Why study music at KS4?
Pupils opt to continue with music at Key Stage 4 as an examination subject. The course is highly practical and will suit those who enjoy performing and writing their own music. It is a good idea to learn an instrument or have singing lessons to support the performing part of the exam. It is also an advantage to have some experience of making music in a group. This can be done in school by joining and of the available ensembles or clubs, by joining in a community group or by forming your own band.
Pupils spend Year 9 developing the skills they will need to take AQA GCSE music in Years 10 and 11. Those who get most out of the course are those who enjoy making music on their own and in a group, performing, composing their own pieces and have an interest in a wide range of music.
In Year 9 the course is delivered in one double lesson a week and requires different skills many of which are transferrable such as the ability to plan ahead and work independently over a period of weeks, the ability to work cooperatively with others and the ability to reflect on strengths and weaknesses and make revisions where necessary.
In Years 10 and 11 pupils have three lessons a week to complete their practical coursework which makes up 80% of the course and prepare for the listening examination which accounts for the remaining 20%. Performing is about communicating something of one’s self to other people. Composing is about working with ideas, making choices about what to develop and what to discard. It requires the ability to understand how music works.
Let’s hear about what students have to say about studying music at Priestlands...
Why did you decide to opt for music?
- “I took music because it’s a chance for you to be creative. I’ve always loved music and I wanted to widen my skills” [Jessica]
- “I love listening to it and singing and making music.” [Sherri-Ann]
What are the benefits of studying music for you?
- “I want to be a sound engineer when I am older.” [Murray]
- “It helps me further my understanding of my instrument and music theory.” [Giles]
What would you say to someone who was considering taking up music?
- “I would say that taking up music is great because you learn a lot and all of the [lessons] are mostly practical.” [Harry]
- “If you can do it and you are passionate about it, then go for it.” [Toby]
- “Do it!” [Giles]
Have you thought about taking up an instrument/having vocal lessons?
With so much of the final examination based on performing ability it is really important to take this seriously.
If you are interested in joining the Priestlands Scratch Orchestra please click here.
If you interested in joining in with the Priestlands School Music Trips please click here.
If you read TAB/notation and would like to do the Rock School ensemble grades see Mr Owers. There are spaces for two drummers at the moment. You need to be in Year 9 or above and able to attend from 17:30-19:00 on a Wednesday.