Jazz, samba, pop, classical, traditional, singing or all of the above! Most can be heard in our music department on any given day. Enjoyment of music and music-making is central to the work of the department and our key motivation for pupils getting involved.
The world of music is an exciting and stimulating place to be. Music promotes creative awareness, self-awareness, individual and group skills, self- and corporate discipline and an awareness of technology. It helps create a fully rounded individual with an awareness and appreciation of the arts.
Music is one of the specialist subjects that all our pupils, from all age groups up to S2, including nursery, receive classes in from our specialist teachers. Music in the Junior School is always fun as we focus on practical music making. Singing is a very important part of the music curriculum for all and in nursery pupils are introduced to untuned percussion instruments followed in Junior 1 and beyond with tuned percussion, recorder and ukulele. Children explore sound, starting with sound journeys in Junior 1 and moving on to composing simple tunes and beginning to notate them by the start of Transitus.
Our young pupils take part in a variety of performances with class assemblies, an annual Nativity for the youngest and shows for the older children, as well as the Christmas service and Summer concert.
Moving up the school, from S1 to S2 Music classes learn a gradually expanding list of musical concepts which are experienced through a mix of practical, creative and listening activities. Topics include Samba, Rock’n’Roll, Scottish Music, Improvisation & Film Music.
Pupils are encouraged wherever possible to perform and create on their own instruments (if they have lessons) and to explore tuned percussion, keyboard, ukulele, the iPad and the voice.
Building on the foundation laid by the end of S2, pupils who opt to study Music further at National 5, and beyond to Higher or Advanced Higher will explore progressively more sophisticated musical concepts and further develop their creative and solo performing abilities. The aim of these courses is to provide pupils with a wide range of Performing, Listening and Composing experiences, encouraging creativity across all skills.
A desire to perform is an essential requirement for all certificate courses and all pupils will be required to take part in solo and group performing activities using instruments and voices. Pupils should also have a love of listening to music and be open to many different styles beyond their own particular favourites. There will be optional, external visits during the course which may range from classical concerts to theatre shows. Pupils need to develop a love of all music.
Music - National 5
The aim of the National 5 course is to provide pupils with a wide range of performing, listening and composing experiences, encouraging creativity across all skills and is composed of 3 elements:
Understanding Music (Listening)
Pupils will develop an understanding of a large range of concepts, including music literacy. It is related as often as possible to Performing and Composing. Pupils will also consider social and cultural influences on music.
Pupils learn how to improvise and compose original music in a variety of styles during the course.
Pupils will be expected to perform on two instruments (or voice plus one instrument).
The minimum performance standard for National 5 is Grade 3 although some pupils may start the course in S3 around Grade 2.
Music - Higher
The aim of the new Higher course is to provide pupils with a wide range of Performing, Listening and Composing experiences, encouraging creativity across all skills and is again built around the same 3 components of content, composing and performing.
The minimum performance standard for Higher is Grade V.
Music - Advanced Higher
At Advanced Higher, pupils continue to be provided with a wide range of Performing, Listening and Composing experiences, encouraging creativity across all skills and the course is again built around the same 3 components of content, composing and performing.
At AH pupils also have to complete an assignment analysing a chosen work.
The minimum performance standard for AH is Grade V.
All our pupils, those studying music have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities within the department. Click here for more details.
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