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Music is a major creative art which goes beyond national and ethnic boundaries. It is an important means of emotional and aesthetic expression, a source of pleasure and a means of expression for young people, and a widespread recreational activity in adult life.
As an art form it engenders concentration, teamwork, individual confidence and self-discipline; it is intellectually satisfying and stimulating study, and therefore necessary for the complete education of the individual.
At Harris Boy's Academy East Dulwich, we aim to ensure all pupils experience and develop their creative musical skills through the following components:
- Listening and analysing
Students will 'travel around the world' experiencing music from Africa, Brazil, India, and Europe, and examine and compose music in some of the following genres: Reggae, Blues/Jazz, World Music, Classical and Music for film and TV.
For further information please contact Miss J. Warburton J.Warburton@harrisdulwichboys.org.uk
Key stage 3
Throughout Key Stage 3, all students will study a wide range of musical genres in preparation for their GCSEs in Key Stage 4. These genres have been chosen to ensure students enjoy their learning.
Students study genres that allow them to understand how music has developed. We use a variety of instruments and learn through performance, listening and appraising and composition. Some of the topics that will be covered throughout Key Stage 3 are:
- Elements of music
- Programme music
- World music – Brazil, Africa, Indonesia and Jamaica
- Chord structures
- Music for film and TV
- Compositional devices
- Music technology
Key stage 4
Key Stage 4 students study the EdExcel programme of study which is divided as follows:
Performance 30% (course code 5MU01)
- 2 x performances on any instrument including voice
- 1 x solo
- 1 x ensemble
Composition 30% (course code 5MU02)
- 2 x compositions using Logic Pro
- 1 x set by exam board
- 1 x genre chosen by student (first sitting 2018)
Listening and Appraising 40% (course code 5MU03)
Students study set works and complete short listening questions and essay questions based on the knowledge and skills they have acquired in lessons.
Spiritural, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development
SMSC development is very important in the music department. Students learn about music from all over the world – some dating back to the 14th Century.
- Moral and ethical issues are investigated in music through the history of blues and the impact of blues in music today.
- We explore cultural understanding and respecting diversity through expressionism, where students understand how a genre of music can highlight anger of war.
- We explore the social aspect of how communities work when students study West Side Story. The story is based on a Romeo and Juliet-style romance replacing two rival families with gangs. Racial inequalities are challenged through music.
A curriculum overview for music and also an assessment overview can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
All three Key Stages have assessments every half-term. Students who are in Key Stage 3 will have a performance and written assessment each half-term; students in Key Stage 4 will have a listening exam and either a composition or performance assessment each half-term. There is an additional mock examination for Year 11 in the Summer 1 term.
An assessment overview can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
Both KS3 and KS4 students have an opportunity to take up weekly one-to-one instrumental lessons on the instrument of their choice for a small fee. These lessons allow students to take up a new instrument or to develop their skills on an instrument they already play. We have over 80 students on our instrumental register showing its huge popularity and we regularly enter our students for their ABRSM grade exams.
Here are some examples of homework set by the Music department. You can see more examples of homework in all our subjects in our homework portfolio.
Brit Awards (Year 8)
Watch these three tracks live on Youtube:
- Take That - Shine
- Coldplay - Fix You
- Bandits - Rather Be.
Write a newspaper article comparing the three under the following headings: Interaction with the audience, Tempo, Dynamics and costume. Which deserves an award and why? This Joshua Anderson's homework for this topic.
Yiri (Year 10)
Comment on the melody, texture, structure, rhythm, metre and instrumentation of Yiri by Koko. This is Maziar Patterson's homework.
Rhythm sums (Year 8)
Complete the rhythm sum sheet. This is Connor Thompson's sheet.
African instrument (Year 7)
Create an African style instrument which you can ring to and play in class. Examples by Kermani and Esteban. Here are examples by Kermani and Esteban.
How to revise and prepare for exams
GCSE revision support and intervention for Year 11 Music begins in September and runs until the Summer examinations.
See our exam preparation page for information about helpful revision guides and timetables, as well as details of additional interventions for each subject.
Helpful revision links
- Composer for: TV, Film, Video games, Orchestra, Radio.
- Music teacher
- Music business management
- Sound engineer
- Radio presenter
- Music therapist
Music also develops skills that are essential in any workplace.
Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways.
Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline.
Music provides students with a means of self-expression.
Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later.