Lower School & Key Stage 2
Students will be taught how to communicate musically, using the voice to explore the fundamentals of music and pitched instruments to explore and develop the musical skills needed for creating music in a small group. Students will be equipped with the essential skills of a musician so that they are later able to continue their enjoyment and engagement with music throughout the school community by participating in whole school performance opportunities and beyond.
Students will be taught through the vehicle of sound; teachers will use a combination of the Kodaly method and The Oriff Method as the approach.
The Kodaly Method is a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts beginning in very young children. This method uses songs, hand signs, pictures, rhythm symbols and syllables.
The Orff Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. Lessons are presented with an element of “play” helping the children learn at their own level of understanding.
Using the two methods together:
- Engages students with ‘sound experiences’ so that students are able to associate prior musical experiences with symbols and be able to create graphic scores to demonstrate their understanding of pitch and textures – strengthening the understanding.
- Allows students to become fully aware and make the best use of opportunities for musical communication, for example, checking attendance, calling for attention, starting off a performance, contributing to assemblies etc…
- Encourages using the body to allow students to connect with musical expression and aid musical recall, as physical aid memoires.
- Promotes internalization of sounds through the active application of students’ ‘thinking voices’. For example, matching a song to given actions, given notations and given hand symbols.
- Gradually introduces new symbols and concepts and allows students to explore creatively and strengthen their understanding of concepts and symbols through well planned, multi sensory activities.
- Actively uses: Pitch Stairs, Floor Staff, Heart Beats (Pulse), Beat Sheets
Through the application of The Kodaly Method and The Oriff Method, students will be exposed to high quality musical learning experience, where the role of the voice is central to creation and exploration. Students will also have the opportunity to use pitched and un-pitched percussion during rhythmic work and will be given the opportunity to acquire and develop basic keyboard skills during Keyboard Skills Units. Whilst units of work focus on the skill or concept rather than context, students will experience music of varying cultures and tradition through the careful selection of repertoire and chances for discussion will be provided.
Key Stage 4
In KS4, the NCFE Music Technology Qualification is delivered covering Levels 1 – 2. The course is delivered through modules with assessment coming in vocational demonstration of set criteria for a range of Music Technology applications / activities. Students studying Music Technology require very little prior knowledge as the qualification can be differentiated as and when is necessary to provide an inclusive learning opportunity for all students.
Special consideration is placed upon the vocational aspect of the qualification with all learning geared around the development of skills which students can apply in real world music / media production environments.
Level 1 (Introductory / Award in Music Technology)
Unit 02 – Use Multitrack Loop Sequencing Software (Introductory / Award)
This unit covers the use of loop sequencing software. Such software either includes, or is wholly focused on, the use of one-off or looped pre-recorded audio samples and MIDI parts as a means of music production. This unit covers the basic principles behind such software and it’s uses to create music.*
For assessment in this unit, students must create a portfolio of work demonstrating their ability to create music using both looped pre-recorded audio and also self created and edited MIDI parts. Evidence must also be provided showing knowledge of different types of loop music production software and a comparison between loop and MIDI based production techniques.
Unit 7 – Audio effects processors in Music Production (Award)
The purpose of this unit is to develop a learners’ ability to use different types of audio effects processes and use this knowledge to save and recall effects. In addition, to gain knowledge of this subject matter, leaners will also develop their problem solving, ICT and organizational skills through using, setting up and investigating the equipment.*
For assessment in this unit, students must demonstrate the ability to identify and use basic music production audio effects such as Reverb, Delay and Distortion. They will learn how to connect an outboard effects unit to the mixing desk and apply preset effects from it to audio material within a project.
Unit 10 – Microphones in Music Production (Award)
This unit will enable learners to identify different types of microphone used in music production activity, their main features and uses, and how to safely handle and store them.*
Assessment in this unit focuses on both technical details of microphone type and construction along with practical application and setting up of a microphone for a stereo recording. Students will look at three common types of microphone, Dynamic, Condenser and Ribbon microphone.
Unit 11 – Use Audio Editing Software (Award)
This unit is about the editing of mono and/or stereo audio files using dedicated software. Learners will split and join audio files, crop and delete sections of audio and use fades and cross fades to conceal jarring changes in level between sections and at the ends of audio files.*
Assessment in this unit focuses on demonstrating the ability to utilize basic editing tools through an audio editing project brief. Example project briefs include creating a medley of songs within the music software or creating a sample pack of sounds / sound effects from longer pieces of audio i.e. film clips or video footage.
* Unit descriptions have been taken from the NCFE Level 1 Qualification handbook.
Level 2 (Award in Music Technology)
Unit 2 – Create music using audio / MIDI sequencing software
This unit is about using modern audio / MIDI sequencing software to realize musical ideas. Learners should have access to the expertise necessary to setup and operate the software. This unit focuses on the creative and effective (ie musically agreeable) exploitation of the software to create music.**
This unit is of a completely practical nature and involves advanced production of a piece of music from the students. The assessment features observations of the student creating a piece of music using advanced production techniques to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the piece of music.
** Unit descriptions have been taken from the NCFE Level 2 Qualification handbook.