> Music

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Staff

Mr E Craig MA BMus DipChD FNCM PGCE (Head of Department)

Mrs K Withers MEd BMus PGCE

Why Study Music

There are many reasons why we believe pupils should study music at Carrickfergus Grammar School.

  • Research has argued that students who study music from an early age can do better at a range of subjects.

  • Children who play music learn there are rewards from hard work, practice and discipline.

  • Playing a musical instrument helps develop everyone's creative thinking and motor skills.

  • Music helps students become more active listeners.

  • It can also enhance their health and wellbeing and increase their stamina.

What We Study In Music

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage Three, students learn the necessary theory to achieve a Grade 1 Theory Level from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Much of this is taught in Year 8 with the knowledge consolidated in Years 9 and 10 as the more advanced theories are introduced.

Year 8
Our School Song: Praestantia In Omnia (Striving for Excellence in Everything)
How to describe what we hear – Elements of Music
Rhythm – Pulse, Metre, Rhythm, Ostinato
Writing down what we hear – Graphic Scores and Traditional Notation
Interpreting what we read – Graphic Score and Keyboard performing
Pitch – Treble and Bass Clef – reading, notating, performing
Set Work – In The Hall Of The Mountain King
How to achieve expression – Dynamics and Tempo; Texture and Timbre
Science of Sound: How sound happens – How we hear – How we make sound
Instruments of the Orchestra – Families of Timbre; Periods of Music
Set Work – The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra

Year 9
Samba – Instruments; Ostinato; Set work "Brasil"
Planet Music – What influences a country's culture? The 10 Key Reasons
Ireland – Aural Tradition; Songs; Dance; Set works "Arthur McBride" & "Riverdance"
Project Presentation – appreciating and capitalising on music within our culture.
Africa – Call and Response; Drumming Circle; Categories of '~phonic' instruments; Set work "Hatsiatsia"
India – Raga; Tala; Drone; Improvisation; Bollywood
China – Pentatonic melody; Drone
Continue grade 1 theory alongside

Year 10
Patterns of support for melody – harmony and chord – performance skills on ukulele
Careers and opportunities for lifelong learning through Music.
Pop Music – Developing culture and style: Set work 'Burn Baby Burn' (Ash)
Songwriting and use of music to communicate aspirations and belief.
Western Art Music: Baroque (Vivaldi 'Spring'); Classical (Mozart 'Horn Concerto');
Romantic/Nationalism (Smetana 'Vltava')
Music and Media – Film Music Chronology and Key Terms; Set work 'Dam Busters'
Composing to the second – storyboarding beyond the sound effects.
Opera and Musical Theatre – comparing performances
Complete grade 1 theory alongside

Throughout Key Stage 3 an online learning resource is available to all students with some homework and tests set through these lessons and listening activities. Students should log in to each week to use the resource to clarify and consolidate their learning.

GCSE 

Examination Board: CCEA

Essential Criteria: A good pass at Grade 1 Music Theory (ABRSM) 75%
A good pass at Grade 2 on any instrument or voice (ABRSM) 120/150
Desirable Qualities: Good marks throughout Key Stage 3 Music
A good pass at Grade 3 on any instrument or voice (ABRSM)
Involvement in practical music making (Choir/Band)

Component 1: Performing and Appraising
External examination assessed by a visiting examiner
Students present one solo (15%) and one ensemble performance (15%).
The combined duration of the performances should be no longer than 6 minutes.

Students should be able to:

  • create a solo and ensemble performance with technical control and accuracy;

  • interpret and communicate the composer's intentions with an appropriate sense of style;

Solo performing

  • create a solo performance that demonstrates understanding of and applies stylistic features appropriate to the chosen programme;

  • create a solo performance that makes appropriate use of tempo, contrasting dynamics, articulation and phrasing;

  • Ensemble performing

  • create an ensemble performance that demonstrates understanding of and applies stylistic features appropriate to the chosen programme;

  • demonstrate a sense of ensemble in performance;

  • achieve appropriate balance between parts in an ensemble;

  • perform with a sense of dynamics in an ensemble;


Appraising
The student's performance will conclude with a conversation with the examiner (5%) who will ask the following questions to assess the student's ability to comment perceptively on the music they perform and reflect on the learning process:
Please tell me the title(s) and composer(s) of the piece(s) you performed.
Identify the style of the piece(s) or period in which it was written.
How does the music reflect the period or style in which it was written?
What challenges did you encounter in the music?
How did you overcome these challenges?

