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Music - Subject Guide

Introduction

The Trinity school Music Department is a lively place to be. The fourteen members of staff offer individual lessons on nearly all stringed, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. This year we are also pleased to introduce piano lessons to our instrumental service. There are many extra curricular groups that cater for pupils of all abilities from beginners to advanced. Through these ensembles we aim to improve pupils' performing skills and music appreciation as well as help to develop life skills such as social interaction, co-operation and a sense of pride in their work!

The Trinity Music Department is well known in the area for its high standards of practical music but it has an excellent record in examinations and academic studies as well.

At Trinity we aim to take our music out into the wider community through performances and concerts outside school. These include:

  • Swing Band performances at the Nottingham Hospice, Council House, Sandfield centre, etc.
  • Klezmer Group performances at various events and venues in Nottingham.
  • Working with local feeder schools.

Key Stage 3

Music Lessons in the Curriculum

Curriculum music lessons cover a wide variety of musical styles and genres. In Year 7 pupils learn about the elements of music, African music, scales, programme music, instruments of the orchestra, Caribbean music and music from the medieval and renaissance periods. Many music lessons are centred around practical activities, with pupils experiencing these topics through a mixture of performing, composing, listening and appraising. Pupils also have a one hour orchestra lesson each week, when they learn how to play the recorder, keyboard and the violin. Pupils are taught how to read music and how to play as part of an ensemble. All Year 7 pupils will need to have a recorder.

Instrumental Lessons

Pupils are also given the opportunity to have extra lessons on a wide range of musical instruments, including most orchestral instruments, voice and guitar. Lessons are usually between 20 – 30 minutes long and take place during lesson time. Pupils may be taught individually, or in small groups, depending on the nature of the instrument, availability of time, the standard of the pupil, etc. Where possible, pupils are given an instrument to use while they are receiving lessons. A contribution of £80.00 per term is requested to help towards the cost of this tuition. It should be noted that this is merely a small contribution and in no way reflects the true cost of tuition fees and instrument hire. This is to be made after the pupil has completed some trial lessons and shown satisfactory commitment and aptitude.

Music tuition at The Trinity Catholic School is good value when compared to other schools and private tuition. The benefits of learning music are well documented and extend beyond music itself, improving attainment in other areas of the curriculum. If your child is interested in receiving extra music lessons, they should speak to a member of the music department and listen out for notices relating to instrumental tuition during their first term.

Extra-Curricular Groups

There is a wide programme of extra-curricular activities, including lower school orchestra, choirs, steel pans, brass group, guitar group and string group. These cater for all interests and ability ranges and there is something for everyone to join. All of the ensembles perform in public at a variety of venues. We hold three large scale concerts a year as well as the school’s annual prize giving. There are also a number of smaller events throughout the year including rock shows, recitals and vocal concerts. Here in the The Trinity Catholic School Music Department there is lots going on and lots to get involved in.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music

This exciting course will develop interest and understanding of how music is created through a practical approach. There are five Areas of Study:

  1. My Music (Spotlight On My Instrument)
  2. The Concerto Through Time (Musical Relationships and Roles)
  3. Rhythms of the World
  4. Film Music
  5. Conventions of Pop

Music GCSE will develop performing, composing and listening skills and give pupls a wider appreciation of different musical styles. They will have opportunities to use music technology and perform regularly.

Assessment

  • Coursework: two performances, two compositions and some written work accounts for 60%.
  • The Listening Paper, which is weighted at 40%.

Performances are recorded, meaning that pupils can record pieces until they are happy with them. One of the compositions must be composed to a set brief. The other composition is for the pupils' instrument or voice. They can use music technology to produce the compositions.

Key Stage 5

A-Level Music

This course uses the three strands of performing, composing, and listening to introduce pupils to a variety of musical genres, styles and techniques. Music A-Level is accepted at all universities. Whilst pupils might not envisage a career in music in the future, this is a subject which universities know demands high levels of self-discipline, team work, creativity, commitment and dedication.

The strands for study are taken from the Western Classical Tradition. The Areas of Study cover a wider range of music from across different time periods and styles, for example: film music, musicals, pop music, jazz and contemporary art music.

Assessment

Pupils sit a listening exam at the end of the course to assess Unit 1. All composing and performing is externally assessed. Performances are recorded; there is no live recital. For the two compositions, a recording and a score / annotation must be provided.

  • UNIT 1: Listening, Analysis & Contextual Study (40%). Set pieces from two strands, and music from two areas of study
  • UNIT 2: Performing Music (35%). Solo and/or ensemble performing, 10 to 12 minutes in duration
  • UNIT 3: Composing Music (25%). Pupils will compose two compositions, 4 1⁄2 to 6 minutes in duration

Careers

Performing

  • Orchestral
  • Band
  • Choral
  • Ensemble
  • Military
  • Session musician
  • Shows
  • Theatre
  • Conducting

Education

  • Music teacher
  • College lecturer
  • Examiner
  • Instrumental teacher

Composing

  • Classical music
  • Popular music
  • Adverts
  • Computer games
  • Film music
  • Musical theatre
  • Sound and image

Other Areas

  • Researcher
  • Journalist
  • Piano tuner
  • Music therapist
  • Community music
  • Music workshop leader