Ms. A. Bryant – Head of Department
Mrs. C. McArdle – Teacher of Music
Mrs. Armstrong (Voice)
Mrs. Cull (Keyboard & Piano)
Mr. Govan (Drum Kit & Guitar; Electric, Acoustic and Bass)
Mrs. Perry (Woodwind)
Music is an art, which has an important role to play in the community, and more importantly gives children a chance to study a broad and balanced curriculum. It does not only enrich the school environment, but also provides a link with its community setting. Music is for all. Music in education should aim to educate every child regardless of their background, culture or musical ability and can help them to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. The central goal of music education should be primarily to increase an aesthetic sensitivity to music. This aim can be achieved by using a wide variety of musical activities, which will assist in musical perception and reaction. The experience should essentially be a practical one, only using non-practical activities as a means to assist the music making or to enrich the experience, and not as ends in themselves. Music making with others can develop qualities such as sensitivity, co-operation and self-confidence and can often lead to greater social awareness in those who participate.
The department aims to;
• stimulate and develop an enjoyment and appreciation of music through an active involvement in the three main areas of musical activity: listening and appraising, performing and composing.
• develop a sensitive, critical and perceptive response to and knowledge of music of different styles from within a wide range of cultural and historical context.
• develop the skills of performing and composing as individuals and as members of ensembles
• enable all pupils to use a wide variety of musical resources.
• develop self-confidence, teamwork and respect for others in society.
• provide the opportunity for children of all abilities to enjoy music making outside the classroom via a range of extra-curricular activities.
• appreciate music as one of the Arts and to be aware of links with other subjects.
All pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 are taught in mixed ability sets and receive the equivalent of one 60 minute music lesson per week.
The skills of composing, performing and listening and appraising are developed through topic based units. Topics studied include Songwriting, Samba, Musical Theatre, Blues, Film Music, Club Dance… At Key Stage Four, pupils have the option to study GCSE Music and follow the Eduqas specification. They receive six 60 minute music lessons per fortnight.
The Music Department currently facilitates the provision of instrumental lessons in school using Wigan Music Service. This enables pupils to have the opportunity to learn a music instrument on a one-to-one basis. Pupils are encouraged to enter external exams to help mark their progress and examination boards used include ABRSM, Rock School and Trinity. Pupils taking lessons in school are actively encouraged to participate in the extra-curricular activities to help further develop their performance skills.
The music teaching area consists of two main teaching rooms, together with 4 practise rooms and a recording studio. Both teaching rooms are equipped with sufficient pupil keyboards to allow whole class keyboard work and have 15 multimedia PCs interfaced with midi keyboards running Cubase and Sibelius software. All practise rooms have a piano and a drumkit for individual and small ensemble use
The Music Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities; some are open to all, some require specific skills. Ensembles which meet on a weekly basis currently include the SJF Singers. Pupils are also given the opportunity for extra study in Theory and GCSE workshops. In addition to providing opportunities to perform, the Music Department also aims to provide opportunities for pupils to watch musical productions and concerts by professional musicians.
The department believes that assessment should be carried out via a wide range of methods and that it should be an ongoing process which does not make the pupils feel uneasy or threatened. On entry, Year Seven pupils are given a baseline assessment. Pupils are usually formally assessed once per half term in the form of a performance or the presentation of a composition. Listening and appraising exercises are spread out throughout the term as part of the delivery of the course. At Key Stage Four, Performance, is assessed at the end of each half term. At the end of Year Ten, pupils take a performance exam and a listening exam to assess their progress mid course. In Year Eleven, pupils submit their composition work for final assessment and undertake a further performance test. A terminal examination is held in the form of a listening paper in the May exam period. Pupils are encouraged to keep their own record of progress by the means of evaluation or progress booklets.