Component 2: Composing
Controlled assessment totalling 30% of final grade
Students create two compositions and submit an audio recording of each composition and either a written score, leadsheet or commentary (600 words max).
One composition is in response to a pre-release stimulus (available in September of Year 12) and one is free choice.


Students should be able to:

  • create and develop musical ideas;

  • understand, control and make use of musical resources effectively; and

  • make consistent and effective use of the following within a chosen style or genre:

  • structure;

  • harmony;

  • texture;

  • rhythm;

  • timbre; and

  • music technology.

Component 3: Listening and Appraising
Students build on the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music gained through Components 1 and 2. They develop their understanding of the relationship between music and its contexts. They listen to and appraise familiar and unfamiliar music by a range of composers, both male and female, within the four compulsory Areas of Study:


1. Western Classical Music 1600–1910

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

  • Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4, third movement

  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, fourth movement


2. Film Music

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

  • Williams: Superman Theme from Superman

  • Horner: Young Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man


3. Musical Traditions of Ireland

  • Beoga: Prelude Polkas: Prelude Polka, Paddy's Polka No. 2 and Millstream Reel

  • Stonewall: Fife Medley: Boys of Belfast and The Girl I Left Behind


4. Popular Music 1980–present day

  • Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

  • Ash: Burn Baby Burn

  • Florence and the Machine: Cosmic Love.

Students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of stylistic conventions and the relationship between music and its social and historical contexts;

  • demonstrate and apply musical knowledge and understanding when discussing familiar and unfamiliar music;

  • use subject-specific musical vocabulary in their responses;

  • make evaluative and critical judgements on familiar and unfamiliar music.

  • apply knowledge and understanding of performance and compositional techniques and devices when listening and appraising; and

  • comment perceptively on the musical elements in relation to the set works and unfamiliar music from the Areas of Study.

Assessed through a written examination of aural perception with 9 questions, lasting 1 hour 30 minutes and in response to listening to excerpts of familiar (set works) and unfamiliar music relating to the Areas of Study.

Assessment Overview:
Performing and Appraising (35%):
Solo Performance, Grade 3+ (15%)
Ensemble Performance, Grade 3+ (15%)
Reflective Discussion on one chosen performance (5%)

Composing (30%):
Two compositions (15% each) including an audio recording
and either a written score, leadsheet or commentary
Submitted in March of Year 12

Listening and Appraising (35%):
9 questions in written examination of aural perception
Duration of 1 hour 30 minutes and marked externally

AS Level: MUSIC
Examination Board: CCEA

Essential Criteria: A good pass at Grade 4 Music Theory (ABRSM) 75%
A good pass at Grade 4 on any instrument or voice (ABRSM) 120/150
Desirable Qualities: Grade A in GCSE Music
A good pass at Grade 6 on any instrument or voice (ABRSM)
Involvement in practical music making (Choir/Band)

AS 1 - Performing (35% of AS; 14% of A level)
Students must create a balanced performance lasting between 5 and 7 minutes of minimum grade 4 standard which will be externally assessed. They should interpret and communicate the composer's intentions with an appropriate sense of style; comment perceptively on the music they perform; and
Reflect, analyse and evaluate their preparation for the performance. The student's performance will conclude with a conversation with the examiner who will ask the following questions:
Why did you choose this programme?
Identify the style of the piece(s) or period in which it was written.
How does the music reflect the period or style in which it was written?
What challenges did you encounter in the music when preparing for your performance and how did you overcome these?
How have other recordings of your selected pieces, or wider listening, influenced your performance?


AS 2 - Composing (35% of AS; 14% of A level)
Students must compose one piece of music lasting between 1½ and 2½ minutes, which will be internally marked and externally moderated. They may choose their own brief, compositional style and resources. Their composition must be submitted in the form of a recorded performance and accompanied by a 1000 word written commentary.
Students should be able to:

  • create, organise and develop musical ideas in line with their chosen brief;

  • use harmony consistently and effectively;

  • control and use appropriate instrumental resources to realise their chosen brief; and

  • write a coherent and reflective commentary on their composition.


AS 3 - Responding to Music (30% of AS; 12% of A level)


Students will be assessed in their ability to make critical and discerning judgements about music and its performance, commenting perceptively on: melody; tonality and harmony; metre, tempo and rhythm; timbre and texture; vocal genres; instrumental genres; musical structures and established forms. This assessment is carried out through a 1 hour examination of aural perception and a 2 hour written examination. Students should develop knowledge and understanding of music for orchestra from 1700 - 1900 and Vocal Music through a study of representative works.

Music for Orchestra 1700–1900
Students should be able to:
• develop knowledge and understanding of music for orchestra from 1700 to 1900 by studying the following movements from representative works:

  • Vivaldi: Concerto in G for Two Mandolins, 1st & 2nd mvts

  • Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in Eb, (K543), first movement;

  • Beethoven: Eroica Symphony, No. 3, Op. 55 in Eb, 4th mvt.

  • Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 78, third movement;

• study the works listed above to gain:

  • knowledge and understanding of Baroque, Classical and Romantic styles;

  • knowledge of the characteristics of the symphony and the concerto (solo concerto and concerto grosso);

  • knowledge and understanding of sonata form, ritornello form, variation form, sonata rondo form; and knowledge of the role and development of the orchestras, instrumental families or individual instruments.

 

Sacred Vocal Music (Anthems)
• develop knowledge and understanding of sacred vocal music by studying these representative works:

  • Gibbons: This is the record of John;

  • Handel: Zadok the Priest (HWV 258);

  • Mendelssohn: Hear my Prayer (WoO 15); and

  • Rutter: A Clare Benediction and For the Beauty of the Earth;

  • • study of the works listed above to gain:

  • knowledge and understanding of Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and twentieth century styles;

  • knowledge of the characteristics of the anthem and verse anthem;

  • knowledge and understanding of writing for voices and word setting and painting; and

  • knowledge of the development of the orchestra and orchestral accompaniment roles.

Secular Vocal Music (Musicals)
Students should be able to:
• develop knowledge and understanding of secular vocal music by studying the following vocal numbers from musicals:

  • Kern: Ol' Man River from Showboat;

  • Rodgers and Hammerstein: Soliloquy from Carousel;

  • Bernstein: Tonight (Quintet) from West Side Story; and

  • Schoenberg and Boubil: One Day More from Les Miserables;

  • • study the works listed above to contribute to their knowledge and understanding of:

  • the development of the musical 1900 to the present day;

  • individual and ensemble numbers and different vocal styles

  • the influence of musical styles such as operetta, blues & jazz;

  • the role and musical features of the instrumental accompaniment; and

  • relationships between music and drama: characterisation, expressing of emotion, use of leitmotif, dramatic use of musical gesture, and musical symbolism.


Assessment Overview:
Performing: Solo performance on chosen instrument
Viva voce
35% of AS 14% of A level
Composing: Recording of a 1½ to 2½ minute composition
Written commentary
35% of AS 14% of A level
Responding to Music: Two external written examinations
Test of aural perception (I hour)
Written examination (2 hours)
30% of AS 12% of A level

A2 Level: MUSIC
Examination Board: CCEA

A21 - Performing (21% of A level)
Students must create a balanced performance lasting between 8 and 10 minutes of minimum grade 5 standard which will be externally assessed. They should interpret and communicate the composer's intentions with an appropriate sense of style; comment perceptively on the music they perform; and
Reflect, analyse and evaluate their preparation for the performance. The student's performance will conclude with a conversation with the examiner who will ask the following questions:
Why did you choose this programme?
Identify the style of the piece(s) or period in which it was written.
How does the music reflect the period or style in which it was written?
What challenges did you encounter in the music when preparing for your performance and how did you overcome these?
How have other recordings of your selected pieces, or wider listening, influenced your performance?

A22 - Composing (21% A level)
Students must compose one piece of music lasting between 2 and 3 minutes, which will be internally marked and externally moderated. They may choose their own brief, compositional style and resources. Their composition must be submitted in the form of a recorded performance and accompanied by a 1200 word written commentary.
Students should be able to:

  • create, organise and develop musical ideas in line with their chosen brief;

  • use harmony consistently and effectively;

  • control and use appropriate instrumental resources to realise their chosen brief; and

  • write a coherent and reflective commentary on their composition.

A23 - Responding to Music (18% of A level)

Students will be assessed in their ability to make critical and discerning judgements about music and its performance, commenting perceptively on: melody; tonality and harmony; metre, tempo and rhythm; timbre and texture; vocal genres; instrumental genres; musical structures and established forms. This assessment is carried out through a 75-minute examination of aural perception and a 2 hour written examination. Students should develop knowledge and understanding of music for orchestra from 1700 - 1900 and Vocal Music through a study of representative works.

