Music

Our aim as a department is to provide high quality musical opportunities for all pupils, regardless of standard, and to broaden and develop their experiences in a range of genres and styles, from the traditional to the contemporary.

The life and soul of a successful music department begins in the classroom and there are an exciting range of opportunities to study music at Gresham’s Senior. Well-resourced classrooms and access to numerous practice rooms support pupils of all ages and musical preference to develop their skills and their music making. The Strathmore Studio is integral to all qualifications and students become literate using standard notation software and Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), to create and communicate their musical intentions.

Pupils who love music and study to develop their applied knowledge and academic understanding will thrive when pursuing their passion. The courses on offer enable pupils to forge their own way, explore further their own instrument, context and musical understanding

GCSE

Year 9 focuses on engagement, enrichment and challenge, with a carefully scaffolded curriculum that develops key skills of performing, creating and musical literacy to provide a foundation in music making, being a new skill or developing and broadening existing musical experiences.

GCSE Music is the programme of study for KS4, with separate component parts of performing, composing and listening and appraising. Covering music from the 1600s to the present day, pupils are taught to listen critically to music from many genres and styles, deepening their understanding and context of their own personal experience. Solo and ensemble performance opportunities are taught in combination with peripatetic lessons, and composition skills are developed to produce pieces submitted for coursework, in any style in response to a brief.

For Sixth form, there are a range of choices of study:

A level Music is an exciting and rewarding, unique in its combination of academic study and creative opportunity. A-Level Music offers a broad curriculum covering western classical music, music for stage and screen and popular music, with a requirement for a solo recital and compositions in response to a brief and of free choice. Deeper analysis and extended written responses are required to succeed, enabling academic challenge across a range of genres. Music Technology is embedded within the programme of study and used in response to all components.

BTEC in Digital Music Production (equivalent of 1 A-Level) enables pupils to manage and understand the principles of the studio, through real life briefs and projects. A practical qualification that offers an introduction to the music production sector through Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) and applied learning and extended projects. Synthesis and sampling, mixing and mastering, creating sound and music for media products are all covered in the assignment briefs, leading to pupils becoming confident producer in the studio.

International Baccalaureate in Music (Group6) is offered at Standard and Higher Level. This is an incredible exciting, creative and innovative course that puts the individual pupil at the centre of their own investigative programme of study.  Exploring, experimenting, creating and collaborating are the key areas of study, with links across areas of inquiry including music for socio and political expression, music for impact, movement and entertainment, music for listening and music technology.

Activities and Challenges

As well as performing in the many school ensembles and taking solo or ensemble roles in school concerts, musicals and shows, many pupils have the opportunity to enter performing competitions. To read more about the musical opportunities available outside of the classroom – click here.