We teach Music and Music Technology because...Music is a language that all people, regardless of age, race or gender can communicate in. Music challenges the mind and soothes the body. Studying Music exercises both sides of the brain and research has proven that students who study music and learn musical instruments, dramatically enhance their abstract reasoning skills, which are essential for maths and science based subjects. Through performance and expression, students develop social confidence and artistic creativity. Through regular practise and structured rehearsals, students develop resilience to overcoming challenges and learn how to problem solve using available resources. Performing in music ensembles gives students the opportunity to interact with other musicians to develop social and communication skills that are essential in the modern world.
In KS3 students through three core strands which are Musical Context, Practical Music Making and Analysing and Evaluating. Students in Year 7 focus on the elements of music as well as understanding music notation particularly being able to recognise pitch and rhythm. Students are introduced to keyboard skills as well as composition using a range of percussion instruments and music technology. As they progress through Year 8 and 9, students learn about many different styles of classical, world and contemporary music, understanding the context behind the styles as well as key musical features that they explore through practical activities in performance and composition. All the way through KS3 students develop their aural skills to analyse music and evaluate their own practice in preparation for IGCSE.
At KS4 students within the framework of the IGCSE. There are three core strange at IGCSE which are Listening, Performing and Composition. Students learn how to compose two pieces, the first being a Club Dance composition using Music Technology where the students need to explore compositional devices suitable for the style using software called Logic. The second is a Classical Composition in a Theme and Variations style, exploring classic devices using traditional instrumentation and notating it properly using software called Sibelius. For performance, students need to perform a solo piece at a Grade 3-4 standard minimum on an instrument of choice and we offer music lessons at the school to support them with this. Students also perform an ensemble piece to show their music communication skills as well as their instrumental mastery. The listening component of the course challenges students to aurally analyse and assess music from different classical and world styles, understanding not only the context of the music but being able to recognise key musical features from instrumentation, to melodic, harmonic and rhythmic devices.
Beyond the classroom the department...Music is a welcoming department and all students have the opportunity to take part in many different ensembles and performances, or study instruments with trained professionals. Through our new relationship with the Kampala Music School, students can learn how to play drums, piano, guitar and violin or take singing lessons with our team of excellent musicians and educators who come on a weekly basis. We are looking to grow this to include Brass and Woodwind instruments by the end of the year. We run all sorts of clubs including Musical Theatre Club, Choir, Community Choir, KS3 Choirs, Ukulele Club, Music Technology Club and KS4 Ensembles which perform regularly, particularly at our big events such as the Christmas Concert and Summer Showcase. Students can use the practise rooms and music classroom during breaks and lunches to explore their own musical performance ideas and 6th form students have 24/7 access to the recording studio to work on their coursework and independent projects. The department motto is ‘Achievement for All’ and all students are given the opportunities and encouragement to fulfil their own musical potential here at GEMS CIK.