Subject Info

All pupils are potentially musical and can benefit from learning experiences which develop their knowledge, understanding and skills. By actively engaging with the core musical activities – composing, performing and listening – they learn more about both making and responding to music. All have opportunities to improve their understanding of how interdependent composing, performing and listening are. In all three activities, they create personal meaning, express their own feelings, explore diverse musical tastes and experiment creatively.

Pupils focus on music in society, both in their own culture and others, past and present, and learn about its power to evoke mood and atmosphere. They also learn about how to be discriminating consumers of music, and become more aware of the skills required to be successful in the music industry.

There is a wide range of instruments (electric, digital and acoustic), which provide solid stimulus for exploration and development of creative skills.

Mrs R Norton - Head of Music

Junior School Music

KS3 Topics

Year 8

  • Elements of Music
  • Star Wars
  • What Makes a Good Song? Writing a class song together.
  • Music note names and piano pitches
  • Listening and Appraisal critique (written and verbal analysis)

Year 9

  • Blues Music
  • Classical/Romantic Eras
  • Music in Advertising
  • Composing a Rap
  • Listening and Appraisal critique (written and verbal analysis)

Year 10

  • Samba Batucada
  • Karaoke Classics
  • Offenbach
  • Listening and Appraisal critique (written and verbal analysis).
  • Composing a song.

KS3 Assessments

Year 8

  • Musical Composition Bench marking with Elements of Music, key words terms and phrases
  • Right hand independence on piano performing Star Wars and making a ringtone
  • Piano note names and treble clef identification.
  • Listening and Appraising; comparative analysis

Year 9

  • Blues Music- perform a 12 bar blues with original lyrics
  • Classical and Romantic eras Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Piano skills and theory exam
  • Music in Advertising – creating an Advert
  • Summative test of theory and genres covered throughout the year with a focus on Orchestral work

Year 10

  • Ensemble performance of samba reggae with an essay on ‘What Makes Music Celebratory?’
  • Perform a Karaoke song / or critique as a journalist
  • Compose a song, performance as an option but not obligatory
  • Summative test of theory and genres covered throughout the year

Senior School Music

GCSE Music specification is suitable for everybody who enjoys music – listening to music, composing, playing an instrument (Grade 3 or above) or using music technology. It encourages students to develop their musical potential by focusing on the three fundamental activities of performing, composing and listening.

Students explore contrasting music from a range of contexts, for example classical, pop, film and traditional Irish music. This deepens their appreciation of the diverse heritage of music. It also promotes their personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

Through the performance element of the course, students develop the skills they need to communicate effectively as musicians. This increases their self-confidence and enhances their presentation, communication and evaluation skills. The opportunity to write their own music lets them be creative.

KS4 Topics

Component 1: Performance ~ Solo and Ensemble (grade 3 or above)

Component 2: Composition ~ Elements of music focusing on harmony, structure, texture and musical devices

Component 3: Listening and Appraising pieces covered

(a) Western Classical Music 1600–1910

- Handel: For Unto Us a Child is Born from Messiah

- Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4third movement

- Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastiquefourth movement

(b) Film Music

- Coates: March (The Dam Busters) from The Dam Busters

- Williams: Superman Theme from Superman

- Horner: Young Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man

(c) Musical Traditions of Ireland

- Beoga: Prelude PolkasPrelude PolkaPaddy’s Polka No. 2 and Millstream Reel

- Stonewall: Fife MedleyBoys of Belfast and The Girl I Left Behind

(d) Popular Music 1980–present day

- Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

- Ash: Burn Baby Burn

- Florence and the Machine: Cosmic Love

KS4 Assessments

GCSE in Music is a linear qualification. Students take all the assessment at the end of the course.

Component 1: Performing and Appraising worth 35%.
Students present one solo and one ensemble performance. The combined duration of the performances should be no longer than 6 minutes. Students discuss and evaluate performances with the visiting examiner. Discussion lasts approximately 3 minutes.

Component 2: Composing worth 30%. (coursework)
Controlled assessment. Students create two compositions. One is in response to a pre-release stimulus and one is free choice. 30%

Component 3: Listening and Appraising worth 35%.
External written examination for 1 hour 30 minutes. Students answer questions based on familiar and unfamiliar music relating to the Areas of Study. 35%

Careers In Music

Progression pathways include further study, for example our GCE in Music, and a career in performance, composing, teaching, music production, sound engineering, or instrument making and repair. Related career areas include arts management and music journalism.

Music Clubs

The music department offer a number of musical extra-curricular options for pupils in BIC. These include choir, samba and rock clubs. As well as this we have music tuition in Strings (Violin and Viola), Woodwind (Clarinet, Flute and Oboe), Brass (Trumpet, Baritone, Saxophone), Lower Strings (Double Bass, Electric Bass and ‘Cello), Electric and Acoustic Guitar and Piano.

  • The choir present at the awards ceremony and Christmas carol service. Sessions cover part singing, modern genres (chosen by pupils) and soloist work. Entry level for this activity is for Novice to intermediate levels.
  • Samba club consists of lessons in the Batucada tradition with a focus on clave rhythms and performances for whole school events. Entry level for this activity no prior experience necessary.
  • Rock Club is an opportunity for individuals to progress as part of an ensemble (groups of 4 max). This is a pupil led activity which is supported by the class teacher (roadie). Pupils should be able to play at least 6 primary chords on their chosen instrument. Vocalists will complete one session with Mrs Norton prior to rehearsals.

Occupational Studies

Occupational Studies Technology and Innovation is a one year course

Unit 60 Digital Music and Unit 63 Sound Production

Both units cover aspects of Health and Safety, the Environment and Careers.

Digital Music looks primarily at sequencing music and postproduction sound engineering, whilst Sound Production focuses on running an event and D.J. skills.

  • Occupational Studies should enable learners to:
  • develop the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to undertake work-based tasks
  • engage actively in work-based learning within coherent occupational contexts
  • reflect on their learning
  • develop an appreciation of the progression/career opportunities that exist through the study of Occupational Studies
  • develop an appreciation of the environmental impacts of the practical tasks they carry out within occupational contexts; and
  • develop an awareness of general and specific health and safety issues arising from activities within occupational contexts.

OCN Level 2

OCN Level 2 in Creative Arts and Digital Technologies

Modules choices are;

  • Technical Sound and Audio Production (3 credits)
  • Song Writing (3 Credits)
  • Preparing for a career or Further study in the Creative Industries (3 Credits)
  • Musical Ensemble Skills (6 Credits)
  • Composition (8 Credits)

Level 2 is achieved with the minimum of 15 Credits

This subject can be completed in conjunction with Drama.