The study of Music at Eltham College goes way beyond simply listening to some core repertoire, or playing on classroom instruments. We encourage pupils to think like musicians, constantly asking questions of themselves, developing their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality. Pupils regularly work in groups on creative tasks, as well as developing the confidence as individual musicians to explore parts of the musical canon previously unfamiliar to them.
Music in Years 7-9
All pupils in Years 7-9 have weekly Music lessons as part of their core timetable. Through a range of listening, composition, analysis and practical tasks, pupils explore their own musical understanding and challenge their preconceptions. Singing and instrumental music-making are encouraged as part of each topic. The fundamentals of Music Notation are covered by all pupils (there is the opportunity to take Associated Board Theory grades). Pupils are also taught about the development of Music History and genres from the Renaissance to the present day.
All pupils in Year 7 perform in a College Concert during the course of the year, and curriculum trips to hear professional concerts in a London venue are organised for all pupils in Years 7 and 8.
There are opportunities to compose not just for voice, classroom instruments or their own instruments but with Music IT software, and to make use of the Department’s suite of computers equipped with score writing and sequencing software.
Each class is allocated two teachers, in order to deliver personalised learning wherever possible, but in particular when pupils are working in groups on creative tasks.
Music at GCSE
Pupils who study GCSE Music are so much more than just performers (although pupils reach outstanding standards). They are critics who are able to make judgements about musical quality, artists who make brave, creative compositions, historians who explore the social and historical contexts surrounding the musical canon, essayists who can write fluently about music, scientists and mathematicians who can deconstruct and analyse disciplined individuals who regularly practice their instrument(s).
The GCSE Edexcel exam specification helps our pupils develop these skills through three main elements: Performance (30% of the overall GCSE mark), Composition (30%) and History/Listening (40%). Pupils who choose GCSE Music will already be learning at least one instrument, and must continue with this instrument for the duration of the course. For the History/Listening Written Paper, pupils will learn about the Development of Western Classical Music from 1600 - the present day, the features associated with Popular Twentieth Century Music and the characteristics of some non-Western World Music, including traditional Indian and African music. Pupils will learn to compose music in the style of all of these main topic areas, and will submit two compositions to the exam board towards the end of the course.
Music is taught by: