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Whether you teach class music, or are a peripatetic/private instrumental teacher, Music Teacher will provide you with invaluable ideas for your teaching, with substantial online lesson materials and a range of practical features. Packed with reviews, news, comment and debate, as well as the latest jobs, professional development opportunities and fantastic special offers, Music Teacher is all you need to teach music.



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Teaching Materials 2015

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Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Lesson Materials

Welcome to the Music Teacher online teaching materials. Every month Music Teacher publishes materials for KS3,4 and 5, offering complete units of work, GCSE and A level set-work info and activities, and practical ideas across all levels. All materials are written by experienced teachers and examiners and provide indispensable content for your classroom teaching.

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February 2016

Key Stage 3

BBC Ten Pieces Secondary, part one

Author: Jane Werry

The BBC’s Ten Pieces initiative aims to foster interest in classical music among schoolchildren, with films to accompany the two sets of pieces (one for primary and one for secondary schools). This resource is designed to complement – but not duplicate – the many excellent resources that exist on the BBC Ten Pieces Secondary website.

It includes a cover lesson, and ideas for workshopping creative responses to three of the pieces:
- Bizet’s Habanera
„„ - Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending
„„ - Bach’s Toccata in D minor

The second part of the resource will include workshopping ideas for more of the pieces, plus a homework project. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Teaching Technology

Author: John Kelleher

In a previous Music Teacher resource (October 2015), we looked at the requirements for a technology performance in GCSE Music. Having explored the requirements and investigated the mark scheme, it’s now time to explore how you can teach the skills and knowledge. In this resource, we are going to look at specific activities that you can use with your classes to prepare them for a controlled assessment.

For the purposes of this resource, we are looking at sequencing and multitracking synoptically. If you are submitting a technology performance in place of an ensemble performance, you can integrate both techniques for controlled assessment purposes. The solo performance, on the other hand, always has to be treated as a purely sequenced performance. As a result, any skills that are only relevant to multitracking have been identified throughout.

These activities have been designed to work with any DAW and, as a result, you will want to add an initial activity that shows how to set up a project. Refer to the documentation that comes with your sequencer, since many include a tutorial for this. Read less...

Key Stage 5

OCR AS; IB HL/SL: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047, movements 2 and 3

Author: Alan Charlton

This resource, designed to support the new IB set works, is an analysis of the second and third movements of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. The first movement, together with background information on the Brandenburg Concertos, the Baroque concerto grosso, Bach and instrumentation, was covered in a previous resource (Music Teacher, November 2015). Taken together, these two articles will provide IB teachers with detailed, relevant information for teaching the work to students.

As the Context of this work was extensively discussed in the earlier article, this article will concentrate on the remaining areas: analyses of movements two and three, and relevant features of interest in these movements in terms of tonality and harmony, instrumentation, melody and rhythm. Read less...

January 2016

Key Stage 4/5

Help! I'm stuck on my composition!

Author: Jane Werry

Most students find composing hard, and it�s fair to say that the old adage of �1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration� is about right. When controlled conditions give a time limit for producing compositions, teachers need an armoury of tactics to get students started, and to unstick them if they get stuck.

This resource aims to provide just that. It could be used in several different ways:
- As the basis for lesson content in the �preparation� part of coursework composing.
- As a collection of tactics that teachers can dip into and select relevant strategies from, in order to help
specific problems as they arise.
- As a self-help guide that could be given in its entirety to more independent students.
- As a �lucky dip� of techniques for students to use when they need to be challenged or inspired (you could pick
techniques out of a hat or put them into an electronic random word picker).

It includes ideas for getting started, for editing and developing ideas, for taking a composition in a new direction, and for using instruments well, together with a guide to pitfalls to be avoided.
Wherever possible, examples of each technique from �real� music are included. Read less...

January 2016

Key Stage 4

BTEC First: the Music Industry (Learning Aim B)

Author: John Kelleher

Earlier this year (Music Teacher, October 2015), we looked at Learning Aim A of the BTEC First Music Industry unit. Here, we move the focus from organisations to Learning Aim B, job roles in the music industry. Once again, the focus of this resource is to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and understanding to deliver the course. Although many teachers have a good understanding of the music industry, it is quite possible to complete a music degree and teacher training without ever studying the topic. Consequently, this resource goes back to basics and attempts to break the knowledge down for any teachers who may be less confident with this aspect of music education.

