Contact Us

Music

  • Music
  • Text size
  • a A

The Music Department is a flourishing and successful department which above all provides a foundation upon which a joy of music can be nurtured and developed.

 

All students are involved in performing, composing, listening and appraising. Our aim is to develop musical skills and understanding in students encompassing a wide range of abilities and to encourage pupils to cooperate and work together within the classroom and within musical ensembles through extracurricular activities. Students are given the opportunity to develop their instrumental and vocal skills via peripatetic music lessons which are taught by a highly qualified, experienced and well-motivated team of instrumental teachers.


Music at Rishworth

Music is taught throughout the School from Year 7. Within Key Stage 3, a comprehensive scheme of work is followed with the emphasis placed on the involvement of all pupils in the fundamental musical activities of performing, listening and composing. By participation in these activities, pupils will be stimulated and will develop awareness and sensitivity. Pupils are encouraged to recognise and have an understanding of, music from other times and cultures and to develop imagination and ability to express ideas and emotions through the communicative aspects of music.

 

At GCSE students follow the AQA syllabus which covers the musical skills of listening and appraising, performing and composing.

 

Music is also offered at AS and A Level; students follow the AQA specification which includes modules covering the understanding of music, composing and performing.


Lower & Middle School Music

Year 7 Topics:

  • Monteverdi’s orchestra, rhythms and pulse, drones, C chord, C broken chord, 5 note melodies, Ternary Form (ABA) compositions.
  • Eleanor Rigby, Em, C, Em7, Em6, C/E chords, syncopated melodies, bass lines, riffs, string quartet.
  • Joshua Fought the Battle, tones & semitones, major and minor tonalities, Dm and A chords, swing rhythms, D harmonic minor scale, improvisation, countermelody.
  • Ragtime, When I’m 64, chromatic scales, C, D, F and Fm chords, The Entertainer, vamping.
  • Brass instruments (trumpets, tenor horns, trombones, euphoniums and tubas), basic note (treble clef) and rhythm reading, ensemble skills.

 

Year 8 Topics:

  • Musical clichés, chords I-vi-IV-V in C major chord inversions, closed hand position, musical structure, Stand By Me, Beautiful Girls, recognising musical clichés, song fusion.
  • Introduction to Mixcraft music ICT programme, metronome, tempo, layers, timbres, quantizing, MIDI, audio files, MP3 files.
  • Rondo structure, In My Place, Poulenc Carillon, Mozart Horn Concerto, Beethoven Pathetique Sonata, pentatonic scale, improvisation, singing in harmony, rap.
  • Film music, cartoon music analysis, creating suspense in music, choosing appropriate timbres for characters, importing videos into Mixcraft, setting music to a Pixar cartoon: For the Birds.

 

Year 9 Topics:

  • African drumming, djembes, congas, bongos, auxiliary percussion, Africa song (Toto), repetition and development, contrasts, call and response, longer term structure, improvisation, cross rhythms, fusions.
  • Pachelbel’s Canon, Ground Bass, Variations, C, G, Am, Em, F chords, using Mixcraft to build layers, loops, dynamics in computer sequencing, tempo change, stereo panning.
  • The Blues, West End Blues, Blues history, lyric analysis, improvisation over the Blues scale, putting together Blues compositions.
  • Time Lapse, Minimalism, Ground Bass, chromatic chords, suspensions, perfect and imperfect cadences, passacaglia, tension and relief in music.

GCSE Music

GCSE Music is available to pupils of all abilities and the course is sufficiently flexible to be tailored to the needs of individuals. The course is practically based and is particularly suited to pupils who already play a musical instrument.  There are three components – Understanding Music, Performing Music and Composing Music.

 

There are four areas of study:

  • Western classical tradition 1650 – 1910 (compulsory).
  • Popular music.
  • Traditional music.
  • Western classical tradition since 1910.

 

Examination Board: AQA

 

Course Content:

 

Mode of Assessment:

 

Component 1: Understanding Music

40% of GCSE marks

  • An exam paper lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes with listening excerpts of music
  • Section A: Listening with eight compulsory questions
  • Section B: Contextual understanding with four sets of linked questions, two compulsory
  • Externally assessed

 

Component 2: Performing Music

30% of GCSE marks

  • Performed as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology
  • Performance 1: Solo performance
  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance
  • A minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance
  • Non-exam assessment (NEA): internally marked and moderated by AQA

 

Component 3: Composing Music

30% of GCSE marks

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief.

