instruments play.
- Counting the pulse
- Counting bars when performing.
How does music link to SMSC and PLTS?
Students’ social development is shown by their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
- willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.
- During World Music and African drumming topics students gain a brief understanding of how African tribes socialise where everyone takes part in dancing, singing or playing an instrument.
- Students watch videos and listen to music from other cultures, religions and social backgrounds. They listen and analyse music from renaissance through to modern music and learn how culture affects the sound and structure of music.
- During the Guide to the Orchestra the mix of student’s tastes in music across the school shines through in this topic and they are able to gain an appreciation of classical music.
- When working on a group composition task students will either be told their group by the teacher, choose a group themselves or be divided by a specific method so that students get to compose and perform with different people from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
- From year 7 onwards all students are taught about the advantages of PTLS, one huge focus in music being teamwork. To compose and perform in music lessons under the tight time restrictions students need to learn quickly how to co-operate well with each other and how to resolve conflict effectively in a group situation.
Students’ cultural development is shown by their:
- understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
- willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
- interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
- Students learn about African Djembes and a brief part of African culture.
- They embrace technological opportunities as they start to learn how to use Cubase (music production software) to create different rhythms, learning how and why they are different.
- Students learn about the Structure of music from Medieval to present day and how different cultures helped to mould and evolve it.
- Students look into effective melody lines from Classical to present day. They learn about ‘Beethoven’ to ‘Louis Armstrong’ to 80s pop band ‘The Cutting Crew’ and how time, place and culture have affected their sound.
- Students learn how African music is used for religious ceremonies, celebrations and more and how it has influenced and made a direct impact on music we listen to today.
- Students learn about the history and development of electronic music with focus on ‘Musique Concrete’ is taught.
- Students look at how it began, the main figures who took music to new places (e.g. Pierre Schauffer, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and more) creating sound effects through experimentation and up to present day composers.
- Students look at how electronic instruments have changed music as we know it today. They also delve into how electronic music has been developed and influenced by many different countries and cultures.
- Students look the genres that have influenced Dance music from soul/funk to Hip-Hop and African music. They gain an understanding of how the whole cultural movement has shaped British culture as we know it. This links to the local to national and global cultural movement of Dance music. Students use industry standard technology to create the latest genres of Dance music.
Students also have the opportunity to develop all SMSC and PLTS skills through extra-curricular clubs offered at Ivanhoe College.
How does music make use of curriculum enrichment days?
Year 8 Students experience a Performing Arts Enrichment Day.
Students have the opportunity to sign up to four different sessions in the morning from
• Street Dance
• Create your own ringtone
• Make your own instrument
• Script Work
All sessions are created to ensure students have a different experience than in usual lessons. They give students a flavour of Performing Arts that they would not otherwise experience in school. In the afternoon students get to see a live signed band perform for them. Students also get to meet the band, ask questions about being in a band and the music industry and receive free goodies too!!
The aim of the day is to inspire students and excite them about performing arts and the opportunities they could experience in the future.