What do we study in Music at Ridgeway?

Why do we study Music?

We aim to create the absolute best musicians and develop a love of music in our young people and all that it can offer. The music department fully embrace Ridgeway 360° and ensure that the curriculum challenges students mentally, academically, socially, and physically. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field. We do this through quality teaching which challenges our students to not only understand unique styles and genres of music but requires them to explore, discuss and demonstrate this understanding in creative ways. They are challenged in all lessons to be able to demonstrate understanding and creativity through performance, composition, through collaboration with their peers and through evaluation of their own work. Being creative and working as a team is important in today’s workplace whilst exploring and discussing ideas with respect.

Music programme of study at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Our music curriculum at KS3 is designed to give students an experience of different genres of music covering traditional, popular and music from other cultures, through units of work which incorporate listening, performing and composing opportunities. There is an emphasis on traditional staff notation so that students become fluent in reading, writing and performing music from a score.

Music programme of study at Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

GCSE Music offers a broad course of study which encourages learners to engage actively in the process of music study and develop performing skills individually and in groups. There is emphasis on developing compositional skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources and recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music.

Students also learn to recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology.  The aim is to engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

Through the course selected, we aim to help students:

  • improve their instrumental / vocal skills.
  • study music from different countries and in different styles including: Rhythms around the World, Popular Music, the Concerto and Film Music.
  • develop their analytical, critical and perceptual listening skills.

The course is divided into three areas:

  •  Performing:  You will prepare and perform two pieces – one solo piece and one piece as part of an ensemble.
  • Composing:  You will compose two pieces, one for your own instrument or voice, and one which links to a choice of briefs and area of study set by the exam.
  • Listening:  You will sit a 90 minute exam covering music from four areas of study covered through the course.

Homework expectations

Homework is set every two weeks and consists of theory of music, historical and key facts about music, and cultural and popular influences on the music that students engage in.

How can parents and guardians support at home?

Parents can support children by getting a musical instrument for students to practice on at home.  We encourage where possible to enthuse students to perform on a musical instrument to build confidence and instrument specific techniques.

Enrichment opportunities

Our curriculum at Ridgeway Secondary goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. As a department we offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for those students who want to develop their musical skills and abilities beyond a classroom curriculum. Individual instrumental lessons are available to all students throughout the school.  Students are then encouraging at given opportunities to play their instruments in lessons to further develop these skills. We currently run a choir and allow students to practice their performances during lunch. Some students come and use the practice rooms to develop their skills during lunch and break, which is encouraged.