Kings Norton Girls’ School has a vibrant, busy and inclusive Music Department. We are often seen as the face of the school due to our involvement in the wider community. This year began by continuing to build on links with Kings Norton Boys School with whom we collaborated on two very successful Christmas Concerts.
Facilities & Accommodation
The Music Department comprises of a large main teaching room containing electronic keyboards, a class set of ukuleles, computers and a wide variety of percussion instruments. There is also a dedicated drum room and 3 other practice rooms used for instrumental/vocal teaching and for students to use before and after school, during break times and lunch times where appropriate.
At Key Stage three students learn to play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice and instruments. They improvise and compose, using relevant musical notations to communicate their ideas. They study a wide range of musical styles, and explore the context and purpose behind them.
In Year 7 students begin to learn how to manipulate the musical elements through studying soundscapes and programme music. They also look at popular vocal styles. Year 7 begin to learn about more complex musical structures through the study of Rondo form and the creation of contrasting episodes. They are taught to communicate their ideas in a wide variety of ways, through class discussion, paired and group work and through rehearsing and performing with a sense of occasion. Work is recorded and analysed across the Key Stage in order to deepen students’ musical understanding.
In Year 8 students study African music, theme and variation, blues and popular song arrangements and remixes. Keyboard, ukulele and vocal skills are also developed throughout the year.
In Year 9 students study Indian music, minimalism and music for film. They continue their study of popular song by arranging and performing songs with more complex harmonies. Keyboard, ukulele and vocal skills continue to be developed right up until the end of KS3.
GCSE Music focuses on the three strands of composing, performing and listening and appraising, much the same as at Key Stage 3 only in much more depth and requiring a deeper understanding.
Students are formally required to undertake 2 performances – one solo performance and one performance as part of a group in order to demonstrate their ensemble skills. They also have to produce two contrasting compositions under controlled conditions and often use the computers in the department to do this.
There are 8 set works that students study in depth for GCSE which range from Baroque concertos through to rock, club dance and world music from other cultures. Students learn how to analyse these different styles and are formally assessed at the end of the course through a written paper that consists of listening questions and an extended piece of writing.
Students in the Music Department are given homework to develop their ability to write about and critically appraise music. For students who have instrumental/vocal lessons in school and who study GCSE and A Level it is also expected that they practise their instruments regularly at home.
The range of musical activities on offer for students varies each year according to provision. This year ensembles on offer are listed below, and each musical group has had the chance to showcase their talents through a variety of musical platforms such as the Christmas Concert, Cross-Curricular Days, Awards Ceremonies and the Arts Faculty Showcase
- Whole School Orchestra
- Key Stage Three Choir
- Senior Choir
- String Ensemble
- Guitar Ensemble
- Flute Ensemble
- Clarinet Ensemble
- Oboe Ensemble
Kings Norton Girls’ School fully appreciates the importance and benefits for students of learning an instrument. Presently there are a wide variety of opportunities for our students to learn an instrument and to gain a feeling of what it feels like to perform as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. Full details of tuition on offer is listed below:
- Violin and cello
- Flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon
- Trumpet, trombone and euphonium
- Acoustic Guitar