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Music

“Where words fail, music speaks”

Hans Christian Andersen

The music department is a growing and vibrant environment where all students can access a variety of musical experiences both through curricular and extra-curricular activities. We believe that all students should be able to access high quality musical learning and we are passionate about encouraging each student to achieve their God-given potential and to have a life in all its fullness.

At All Saints’ Academy, students can choose to have additional instrumental or vocal lessons, which are taught by our excellent team of Visiting Music Teachers, who work as part of Gloucestershire Music.

Head of Music: Mr R Crann

Our outstanding facilities are focussed around our large main teaching room which has been newly equipped with a suite of PCs and keyboards. Students have access to a range of popular music software including Sibelius and Cubase.

Our second teaching room is equally equipped as a computer room or can be used as a recording studio linked to our state-of-the-art control room. In the recording studio, students have the opportunity to learn to record and mix using industry standard software.

Our three practice studios have recently been upgraded with a full band set up including digital piano, electronic drum kit, bass and electric guitar.

Musical education plays a central role in shaping our sense of personal, social and cultural identity and, as such, enables students to learn to express themselves and gain the confidence needed to succeed in their education. In addition, learning music develops a wide variety of transferable skills and attributes including independence, confidence, perseverance and creativity.

The Academy’s Vision has helped shape our curriculum choices for KS3, KS4 and KS5. In topics such as Folk Music and Blues at KS3, we explore the Moral, Social and Ethical aspects of different cultures and the historical context of Music; whilst at KS4 and KS5 students are encouraged to achieve their God-given potential through specialising in Performance and Composition.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students learn the basics of music theory, such as reading pitch and rhythm notation, and develop their listening and composition skills through various music topics including Folk Music, Inspirations, Samba Drumming, Fantasy, Music Technology and working together as part of a band.

They develop confidence in their singing voices and start to gain basic performance skills on the keyboard by performing solos and in small ensembles.

In Year 8, students develop these skills further and continue to focus on the three main aspects of Music; Performing, Composing and Listening. Topics include Blues, Horror Film Music, Song Writing, Electronic Dance Music and Ground Bass. During the various topics, they continue to develop their understanding of Music Technology, music theory and performing with others.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students who opt to study music will follow the EDUQAS GCSE course. Where this is not a suitable course due to the performance and listening aspects, there may be the opportunity for students to complete BTEC Level 2 in Music which enables them to learn the same musical skills, but with a more practical focus.

Students who choose to continue Music at Key Stage 4 should commit to having additional instrumental or singing lessons to support their musical development (financial support may be available if required). It is also mandatory for students studying GCSE music to be involved in at least one of the Music Extra Curricular Activities each week.

In Year 9, students will develop their music skills further through performance and composition activities, while building the confidence to use specific terminology to describe the music they hear and create. Students will cover topics that are included in the GCSE course and learn the skills needed to access the study of set works.

In Year 10, students will develop their performance and composition skills while studying the following units:

  • Musical Forms and Devices
  • Music for Ensemble
  • Film Music
  • Popular Music

Students study a variety of styles of music within these four areas of study including two set works: Africa by Toto and Badinerie by J.S. Bach.

In Year 11, students complete their controlled assessment and prepare for the written paper. This consists of:

  • Recording 4 – 6 minutes of solo and ensemble performance (30% of the GCSE)
  • Creating 3-6 minutes of your own 2 pieces of music, one of which is to a brief set by the exam board. (30% of the GCSE)
  • Listening and Appraising exam (40% of the GCSE)

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students can opt to study Music A Level or Music Technology A Level.

A Level Music

Students choosing the EDUQAS Music A Level will be required to take additional vocal or instrumental lessons to support their individual performance (financial support may be available if required). We would also expect that students studying A Level music would take a leading role in at least one of the Music Extra Curricular Activities each week.

3 components: Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising

Listening and Appraising 

Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750– 1900) 

Area of study C: Musical Theatre 

This area of study focuses on the work of six musical theatre composers: Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Schwartz. 

