|"Music is what life sounds like"
Welcome to the Music Department at Buile Hill Visual Arts College where we believe that music is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps students to understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world.
Here at Buile Hill our main priority and vision is to be a leading Music Department which is known for its commitment to every child succeeding through excellent teaching and creative learning.
Students receive an hour of Music a week and through the disciplines of performance, composition and listening, students cover a wide variety of interesting topics experiencing many styles of music from different times, genres and cultures.
Students develop a range of musical skills with the emphasis firmly placed on enjoyment whilst gaining a breadth of skills. Throughout Key Stage 3 Music is taught as a practical subject, lessons are planned around six set schemes of work per year and involve performing (instrumental and vocational work) composing and listening across a wide range of musical styles and cultures. Students will follow a spiral curriculum, whereby they learn a range of musical skills that are then developed as they progress through Years 7, 8 and 9. Students complete Music work using the following means:
- Music Technology
- Personal Composition
- Group Composition
- Performance – using a range of instrumentation including tuned and unturned percussion, keyboards, and pupil’s own instruments
- Theoretical Work
- Independent Research and Presentations
- Listening and Appraising
Students are given access to music technology equipment in order to support and extend their learning. The development of keyboard skills is taught throughout Key Stage 3 as this is invaluable in terms of developing a means of effectively communicating and developing musical intentions. A key element used in our Year 7 teaching is singing, we believe that this is an instrument which everyone is able to refine and improve with ease. All pupils sing in class and, as an extension, are encouraged to join Encore, the school singing group. They both learn songs and develop sight singing skills.
We think that students should not only learn the fundamental skills needed in music, but should also be encouraged to enjoy and appreciate music in all of its forms, gaining a skill for life. Many extracurricular activities take place in the Music Department and we promote engagement through our after school provision. Students are also encouraged to learn an instrument and we cater for all tastes and interests from oboe and French horn to drums and singing.
Throughout Year 9 all students work towards a Performing Arts BTEC worth one GCSE which focuses on either Drama or Music, this enables all students to leave Buile Hill with a qualification in the Performing Arts even if they do not choose to take this as an option at Key Stage 4.
In Year 10 students may choose to pursue their musical interests by studying either GCSE Music or BTEC Performing Arts and this is a popular choice for many of our students.
The Edexcel GCSE in Music allows students to capitalise on their different musical interests and expand their knowledge of this versatile subject. Through the means of performance and composition students develop as musicians and composers.
Areas of study include a wide range of music including classical, world and popular music’s catering to all preferences. The GCSE is designed to allow the study of music through the integration of performing, composing, listening and appraising, with the opportunity to use music technology in either performance or as a compositional tool.
Students must play an instrument or sing to take this qualification; this is provided by the excellent team of peripatetic staff which support the department.