Since the focus of this resource is on teacher knowledge, we won’t be providing an exhaustive list of teaching strategies for each topic. Of course, we will suggest a few ideas along the way, but we would encourage you to think about how you can teach this knowledge synoptically. Centres offering the performing unit may well approach this differently to those offering a technology unit. Use this resource to map out where your music industry teaching opportunities are, and drop in the relevant knowledge at those points. Doing so will ensure that pupils are able to associate the knowledge they’ve learnt with the music they were making – a powerful aide-memoire if ever there was one. Read less...

BTEC Firsts: the Music Industry

Author: John Kelleher

The Wolf Report has had a wide, sweeping impact on the country?s suite of vocational qualifications. For music teachers, one of the most significant outcomes was the requirement for vocational qualifications to incorporate an element of external assessment. As a result, Pearson had to reform its BTEC First for Music, and chose to create an examination on the music industry.
If a vocational music course has to have a compulsory unit, then it makes sense that it should be based around the idea of how to make a living from music. For teachers who have never worked in or studied the music industry, however, it can be a daunting task to deliver a unit that may seem like something more suited to the skills of the business studies department.
Fortunately, however, the content is far from incomprehensible, and music teachers should feel confident that they can guide students through the learning process. This resource will provide you with the necessary subject knowledge and suggest a few ways in which this content can be delivered. Read less...

Key Stage 5

OCR AS: La gazza ladra Overture, by Gioacchino Rossini

This resource is the second in a series to support the teaching of the three new OCR AS Prescribed Orchestral Scores in Unit G353: Introduction to Historical Study in Music, for examination in June 2016. The primary focus of this article will be on The Expressive Use of Instrumental Techniques, Tonality (The Language of Western Tonal Harmony) and the Context of the work. Tips for comparing two recordings of the work are also provided. Read less...

December 2015

Key Stage 3

Making an a cappella medley - for Christmas or any other time of the year

Author: Jane Werry

With the immense popularity of Pitch Perfect, preceded by Glee, and backed up by Gareth Malone?s TV programmes including the recent Naked Choir, there has never been a more conducive time for getting students to sing a cappella.

There are lots of great things about this idea. It will take some work to get a cappella sounding good, and along the way students will need to think about tuning, timing, communication and their own vocal range. The modern a cappella tradition is all about devising arrangements, so harmonies and textures will need to be considered and used in a creative way. The development of listening skills is fundamental to any foray into a cappella. It needs a minimum of resources. You can branch out into choreography and exciting techniques such as beatboxing and throat bass. In fact there?s almost nothing not to like.

It does, however, need to be tackled in a systematic way to anticipate some of the pitfalls and head them off at the first opportunity. To do a cappella well is difficult and requires perseverance.

This resource uses some Christmas songs as a starting point for a cappella. However, everything covered here could be used equally as effectively with other songs, and I will give non-Christmas starting-points too, for use at any time of the year. Your a cappella project could last a few lessons or anything up to a whole term. You could start with Christmas songs, and diversify in January ? the aim is to be as flexible as possible. All the ideas here can be combined with the now legendary Musical Futures Find Your Voice project. Read less...

Workshopping Christmas

Author: John Kelleher

It may not be 25 December yet, but music teachers still need to plan for ‘the season to be jolly’. Of course, the music department has to step up a gear during December. You’ve got your Christmas concert and maybe even a musical to put on. The undoubted result of this is that some of your most vital equipment will be in the main hall, which leaves you with a classroom that’s not quite up to your usual standards. The ideas that follow should help you to cope with both the increased workload and the reduced capacity of your classroom.

Each of the ideas that follow includes objectives, minimum/ideal resources and an extension activity. Simply select the ideas that fit with the resources that you still have at your disposal.

It’s important to note that none of these activities are one-off lessons, but form part of an on-going project. This will allow you to plan for units of work that meet specific learning objectives yet won’t be compromised by having to disassemble your classroom for the performance. Just make sure that you have the ‘minimum resources’ for the duration of your unit of work.

Of course, whatever Wizzard may wish for, it’s not Christmas every day. As a result, this resource ends with a look at how you can adapt these projects to suit other times of the academic year when you may also have limited resources at your disposal. Read less...

Key Stage 5

The Christmas Truce

Author: David Ashworth

This resource is ostensibly for a large scale-composition, which would go well beyond the brief for composition in the A level specifications.

