Music

Music is an important part of learning and of the life of Bishop Milner Catholic College.

Rationale

We are a busy and committed department who believe that ‘Music is for All’ regardless of age, gender and ability. The music department operates an ‘open door’ policy so that students are able to work with others and further develop their interests and skills at lunch times and after school.

Aims of the Department

We believe that the students should be entitled to a broad education and that music plays an important part in this. We encourage creativity as well as specialist practical skills that students would not encounter elsewhere in the curriculum. Together with developing the musician in a child we feel that music lessons help to develop a students’ social and communication skills and also help to build confidence. The commitment required in order to achieve excellence is also important to the individual’s growth of character.

Music should be accessible to students of all abilities and backgrounds and the aims of the department are based on this premise. The subject is taught in a practical manner, the emphasis being placed upon learning through the experience of performing, composing and listening. Students work individually, in pairs, in groups and as a whole class as appropriate. The department has a number of practice rooms which facilitate group work.

Our objectives are:

  1. To stimulate and develop an enjoyment of music through an active involvement in the three core musical activities: Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising.
  2. To develop skills in the classroom which will enable students to further involve themselves with musical activities either in school or in their leisure time.
  3. To provide extra-curricular activities which cater for students with or without previous musical experience.
  4. To ensure that class based activities allow for the involvement of all students regardless of ability and to provide differentiated work schemes to stretch students at both ends of the scale.
  5. To provide resources to enable students to experience both acoustic and electronic sound sources and to develop the use of technology within the department.
  6. To develop students’ ability to co-operate in group work.
  7. To encourage the use of imagination and originality in composition.
  8. To develop and commend a commitment to excellence through regular attendance at rehearsals or diligent individual practice.
  9. To stimulate an appreciation of a wide variety of musical styles without bias.
  10. To develop confidence through opportunities to perform to others.

Accommodation & Resources

The music room is purpose built and incorporates 6 practice rooms which are used during practical lessons and also for individual and group instrumental tuition. Instrumental lessons are available on a wide variety of instruments. Teachers from Dudley Performing Arts deliver small group and individual tuition during the school day for which a contribution is payable.

The classroom has a whiteboard and projector and a good range of equipment including keyboards, guitars, percussion instruments, 16 computers with various music software, 5 iMacs with LogicPro, microphones, P.A. and recording equipment.

The curriculum

At Key Stage 3, students receive a one hour lesson of performing arts per week. This is currently on a half-termly rotation with Dance. Schemes of work are written to fit these half term blocks, focussing on specific areas of study. Whilst the focus is specified the tasks required within this may incorporate a variety of skills thus building on knowledge gained in earlier modules.

These modules are assessed at the end of the half term and this may take the form of written testing, practical assessment and / or recording.

Our Key Stage 4 begins in Year 9 and students receive two 1 hour lessons per week throughout years 9, 10 and 11. We are currently following the AQA Specification but will be changing to the WJEC specification for the new GCSEs. There are annual GCSE recital evenings with an audience where coursework is recorded.

Extra-curricular activities

There are a variety of groups rehearsing in the music department. Students collaborate in different ensembles to provide music for assemblies and other special events.

The School Orchestra and choir rehearse during the Autumn and Summer terms and perform at a variety of events. We also have Guitar and Keyboard Clubs. During the Summer term we work towards our Whole College Show, which for July 2016 is Bugsy Malone.

Each year, our music clubs are reviewed by staff and extra – curricular timetables are published and sent out to tutor groups and are advertised in the school newsletter. We are constantly reviewing our music groups to cater for the interests of both our staff and Students.