Music for Orchestra in the 20th Century


Students should be able to:
• deepen their knowledge and understanding of music for orchestra in the twentieth century through a detailed study of:

  • Debussy: Nuages from Three Nocturnes;

  • Ravel: Menuet and Rigaudon from Le Tombeau de Couperin;

  • Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, first movement; and

  • Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town;

  • • gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • twentieth century musical styles: Impressionism, Neoclassicism, Nationalism and jazz influences;

  • the role and development of the orchestra/instrumental families/ individual instruments;

Sacred Vocal Music (mass/requiem mass)
• develop knowledge and understanding of sacred vocal music by studying the following movements from representative works:

  • Byrd: Mass for Five Voices, Kyrie and Agnus Dei;

  • Mozart: Requiem Mass, Introit and Kyrie (orchestral score);

  • Faure: Requiem Mass, Libera Me (orchestral score); and

  • Chilcott: A Little Jazz Mass, Kyrie and Agnus Dei (mixed voice version);

  • • study the works listed above to contribute to their:

  • knowledge and understanding of Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and twentieth century styles;

  • knowledge of the characteristics of the mass and requiem mass;

  • knowledge and understanding of writing for voices and word setting and painting; and

  • knowledge of the development of the orchestra and orchestral accompaniment roles.

Secular Vocal Music (1600 to the present day)
Students should be able to:
• develop knowledge and understanding of secular vocal music through a study of the following works:

  • Weelkes: Thule the period of cosmography /The Andalusian Merchant;

  • Handel: I Rage and O Ruddier than the Cherry from Acis and Galatea;

  • Schumann: Widmung (Ab major) and Ich Grolle Nicht (C major);

  • Copland: Simple Gifts and 'I Got Me a Cat' from Old American Songs;

  • • study the works listed above to add to their knowledge and understanding of:

  • vocal forms such as madrigal, recitative and aria and Lied from 1600 to the present day; and

  • relationships between music and drama: characterisation, expression of emotion, use of leitmotif, dramatic use of musical gesture and musical symbolism.

Assessment Overview:
Performing: Solo performance on chosen instrument Viva voce 21% of A level
Composing: Recording of a 2 to 3 minute composition Written commentary 21% of A level
Responding to Music: Two external written examinations
Test of aural perception (1¼ hours)
Written examination (2 hours)
18% of A level

Music is what feelings sound like.

- Unknown Author

Career Options

A wide variety of job opportunities are available in music or associated areas for suitably qualified and motivated people. The Music Industry is estimated to be the second highest generator of income in Western Europe and learning to play an instrument or to sing is currently perceived as important in preparing individuals to work as performers, educators, composers and arrangers, music therapists, journalists, librarians, publishers, retailers, promoters, administrators and instrument manufacturers and repairers. It is also seen as making an important contribution to the education of those wishing to pursue careers in TV and radio, as producers, in the record business, advertising, sound engineering, film editing and acoustic research.

There are various types of music teaching jobs in the primary and secondary sectors, with more specialised work in third level institutions such as universities and colleges. Instrumental and vocal tuition (whether classical, traditional, jazz or popular) may be carried out privately or on a peripatetic basis.

For those with a background in music technology, there is the possibility of employment in the recording industry as a composer, producer or sound engineer.

Instrument making and repair are sometimes overlooked and yet provide a lucrative income because of the specialised nature of the work.

Other jobs associated with music include arts management, music publishing, musicology and music journalism.

Music is of course a life-long part of who we are and can be part of a rewarding leisure activity for those who take part in choirs, bands and amateur ensembles or simply enjoy attending concerts or listening to music. It is a great wellbeing and public performances develop team work and self-confidence, often setting interview candidates apart from others. Learning to play an instrument can be an outlet for emotional expression, influence our moods and arousal levels and be therapeutic. It can entertain and inspire. It enhances the impact of the other arts, much of what we see in television and in films and computer games. It can provide intellectual stimulation, the challenge of mastery and emotional fulfilment. Within a society, it provides a means of communicating which goes beyond words and provides us with shared, unspoken understandings.

Not because we expect you to have a career in music,
not because we expect you to play and sing all your life.
But so you will be human,
so you will recognize beauty,
so you will have something to cling to,
so you will have more love, more compassion,
more gentleness, more good
- in short, more life.

120 North Road, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, BT38 7RA

028 9336 3615