However, there are possibilities for using just parts of the resource:
„ - Students could take just a few of the activities suggested and work with them as exercises, or use them for smaller compositions.
„ - The sections could be divided up between students in a class. When the work is completed, their pieces could be brought together to form a composite whole.
- The activities and suggestions outlined in this resource could be transferred to any other composition activities students happen to be working on.
- As always, these activities can be simplified to make them more suitable for younger students.

The aim of this resource is to provide guidance on using some elements of the craft of composition that can be applied more generally across a range of briefs. Approaching composing is not just about writing down the notes. Planning and preparation are vital parts of the composing process. This resource outlines how some composers might go about this.

Using a story as a stimulus, we break the compositional process down into sections, and sketch these sections out on timelines. In our resource, we have one timeline spanning the months leading up to the truce, and a second timeline zooming in on the events of that particular day. We then take each section in turn and explore the possibilities for interpreting and retelling the events and the moods they contain.

For some sections, we take a look at how other composers have attempted to describe similar scenes in their own work. For example, when considering the drama of wartime action, we look at some of the salient features from Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7. Composers are often like magpies, always appropriating ideas from other sources and tweaking for their own ends. For example, Bartók takes one of the themes from this Shostakovich piece and parodies it in his Concerto for Orchestra. It is good for our students to develop their craft in the way that many composers do. Composers are often like sculptors – they take some basic rough materials and make something of them – as opposed to a painter who begins with a blank canvas.

Students and teachers should consider some of the works and composers covered in the Areas of Study (AoS) for their particular exam board. This ‘two-way street’ approach to working can strengthen and reinforce the work done in each of these contexts. For example, the forthcoming AQA specifications reference several composers who have worked with wartime themes, including Shostakovich, Messiaen, Britten and Thomas Newman. By listening and analysing, students and teachers could explore how these composers have achieved their aims in creating music for similar contexts.

The other idea worth noting is that composers often do a lot of work before putting their first note on a stave. There is much thinking, planning, listening and research that has to be done upfront. Students often begin the process of writing notes way too early and seem unaware of the preparation processes that artists in all art forms share. Hopefully, this resource provides a good model. Read less...

November 2015

Key Stage 3

Programme music: music and space

Author: Jane Werry

This is a series of lessons investigating the ways in which rhythm, melody and harmony can be used to create particular effects relating to a topic ? in this case, space. Three pieces of music are approached in a workshopping style: ?Mars? from Holst?s The Planets suite, ?Darth Vader?s Theme? from John Williams?s Star Wars soundtrack, and the Doctor Who theme music from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Once these pieces have been thoroughly explored, students will then compose their own pieces of space themed music using the ideas they have encountered. Although the three pieces are essentially classical in style, students? own compositions may not be ? there is potential for great flexibility in this respect. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Composer, performer and audience

Author: John Kelleher

In a recent Music Teacher resource (September 2015), we looked at dividing our planning for music education into �occasion, time and place� rather than the more traditional �performing, composing and listening/appraising�. This alternative curriculum structure allowed us to gain a new take on some familiar projects. Another alternative method of organising our schemes of work can be by looking at the connections between composer, performer and audience. In this resource, we will look at a variety of projects that you can use to organise your schemes of work in this manner. Read less...

Key Stage 5

OCR AS & IB HL/SL set work: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, first movement

Author: Alan Charlton

This resource is the first of a series to support the teaching of the three new OCR AS Prescribed Orchestral Scores in Unit G353: Introduction to Historical Study in Music, for examination in June 2016. The primary focus of this article will be on the Expressive Use of Instrumental Techniques, Tonality (The Language of Western Tonal Harmony) and the Context of the work. Additionally, since Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 is also one of the two new set works for IB Higher Level, other elements of music in this movement will also be discussed (for example melody and rhythm). However, due to limitations of space, movements 2 and 3 will not be discussed inthis article. Read less...

October 2015

Key Stage 4

Edexcel technology performances

Author: John Kelleher

As musicians we clock a lot of time in practice rooms. We refine phrases, technique and expression. It?s part and parcel of musicianship. It?s also a somewhat lonely experience. Locking yourself in a room for a few hours and relentlessly improving your musicianship is largely a solo activity. As a result, music teachers can often feel that they have a great deal of insight when it comes to guiding pupils through a performance, but many feel that they need additional support with technology performances ? not every musician gets the training or experience that they want in this respect.
In both the current and the incoming Edexcel specifications for GCSE music, solo performing can only account for a portion of a candidate?s grade. Technology-based performance can comprise the entire portfolio submitted. In this resource, we will establish what the Edexcel specifications (current and incoming) consider to be a technology performance, before going on to look at repertoire and teaching strategies that will allow for the best possible outcome from your students. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Bach chorale harmonisation

Author: Alan Charlton

This resource aims to show how many of the challenges presented by Bach chorale harmonisations can be solved through applying a rational, problem-solving approach. It is based on a worked example from the AQA A2 MUSC5 paper from 2013-14, guiding students from the initial stages through to completion using a step-by-step approach. This experience should give them a solid framework to use on their own their coursework, give them additional tips and ideas for Bach chorale harmonisation, and hopefully boost their confidence when tackling this task. Read less...

September 2015

Key Stage 3

Occasion, time and place

Author: John Kelleher

Music learning can be planned for in many ways. Some of the more common structures for designing a scheme of work include the elements of music and specific musical styles. These structures allow teachers to focus on specific musical building blocks that can be mastered before moving onto the next block, and often have the bonus of being relatively easy to measure (?Did this piece include a ritardando and an accelerando??, ?Does this reggae composition include a skank and an arpeggiated bassline??). On occasion, however, this can lead to a focus on the easily assessible rather than the musical (?Yes, this horrendous piece of music with no discernable melody and unintentionally horrific harmony includes a ritardando and an accelerando?, ?Yes, this piece includes a skank and an arpeggiated bassline but sounds like a madrigal?).
One alternative method of organising your scheme of work is to focus on occasion, time and place. This can take the form of project-based learning, with pupils creating music for use in a real-world scenario, or it can make occasion/time/place the thing that is being learnt, with pupils creating music in response to having learnt about a piece that was composed for a specific occasion/time/place. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Music in the late 1960s

Author: David Ashworth

The years 1965 to 1969 were extraordinary times in the history of pop. For a brief window, musicians were given an almost totally free reign in shaping and developing the music they wanted to make � often supported with considerable time and resources to achieve their various musical aims. True, it sometimes led down blind alleys, but even the less successful musical explorations of the time often had considerable musical interest.
Technology played a large part in some of the advances. This was most obvious in the ways in which it allowed sounds to be modified and recorded, but developments in media transmission also meant that different musics were now being shared and distributed more easily across a wide range of cultures. This in turn led to new ways in which musicians were able to share music and collaborate on musical projects.
For teachers, this era is a good one to explore because it brings so many styles, influences and genres together, which in turn can provide a rich and varied basis for worthwhile classroom activity.
One of the challenges of putting a resource like this together is deciding what to include and what to leave out. There was simply so much happening during these years that a single resource cannot hope to cover it all adequately. For example, soul music was not only important for its own sake, but also for its influence, which was felt across much of the music described here. As in the earlier 1960s (covered in the previous resource Music in the mid-1960s, August 2015), the music of the Beatles was hugely important during this period (see The Beatles: a legacy for music education, May 2015). We do make some reference to their work, but their three albums from this era Revolver, Sgt. Pepper�s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles (usually known as the White Album) deserve a more in-depth study than we have space for here. Read less...

Key Stage 5

AQA: GCE Music Unit 4 AoS3a: English choral music in the 20th century

Author: Hugh Benham

AQA''''s Area of Study 3a concerns ''''the development of English choral music in the 20th century with reference to:
- anthems and mass settings
- oratorios and other orchestral settings of words.
Composers... might include: Elgar, Walton, Britten, Howells, Vaughan Williams.?
In this present article, we briefly consider Elgar''''s The Apostles rather than the relatively well-known Dream of Gerontius. There are also sections on Walton''''s Belshazzar''''s Feast and Britten''''s War Requiem, and references to other pieces from the categories listed in the bullet points above.
Comments below concern context first and foremost, to help supply essential background. Extended remarks on musical features are necessarily limited, but should provide some stimulus to further research. References to various printed and online resources also point the way to additional investigation.
Listening to any music selected for study is vital. All works referred to below are readily available online (eg via YouTube or from iTunes), and/or from CDs, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Some students may have opportunitues to perform as well as listen, in choral societies, church choirs, or at school or college.
For concise definitions of unfamiliar musical vocabulary, see for example Rhinegold Dictionary of Music in Sound by David Bowman (Rhinegold Education, 2002), volume 1. Read less...

