Course Overview: Music

The Music Curriculum at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School enables pupils to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. Pupils will build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. Pupils are taught how to play and perform using their voices and by learning the basics of a wide range of classroom instruments. They also learn to improvise and compose as well as to listen to music critically with an awareness of context. The varied nature of the course enables students to develop highly-desirable skills in areas such as self-management, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.

Each week the department is visited by six peripatetic instrumental teachers and we have a varied and dynamic extra-curricular programme. We currently offer extra music tuition in piano, strings, woodwind, brass, drum-kit, guitar and vocals. Please contact the music department for further details on musical tuition.

Year 7

Pupils begin by exploring the musical elements which will underpin all work carried out in KS3 music. Pupils will learn basic keyboard skills with a focus on technique and application. They will also develop an understanding of how to read standard musical notation using the treble clef. Pupils will look at the four families of orchestral instruments and try out instruments from each of these families. Pupils will learn about how the vocal chords work and how we produce different sounds and pitches with our voices. They will look at vocal technique and warm ups and different styles of singing. In the final half term, pupils will learn how to play the ukulele.

Year 8

Pupils will begin the year by looking at the slave trade in America and how the popular style of the Blues music developed from the cotton fields of America and how this has influenced the music of the modern day. Pupils will learn how to understand and play chords on the keyboards. They will also continue to develop their keyboard skills by learning riffs and popular blues melodies and also how to improvise around a blues scale. Pupils will also look at the role that music plays in the film industry. They will go on to compose their own music for a film clip. In the final half term, pupils explore "World Music" and put together small group performances in a variety of different genres.

Year 9

In year 9, pupils follow the "Musical Futures" programme. The strand which they follow is "Band Skills" in which the aim is to promote key skills through music making. In the first half term, pupils work collaboratively to put together a ukulele band. In the second half term, pupils start by learning the basics of how to play keyboard and guitar chords, the bass guitar and drum kit before then choosing their focus instrument for the term. Pupils work towards a band performance of their chosen piece.

Course Overview: Music

Pupils follow the Edexcel syllabus at GCSE level. Pupils may receive instrumental tuition on up to two instruments. The course is 60% coursework with a final written exam which is worth 40% of the course.

Course Components

Performance (30% of final mark)

For this, pupils will need to do two performances, one solo and one as part of an ensemble (2 or more players). Both performances are equally weighted.

Composing (30% of final mark)

Pupils will need to write two pieces of music. One will be a free composition and the other will be composed to a brief which is set by the exam board.

Listening Exam (40% of final mark)

This is a listening and appraising exam. The exam will ask you questions on works that you have studied as part of the course and on some unfamiliar music too.

Course Information

Visit Course Website
Download specification

After school and lunchtime clubs are provided for keen students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is also offered on a one to one basis where necessary and extra revision and booster sessions are also offered throughout Key Stage 4. Some of the support sessions, clubs and activities offered are:

Practice rooms available for band work - 1:30 to 1:55
Senior Choir - Monday 3:10 to 3:50
Brass Group - Tuesday 11:00 to 11:20
Year 11 coursework help - Tuesday 3:05 to 3:45
ABRSM Theory lessons - Wednesday 1:30 to 1:55
Woodwind Group - Wednesday 1:30 to 1:55
String Group - Wednesday 3:10 to 3:50
Year 11 Coursework help - Thursday 1:15 to 1:50
Year 11 Coursework catch-up - Thursday 3:05 to 4:30
Year 10 Ensemble Session - Thursday 3:05 to 4:00
Choir - Friday 1:30 to 1:50