The music department is a vibrant department where we strive to ensure that all students can access a variety of musical experiences both through curricular and extra-curricular activities. We believe that all students should have access to high quality musical experiences and we are passionate about enabling each child to achieve their potential.
Head of Department: Mrs N Austin
Teacher of Music: Mr M Aitchison
Our excellent facilities consist of one large teaching room equipped with interactive whiteboard, visualiser and a suit of Apple Mac Computers and keyboards, one smaller teaching room which can be used as a recording space, three practice rooms with keyboards, electronic drum kits and Apple mac computers and a recording studio in which students have the opportunity to learn to record and mix using industry standard software.
We believe that musical education plays a central role in shaping our sense of our personal, social and cultural identity as well as helping students to learn to express themselves. In addition, learning music develops a wide variety of transferable skills and attributes including independence, confidence, perseverance and creativity.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 students follow a practical course which develops skills from five strands and provides a secure foundation for studying music at Key Stage 4 and beyond. The five strands are:
- Performing (Singing and Instrumental)
- Composing and Improvising
- Listening and Appraising (Describing music and evaluating it)
- Using Music Technology
- Understanding the Music Industry
In Year 7 students learn to read musical notation and use musical vocabulary to describe the effect of music. They develop their singing voices and start to gain basic performance skills on keyboard and guitar by performing solos and in small ensembles. They have regular opportunities to use their skills in composition activities.
In Year 8 students study a number of projects including learning about “Theme and Variations” as a basis for further composition; film music where they analyse film music before creating their own soundtrack using Garage Band; and hooks, riffs and songwriting where they learn about using chords to give structure to their music.
Key Stage 4
In Year 9 skills development continues with students learning to recreate and arrange music on Logic Pro. They continue to develop their functional keyboard skills and knowledge and understanding of the theory that underpins music.
Year 10 and 11 students study the NQF Level 2 BTEC course which consists of 25% examination and 75% coursework.
Units studied are:
The Music Industry, Creating a Music Product, Introduction to Recording and Introduction to Sequencing.
At Level 3 students study the Level 3 BTEC in Music Technology (production.) In year 12 they achieve the units for the Certificate and in year 13 these are added to in order to achieve the subsidiary Diploma.
Units studied include: Acoustics for Musicians, Using Music Sequencers, Recording and Producing Music, Understanding the Music Industry and Independent Research.
Where it is appropriate, student’s individual strengths in performance or music theory can be developed through the addition of alternate units of study.
The music department runs regular trips. Trips in the last year have included 2 visits to Symphony Hall in Birmingham to hear “The Piano Guys” and Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, an opportunity to watch a final dress rehearsal of “Fiddler on the Roof” and to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in the West End.
All Saints’ Academy has a successful choir which sings at a variety of engagements throughout the year. These have included singing in Gloucester Cathedral at the Inauguration of the first female Diocesan Bishop.
There are also lunchtime guitar and keyboard clubs and opportunities to have private lessons on a variety of instruments.
The BTEC Level 3 course provides a variety of the skills required for professions such as music therapy, arts administration, music technology, music teaching, music production and recording. The skills developed through the study of music are also useful in a wide range of careers. These include analytical ability, confidence, listening and presentation skills. Examples of the paths taken by some former students include studying musical performance at BIMM, studying media at university and doing an apprenticeship at a large recording studio in Hamburg.