Music at The Urswick School gives students the opportunity to be creative through performing, composing, listening and analysing the work of well-known and successful composers. Students study the history of Western Classical music from the Baroque period to the present day, the influence, growth and development of a variety of popular genres and traditional music from around the world.
The music department consists of two permanent staff members as well as a specialised team of seven peripatetic staff. This enables us to offer students one to one, paired and small group tuition on a variety of instruments. Students can partake in a choice of Out Of Hours activities. There are also opportunities for students to take part in our regular in school performances as well as some public performances.
The department is well resourced with musical instruments and music technology. We house a suite of practice rooms and a recording studio. Our aim is to provide a vibrant, busy, happy, colourful and noisy environment – just as it should be.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 we focus on confidence building and developing a variety of musical skills through listening, performing and composing. Students work mostly in pairs and small groups however there are opportunities for independent study and whole class activities. Many learning styles are catered for as we encourage students to experience music for themselves. They hear it, they see it, they create it and they touch it.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum covers the most common musical elements which students learn through topics such as; blues, reggae, music in the media, music from Brazil, Africa and much, much more. Students enjoy working with outside agencies through workshops and visits to theatres and concert halls. We aim to make our students' experience of music as varied and enriching as possible.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Music can be opted for at Key Stage 4. This gives students the opportunity to develop their skills to a high level, in preparation for further education or a career in music.
Music technology plays a large part of the KS4 music curriculum, particularly for composing. A room of 15 Apple Mac computers makes this possible and, using Logic Pro software, students are able to produce composition coursework of a high standard. All GCSE students study an instrument of their choice. Students study pieces which they perform as soloists and as part of an ensemble. Students are also expected to retain a large vocabulary of key words and their meanings. This knowledge is necessary for listening to and appraising a huge range of cultural music and musical genres. The study pieces include three Beatles songs and Haydn’s ‘Clock’ Symphony.