Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Music prepares students to work independently on skills development while allowing them to learn to collaborate in music making as an ensemble. It provides a broad experience base to build on should students choose to continue their studies into music BTEC, but for those who do not it equips them with a skills base, to continue their enjoyment of music and support their own wellbeing.

Course information:

Year 7:

Students begin their study of music by investigating Rhythm and Pulse through drumming. They learn to hold a steady pulse and to sustain a basic drum beat while improvising different rhythmic fills. They develop their instrumental skills by learning a range of chords on the ukulele, performing a variety of strumming patterns and finger picking simple melodies and riffs. This is further extended when students translate these skills to the acoustic guitar. Students also develop skills on the keyboard, learning to play riffs and hooks and a range of chords that can be arranged to play along to backing tracks. They develop their understanding of music elements through structured listening tasks, applying this knowledge to their own performances. Students begin to use Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) to compose music in different musical forms and to create texture and variation. Students begin to read standard notation and develop their understanding of time signatures by studying Carmina Buranua, rehearsing and performing melodies, taking account of musical elements and developing their musicianship skills.

 Year 8:
Students begin Year 8 by taking part in a band skills project. They learn different instrumental parts for a four-chord song before selecting an instrument to specialise in for the duration of the project. They develop their instrumental skills while discovering how to play an effective role within an ensemble. Students find out about the cultural and historical significance of blues music. They investigate the features of blues and use them to compose and perform their own blues' song. Students further develop their knowledge of musical texture through a Samba project, maintaining their own part and playing syncopated rhythms. They develop their keyboard skills using five-finger technique to play more complex melodies and combine these with basslines. Students identify the features of Electronic Dance Music and use them to compose more complex tracks and create tension using a DAW.
Year 9:
Students begin Year 9 by taking part in a cover Bands project. They investigate more complex chord structures on a range of instruments before selecting one to specialise in for the project. This may be a different instrument to their choice in Year 8. They further develop their independent musicianship and ensemble skills while rehearsing a cover version. Students then find out how popular music developed from its origins in blues into Rock’n’Roll taking account of its cultural and historical significance. Students investigate how music is used in media such as films and computer games. They experiment with techniques and compose music to fill a brief, preparing them for further study should they choose. Students use their musical skills to write their own song based on a popular chord sequence and exploring the elements of music. Finally, they research and create their own cover version of a song of their choice.

Homework is not regularly set for Music. When it is, it takes the form of research or independent practise.
Lessons include knowledge retrieval questions to assess prior learning. During practical sessions, teachers circulate, identifying where guidance and support is needed and delivering rapid intervention. End of unit practical assessments are carried out with students understanding success criteria. Students will sit a short mid-year test in January and an end-of-year test in the summer term.

For further information/clarification about KS3 Music, please contact .