August 2015

Key Stage 4

Music in the mid-1960s

This resource provides background and analysis of some of the remarkable musical developments that took place in the pop music of the mid-1960s. This is potentially a huge topic, so I have chosen to limit the field of investigation to the music being created, recorded and performed by the most significant British pop and rock bands from this era. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Teaching harmony to Year 12 students: part two

Here, there is advice specific to the harmony requirements of the OCR, AQA and Edexcel specifications. The balance here is somewhat skewed towards OCR, because there are so many variables with this particular unit, which is compulsory for all candidates: centres choose the exercises themselves, and the work is internally marked and externally moderated. Read less...

General

Your first year as head of music

Becoming head of department is a huge achievement and a defining step in the career of any teacher. Most new HoDs will have access to the wealth of experience from other middle leaders in the school in order to smooth the transition into management, and the same is true for a new head of music. Read less...

July 2015

Key Stage 4

Holiday work for KS4

Author: John Kelleher

As they walk out of the school gates with their school shirts covered in signatures, it''s hard to imagine that these young men and women would consider spending their holiday doing work for your subject. Giving them a homework task to do may seem like a futile effort, but such a perspective fails to take into account the amazing ability of adolescents to experience boredom. A bored 16-year-old will quite happily do some work in his/her summer holiday for a subject he or she has chosen, if it alleviates a little tedium.

This resource seeks to identify the features of good-quality holiday work for pupils transitioning from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5, and then suggests a few specific projects that meet those criteria. Each project will include:
- an overall aim
- objectives
- a list of activities
- resources that can be given to the pupils Read less...

Key Stage 5

AQA/OCR A2:Classical string quartet completions

Author: Alan Charlton

This resource aims to show how many of the challenges presented by Classical string quartet completions can be solved through applying a rational, problem-solving approach. It is based on a worked example from the AQA A2 MUSC5 paper from 2013-14, guiding students from the initial stages through to completion using a step-by-step approach. This experience should give them a solid framework to use on their own their coursework, give them additional tips and ideas for Classical string quartet completions and hopefully boost their confidence when tackling this task. Read less...

Teaching harmony to Year 12 students: part one

Author: Jane Werry

The necessity for AS music students to work on harmony exercises is one of the things that makes the leap between GCSE and A level seem huge, and a daunting prospect for students and teachers alike. There is a steep learning curve, and in this resource I hope to provide some tools and strategies for getting students going in a short space of time.

Harmonic understanding – knowing how notes fit together – is at the heart of true musicianship. Acquiring this understanding can be an intensely satisfying experience – and also an extremely frustrating one. Helping your students unpick its mysteries, and see that it’s not some arcane art, needs a systematic approach, based not only on what to do, but also on why harmony works the way it does.

In part one, the focus is on getting started with harmony in Year 12 regardless of exam board. In part two, which follows, there will be some more specific guidance for the requirements of each specification. Read less...

June 2015

Key Stage 3

Making musical feedback work (KS3/4)

Author: John Kelleher

Teachers get a lot of feedback on their feedback these days. Senior leaders across the country have looked at blogs from David Didau, Ofsted‘s ‘Making Marking Matter’, the data from the Education Endowment Foundation’s Toolkit and a variety of other resources, leading them to the conclusion that there is a gold standard of feedback in the classroom. In many schools, it’s no longer good enough simply to give feedback to pupils: you now have to prove that you did it. Then you have to prove that the pupil responded to the feedback and find a way to show that you responded to that response. This trail of feedback has been given the moniker ‘triple marking’, based on the premise that the work is marked twice by the teacher and once by the pupil.

In the music classroom, problems with this approach are magnified by the simple fact that the majority of the work our pupils complete is in the medium of musical sound. Equally, the majority of the feedback we give will be in that same medium. Confronted with this, some senior leaders will panic. ‘How can I see the feedback?’ they may cry. This resource is aimed at giving you a few tools to wean them off this obsession with seeing feedback and getting them to start thinking about hearing feedback. Read less...

Transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4

Author: John Kelleher

For any school teacher, the word ‘transition’ instantly conjures up an image of 11-year-olds looking anxious about their first days of secondary school. This time-honoured rite of passage is, quite correctly, assigned a high priority by schools so as to ensure that the move from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 is as smooth as possible, and that natural anxieties are at least mixed in with a healthy dose of excitement about new challenges.