Area of study E: Into the Twentieth Century 

This area of study focuses on the distinct musical styles of the early twentieth century, which was a time of change and experimentation in music. 

Assessment

Listening and Appraising is assessed by examination and is worth 40% of the overall mark. 

Performing and Composing are each worth either 35% or 25% of the overall mark depending on which you choose to specialise in. 

Performances are examined by a visiting examiner. 

Compositions are marked externally and include one set brief as well as free composition. 

A Level Music Technology

With Edexcel A Level Music Technology, there are three areas of study which underpin the whole course encouraging breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding. They also provide the context for the students’ practical and theoretical work.

Area of study 1: Recording and Production Techniques for both Corrective and Creative Purposes

Area of study 2: Principles of Sound and Audio Technology

Area of study 3: The Development of Recording and Production Technology

Assessment

2 pieces of externally assessed coursework (40% of the A Level) comprising:

  • Multi-track recording of 7 instruments from a choice of 10 different artists
  • Composition using Music Technology

2 exams (60% of the A Level) comprising:

  • Listening and analysing exam
  • Practical and written exam involving analysing and producing

Trips

The music department runs regular trips to see live music and musical theatre events. Recent trips 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. Future trips are planned to see the Opera “Madame Butterfly” in 2022.


Extra Curricular

All Saints’ Academy has a successful Academy Choir which performs at a variety of engagements throughout the year. These have included singing in Gloucester Cathedral, at the Inauguration of the first female Diocesan Bishop, and the Holocaust Memorial event at the Cheltenham Municipal Chambers.

Students are encouraged to start their own bands in our newly equipped practise rooms and make use of the computers and keyboards to make their own music. We actively encourage students to use our facilities for both fun and more regular practise.

As part of the successful Performing Arts Faculty, we stage annual whole academy Musical productions involving 150+ students forming the company as our cast and crew. Our productions have become a much loved and much anticipated part of the community life and we sell out our audience year after year thanks to the support of our local members. Previous productions include Walt Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables’ and Walt Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Jr’ to name just a few.

We are keen to continue with some of the activities we have developed over the past few years including our expanding Year 7 choir, which supports the transition from KS2, to enable students to join the Academy Choir when appropriate. There are also lunchtime guitar and keyboard clubs and opportunities to have private lessons on a variety of instruments and voice.


Instrumental and Vocal Lessons

All Saints’ Academy can offer individual & small group tuition through high quality teachers provided by Gloucestershire Music (GM). Instrumental lessons are a great way to not only engage your child in music making but are also proven to improve their confidence and concentration. Much research has shown the positive effect of music on English and Maths in particular. The time that lessons commence will be decided in due course by your school and the GM tutor who will deliver the lessons. GM staff are DBS checked, employees of Gloucestershire County Council and are quality assessed to maintain the highest standards of teaching across the county.

Gloucestershire Music also offer a musical instrument hire scheme. More information on prices for this scheme can be found online at www.gloucestershiremusic.co.uk.

A student bursary is also available for those who wish to apply for financial assistance. This can cover tuition, instrument hire and exam fees up to £200 per term (based on a 3-term year). Visit https://www.makemusicgloucestershire.org.uk/schools/mmg-grants-and-bursaries/ for more information.

All Saints’ Academy would like to offer pupils the opportunity for lessons in Voice, Guitar, Trumpet, Piano and Drum Kit. To sign up to our music lesson waiting list please contact the Music Department.

For 2020/21 lessons are priced as follows:

Group Tuition 3 – 5 pupils 30m………………………………£61.50

Paired Lesson 30m…………………………………………………£91.50

Individual Tuition 20m…………………………………………..£121.50

Individual Tuition 30m …………………………………………. £181.50

Lessons are priced based on 10 lessons a term


Future Possibilities

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 securing an apprenticeship at a large recording studio in Hamburg.

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