Head of Department
Mr J Smith
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
Girls are taught music in their form groups for one lesson a week. During this time we look at the basic elements of music (Pace, Pitch, Dynamics, Duration, Texture, Timbre, Structure, Silence and Rhythm) and study how they all work together to make music. We also study notation, both traditional and graphic.
There is a strong emphasis on practical music making at Kingsley, and we strive to deliver the music curriculum in as interactive a way as possible. To this end we try to have a practical element to every lesson. The girls also get the opportunity to use music technology to enhance their work.
We study various types of music from around the world including African drumming and Gamelan music from Indonesia, Conga music from Cuba, and Blues from America. We also study the relationship between music and art, and how the emotion portrayed within the visual arts can be conveyed through music and there is an extended project on film music, using techniques such as leitmotiv and underscoring.
Singing is also a vital part of the work that we do, as is rhythm, with regular sessions on percussive music from around the world. Both of these activities have been proven to enhance skills in other areas of the curriculum, including languages and maths.
Key Stage 4: GCSE
Awarding body: OCR
Music at Kingsley is a two year course comprising three main components:
All three of these components are based on 4 areas of study:
- My Music
This is where you learn about your instrument/voice, how it has developed, and what techniques are used.
- Shared Music
You will study how musicians work together in different stylistic and cultural contexts.
- Dance Music
This is the study of how dance music (including waltz, tango, salsa, disco and club dance) has developed and how technology has shaped it.
- Descriptive Music
This is the study of descriptive music and how composers have used music to convey stories, paint pictures and set scenes including Programme Music and Film Music.
Students present two pieces:
- One solo Performance
- One ensemble Performance
This work is internally marked and then externally moderated.
The composition aspect of GCSE music is traditionally the one which causes the most trepidation. However the course is structured in such a way that students are given starting points and taught compositional techniques to use. This work is internally marked and then externally moderated.
Over the course of two years students become more critical listeners with their listening skills assessed in a short exam at the end of the course.
What standard is expected?
In order to take this course students will need to be able to read simple notation and should have some competence on at least one instrument/voice, but experience of formal music exams is not compulsory.
Music students are expected to take part in the extra -curricular life of the school.
Key Stage 5: A Level
Awarding body: OCR
A level Music is an intellectually and musically challenging qualification which is highly valued by employers and universities, as it requires high level thinking skills and problem solving abilities. Past students have gone on to study Music at university and conservatoires as might be expected, including at Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, Leeds College of Music, Goldsmiths College, Reading University and Southampton University, but others have studied Medicine, English Literature, Psychology and Maths.
The course is taught linking together all the elements of music and putting them into an historical context. There is a wide range of music to be studied at AS, from the Baroque period to Jazz and Pop, which becomes more specialised at A2. Students are expected to conduct their own research and listen to music beyond that which is studied in class.
The Music Department at Kingsley is a rich and vibrant place, where everyone is encouraged to take part.
We currently offer the following extra-curricular activities:
- Chamber Choir
- Brass Ensemble
- Wind Band
- Swing Band
- String Orchestra
- Guitar Ensemble
- Recorder Consort
- Prep Wind Band
- Prep String ensemble
A recent highlight was the choir tour to Tuscany. Girls performed in Florence, Lucca and Montecatini to rapturous audiences. Click here to see the photos.
All girls are encouraged to take part in a group that best fits their skills and many take part in more than one. We offer weekly instrumental and vocal lessons with a highly committed and talented team of staff which are delivered on a rota basis, apart from years 10-13, who are offered fixed slots outside of the timetabled day in order to minimise the impact on their examination subjects.
The department mounts a large scale concert every term, in addition to regular showcase evenings. Groups from the school often perform in the local community and beyond, including at Leamington Town Hall, Holy Trinity Church, Leamington, St Mark’s Church Leamington, St Mary’s Church, Warwick, and Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham. Recent performances have included: Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Warwick Music Festival and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols.
Music should be an enjoyable subject and that is what we try to promote above all else. Regardless of ability, it is our aim that all students will be able to take part and will gain a lifelong love of music during their time here.