Briefs will include different stimuli, for instance: written words, a poem or a piece of text; photographs, images or film and notation

  • Composition 2: Free composition.

A minimum of three minutes and a maximum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required

  • Non-exam assessment (NEA): internally marked and moderated by AQA.

A-Level Music

Introduction

This course allows for the development of individual interests and aptitudes and is particularly suited to students who are competent performers.  The practical options provide challenging and rewarding opportunities to develop talent in music involving, among other things, live performances.  Students are encouraged to compose in a variety of styles, to practise critical listening and to acquire skills of study and research.  It is hoped, above all, that students who take this course will develop a lifelong interest in music both as listeners and music-makers.  Ideally, the minimum requirement for entry to this course is a grade B in GCSE Music and an aptitude as a performer of about Grade Six.

 

The AS/A2 specifications have been designed to enable AS and A-level students to be co-taught, but it is expected that most, if not all students will proceed directly to A2 without sitting the AS examination.

 

Course content:

 

AS [Year 1]

 

Component 1: Appraising music

Written examination (2 hours), 40% of AS, externally assessed by AQA

There are seven areas of study:

  • Western classical tradition 1650-1910 (compulsory).
  • Pop music.
  • Music for media.
  • Music for theatre.
  • Jazz.
  • Contemporary traditional music.
  • Art music since 1910.

 

Mode of assessment

Section A – listening: two compulsory questions from a selection of seven

Section B – analysis: two questions, students answer one

Section C – contextual understanding: one essay question from a choice of six

 

Component 2: Performance

30% of AS, externally assessed by AQA

  1. Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or singer and/or music production (via technology)
  2. Performance must last between six and eight minutes.

 

Component 3: Composition

30% of AS, externally assessed by AQA

  1. Composition 1: composing to a brief
  2. Composition 2: free composition

Combined composition time must last between four and a half and six minutes.

 

A2 Year [Year 2]

 

Component 1: Appraising music

Written examination (2 hours 30 minutes), worth 40% of A2, externally assessed by AQA

There are seven areas of study:

  • Western classical tradition 1650-1910 (compulsory).
  • Pop music.
  • Music for media.
  • Music for theatre.
  • Jazz.
  • Contemporary traditional music.
  • Art music since 1910.

 

Mode of assessment

Section A – listening: three compulsory questions from a selection of seven

Section B – analysis: three questions, students to answer two

Section C – contextual understanding: one essay question from a choice of six (30 marks)

 

Component 2: Performance

35% of A2, externally assessed by AQA

  1. Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or singer and/or music production via technology.
  2. Performance must last between ten and twelve minutes.

 

Component 3: Composition

25% of A2, externally assessed by AQA

  1. Composition 1: composing to a brief
  2. Composition 2: free composition

Combined composition time must last between four and a half and six minutes.


Outside the Classroom

There is a real buzz for music at Rishworth and there are many high quality musical ensembles in which students may participate including the Concert Band, the Big Band, String, Brass and Percussion Ensembles, the Funk Band and Choirs. Major annual events include the ‘Celebration of Christmas’, music recitals and a thriving Music Festival incorporating a ‘Young Musician of the Year’ competition. Rock in the Quad is a very successful outdoor rock festival run by the School PTA and raises money for charitable causes. There are, in addition, numerous concerts held within the local community. The School has developed particularly strong links with Halifax Minster, and Rishworth students perform in concerts and services on a regular basis. There have been successful music tours to numerous European destinations including Austria, Denmark, Italy and France.


Other Information

We have created student posts for Music in recognition of the enormous contributions musicians make to the life of the School through outstanding individual performances and dedicated membership of various musical ensembles.

 

All instrumental / vocal students have the opportunity to enter for Trinity College Music Examinations in which we have an enviable record of successes from Initial to Grade 8. Further developments have included the completion of a Music Technology Suite and the establishment of a ‘Rock School’.

Back

Back