Aim of the Subject
Music is an ever-present part of everybody’s life and enables people to express themselves in a way that transcends words. Music at NSB tries to develop an understanding of Music, as well as the ability to communicate ideas and emotions through it.
The curriculum gives boys the opportunity to become familiar with Music from a rich cultural diversity. They gain practical skills through singing and playing a wide variety of instruments and they are encouraged to organise sounds into compositions, and write them down using several different methods of notation. They also become familiar with Music Technology.
This broad curriculum helps the boys develop self-confidence in a wide range of skills and improves their memory. It also encourages co-operation and teamwork. Work is done as a class, in groups, in pairs or individually, on the computer, and through games as appropriate to the topic.
Methods of Assessment
Boys work is assessed in different ways. It can be based on results of class tasks, preparation and performance of practical work and effectiveness of compositions. Written work is also assessed and the boys have many opportunities to assess their own and each others’ work. The assessments enable the teacher to suggest constructive comments and set new targets so that the boys understand their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to improve. It is proposed that a pupil portfolio with samples of work will be put together, as well as recordings of performances and compositions.
Music is taught in two forty minute lessons per week and planning is largely in line with the National Curriculum although not exclusively so. There are long, medium and short-term lesson plans in place
The teaching is aimed specifically at boys by ensuring that there a variety of different activities within each lesson. There are many opportunities in practical lessons for the boys to be “hands-on” and they expend energy through movement and dance. Activities are carefully tailored to the different abilities of the boys.
The whole Music curriculum has been planned to be progressive through all the year groups from Infants to Seniors and continuity is achieved through regular meetings with the Co-ordinators and Head of Music. This allows teachers to share information about pupils and further their own professional development by sharing skills and knowledge with teachers from the other phases.
The Music Department is able to achieve cross-curricular links through singing songs related to different subjects and studying topics related to different subjects. Boys also participate in Musical Shows which have relevance to other areas of the curriculum.
Gifted and Talented
A composition club is held one morning a week for G&T boys to develop their musicianship and understanding of musical form. Compositions are undertaken using music software.
Support for Learning
All practical activities are differentiated by writing several parts of varying difficulty for each piece. In tuned percussion and keyboard work, boys use a colour-coded method of reading notation and recognising notes. Worksheets are also differentiated.