In Year 7 pupils will begin to learn about the elements of music. They will study in detail how an instrument makes sound and learn how to use musical notation to write rhythms and pitches. Pupils in Year 7 will develop composition skills and learn how to use the music programme Cubase to manipulate sound.
In Year 8 pupils will build on their elements of music knowledge and begin to develop their skills composing and performing. This year pupils will extend their musical knowledge by studying music from different cultures, for example, African Drumming and develop their use of harmony in composition by adding chords.
In Year 9, pupils will improve their wider knowledge of music covering topics such as Rock ‘n’ Roll, Music for an Occasion and Soundtracks. They will be able to compose and notate their music accurately.
Throughout the key stage pupils will participate in a range of group performances, learning how to work effectively with others. There will be opportunities to listen to and develop understanding of a range of musical genres.
Years 10 - 11
In Years 10 and 11, pupils can choose to study GCSE Music (AQA). The GCSE course is 80% controlled conditions work, 40% through performances and 40% on composition. Pupils will be expected to develop their composition style through a more thorough understanding of the elements and will complete two compositions, one of their own choice and one in a genre set by the exam board. The last 20% is a listening exam based around the elements of music in the Western Classical tradition, World Music and Modern Popular music. Pupils will be expected to have achieved at least grade 3, or be playing at that standard before starting the course.
In the Sixth Form, pupils can choose A Level Music. At AS level pupils develop their composing techniques in the autumn term preparing for the controlled condition composition in the spring, this is 30% of the AS grade. Pupils will also prepare a solo performance lasting 5-6 minutes which is again 30% of the grade. To complete the AS grade pupils will develop their ability to analyse music through the set works outlined by the exam board, this is a written paper worth 40% which also includes listening and 4 part harmony.
At A2 pupils will begin to learn different composition techniques, for example figured bass. These skill will be tested in controlled conditions exam in the summer term, this will be 30% of the grade and could include a composition. Pupils will also prepare a performance lasting between 12-15 minutes which is again 30% of the grade. The remaining 40% of the grade is tested in an exam through listening task and analyses of set works.
We have a busy extra curricular life at the Academy and there are many activities musicians can get involved in at Queensbury, these include, Band, Choir, Orchestra and small ensembles such as Sax group. Pupils can choose to learn an instrument with lessons given by one of our visiting peripatetic teachers, for example Trumpet, Piano or Drums. The Academy puts on a whole academy production each year where all the departments come together to produce a fantastic show. Pupils are also able to gain extra qualifications by taking part in the Arts Award. We put on many concerts during the academy year not only in the academy but in the local community. We are also going on Tour to Belgium during the summer term to give concerts in their local community.