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Slemish College

Slemish College
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Music

 

Teaching Staff

  • Miss L Murray, MA BMus LTCL LMusTCL (Subject Leader)
  • Mrs J Armstrong, BMus LTCL

Peripatetic Staff

  • Mrs L Owens (Vocal - private)
  • Mr G Carley (Guitar - private)
  • Mrs N Logan (Piano - private)
  • Mr G Cobain (Percussion - private)
  • Mr G Murray (Brass and Woodwind - NEELB Music Service)
  • Mrs C McKay (Strings - NEELB Music Service)
  • Mrs B Murray (Brass and Woodwind - NEELB Music Service)
  • Mr McGregor (Bagpipe - Ulster Scots Agency)

Curriculum

Key Stage 3


  • All students in Key Stage 3 receive three fifty minute periods a fortnight.
  • In Year 8 students cover a wide range of topics from Music Notation, Keyboard Skills, Instruments of the Orchestra, Styles of Music and Musical Characterisation. All students have the opportunity to take part in music making through the use of keyboards and percussion instruments. This also allows them to work with others, in groups or in pairs and also to develop their skills as individual learners.
  • In Year 9 students build on the foundations established in Year 8. They will cover topics such as The Elements of Music, Tonality and Chords, Film and Programme Music, World Music and Keyboard Skills. Students will continue to develop their knowledge and skills throughout the year.
  • In Year 10 students will continue to study topics such as Music Through Time, Film and Stage Music, Jazz and Blues and Irish Music.
  • The aim throughout the course of Key Stage 3 is that students will develop transferrable skills which they can carry through to GCSE and A Level.

GCSE


  • In Years 11 and 12 students will following the CCEA GCSE Music Course. The course consists of three units: Listening (35%), Performing (35%) and Composing (30%).
  • Students will have the opportunity to study a collection of pieces such as Canon in D (Pachelbel), Run (Snow Patrol), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Zimmer) and One Short Day (Wicked) which they will then answer questions on in the Listening exam.
  • In terms of performing, students will perform one solo piece and one ensemble (group) piece followed by a discussion with the examiner.
  • Composition will be worked on throughout the duration of the two year course. Students will compose two pieces: one by the end of Year 11 and the second completed by March of Year 12. Both pieces must be recorded and submitted to CCEA by April of Yr 12.
  • Any student considering GCSE Music must be able to play an instrument or sing to an acceptable standard (ideally grade 3 standard by the end of Year 12). 

A Level


  • A Level Music students follow the CCEA Music Course.
  • At AS Level students will study two topics: Music for Orchestra, 1700 to 1900 and Music for Solo Piano, 1825 to 1890. These will be assessed through a test of aural perception (1 hour) and a written examination (75 mins). These two papers account for 40% of the AS level. Students will have to complete a practical exam, performing either a solo or ensemble performance (40%). The final unit is a Multi-Track Recording. Students must create a multi-track recording of a performance which consists of at least four independent vocal and/or instrumental parts. The student is free to select an appropriate performance for recording. They must then submit a rough mix and a final mix-down (20%).
  • At A2 Level students will study two topics: Music for Orchestra in the Twentieth Century and Jazz in the USA, 1930 to 1960. These will be assessed through a test of aural perception (1 hour) and a written examination (90 mins). These two papers account for 40% of the AS level. Students will have to complete a practical exam, performing either a solo or ensemble performance (40%). The final unit is Multi-Track Recording. Students must create two contrasting mixes derived from a multi-track recording of a performance. The original performance must consist of at least five independent vocal and/or instrumental parts. The student may add additional sequenced tracks to the ‘live’ tracks (20%).

Extra Curricular

  • Extra Curricular Activities play a large part in the Music Department. We have Junior and Senior Choir, Orchestra, Traditional Group and many different bands and ensembles. All these groups/ensembles are given the opportunity to perform at our two main concerts throughout the year: Christmas Celebrations and The Musical Evening. There are many student-lead bands within the College and this is greatly encouraged in the Department. 
  • There are many instrumental and vocal lessons on offer in the College: piano, singing, percussion, brass and woodwind, strings, guitar and bagpipe lessons. All students are given the opportunity to begin an instrument at Slemish College if they wish. 
  • Grade 5 theory is also offered as an extra curricular activity once every two years for any student in years 11-14 who may need it in order to complete higher grade examinations or for those who want extra help towards GCSE and A Level Music study. 
  • The College also stage a musical production every two years which is usually open to students from Year 10 upwards. In previous years we have staged various productions such as Grease, My Fair Lady, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and most recently, Calamity Jane. This is a great opportunity for students who enjoy Musical Theatre. 
  • A level Music student also have an opportunity to take a trip to London in either Yr 13 or 14. This usually involves attending two West End performances and also some musical exhibitions and sights.

Homework & Core Assessments

  • Students will be set homework in Music in accordance with the Homework Policy. Students may be asked to complete a variety of homeworks such as written, listening, research, ICT-based activities and/or performance-based. 
  • At Key Stage Three students will complete three Core Assessments throughout each year; two in term 1 and one in term 2. These Core Assessments will take the form of either a written assessment, composition assessment or a practical assessment. Students will be continually assessed practically in Music as this is an integral part of every unit that we teach. 
  • At GCSE level we would expect students to be working 30-45minutes each evening on Music this can take the form of composing, practising their instrument and/or studying their set works. It is key for students to maintain this level throughout the two-year course. 
  • At AS and A2 level we would expect students to be working 45-60 minutes each evening on Music and again this can take the form of composing, practising their instrument or studying their topics. Students will be working on analysis and on essay writing skills and it will be important for them to consolidate this at home.

Links

Slemish Music Twitter
www.twitter.com/slemishmusic

CCEA Music Site - Specification and Resources
www.ccea.org.uk/music

BBC Bitesize - Revision
www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

YouTube - photos from Musical Evening and from London Trip
www.youtube.com

iPad apps:

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten (great for instrumental revision at KS3, GCSE and A level).

Music Theory for Beginners (Revision for notation, clefs and chords)

Carnival of the Animals: Music Education for Kids (topic covered in Yr 8)