There is, however, another transition that has a significant impact on our pupils: the move from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. With the vast majority of pupils staying in the same school, it’s easy for us to overlook the difficulties that teenagers face during these tumultuous few months. At the very least, it’s tempting to see it as a problem for the head of year and his/her team of form tutors who invariably deal with the fallout of young people suddenly having to cope with a set of examinations that have the potential to determine the path they take for the rest of their lives. While the humble music teacher cannot resolve all the issues, there’s a lot we can do to minimise the stress caused by KS3-4 transition in our subject area, and even to make our music departments feel like a ‘safe zone’ during the process.

This resource seeks to explore the ways in which you can best prepare your pupils for the transition, so that you can then guide them through the process in a way that is both beneficial to their well-being and entirely musical in its nature. Read less...

Key Stage 5

AQA A2 Chamber music from Mendelssohn to Debussy

Author: Alan Charlton

AoS3b, Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to Debussy, is one of the three options of Section C: Historical Study of the Unit 4 – Music in Context question paper. In the past, AQA examination questions have typically asked students to compare aspects of two works or movements in detail, or comment on stylistic features of the music’s period, drawing examples from works they have studied. Therefore it is essential for students to be able to refer to examples from specific works.

This article will look at three movements from key chamber music composers from the Romantic period (Mendelssohn, Brahms and Ravel). Each of the three movements has been broken down into the elements of structure, melody, harmony/tonality, instrumental writing and texture, through which the general features of the period can be explored. Read less...

May 2015

Key Stage 3

Building a KS3 curriculum

Author: Jane Werry

Here, I intend to offer some guidance through the pitfalls and opportunities that are involved in devising a KS3 curriculum. I hope it will enable you to consider all angles and arrive at a two- or three-year programme that does all the things you want it to, while fulfilling the needs of your own pedagogical ideals, your school’s ethos, and your students. To start with, there will be many more questions than answers. But gradually I will introduce examples from my own practice that I hope will help inform your decisions, even if yours are ultimately very different from mine. Read less...

Key Stage 4

The Beatles: a legacy for music education

Author: David Ashworth

It never ceases to surprise me how little use we make of one of our richest musical legacies – the music of the Beatles. They are widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest and most significant musical landmarks of the 20th century, so you would think we would constantly dip into this treasure trove for music making. Yet there are virtually no classroom resources that really get under the bonnet and explore ways of working with the Beatles’ musical ideas. We have the occasional singalong to ‘Yellow Submarine’ or ‘Let it Be’, but it does not go much further than that. Yet we all have filing cabinets full of worksheets on reggae, blues, Britpop and so on. Read less...

Key Stage 5

AQA: GCE Music Unit 1, AoS 2a – Choral Music in the Baroque Period

Author: Hugh Benham

AQA’s Choral Music in the Baroque Period area of study requires study of ‘settings for choir and soloists’ as follows: the cantata; the oratorio; anthems and masses.
Composers ‘might include: JS Bach, Charpentier, Handel, Vivaldi’.
The following survey deals with the three categories above, with reference to the composers named above and occasionally a few others. When specific works are referred to, this does not imply that these must be taught: others might well be more appropriate in individual cases. Read less...

April 2015

Key Stage 3

Communication and Working with others

Author: John Kelleher

In this resource, we are going to take a look at two key skills and how they can be explored through the teaching of music. Those two skills are Communication and Working with others.

Any good music teacher will already be including aspects of these key skills in their lessons, but there is always the chance to further enhance the opportunities for your pupils to develop in these areas. In this resource we’ll endeavour to find ways in which your schemes of work can firmly embed these skills into your lessons in such a way that it builds upon the musical learning that is already taking place. Read less...

Key Stage 4

Making the most of your instrument

Author: Jane Werry

This resource has two focuses: ensuring that students achieve the best possible results in their GCSE performing, and tackling OCR’s GCSE AoS1, My Music, which involves composing a piece for the student’s own instrument. The information on performing is relevant to all GCSE boards. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Edexcel AS set instrumental music

Author: David Ashworth

This resource provides some background and a discussion of the main characteristics of three of the set pieces from the Edexcel AS syllabus Developing Musical Understanding Unit 3: instrumental set works for 2015.These are:
- Bach: Brandenburg concerto no. 4, first movement
- Shostakovich: String Quartet no. 8, first movement
- Poulenc: Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone, first movement

Important musical features covered include structure, texture, tonality, harmony, melody and rhythm and metre. These should complement existing resources, and will provide students with some useful pointers on how to write perceptively about the music. Read less...

March 2015

Key Stage 4

AQA GCSE Unit 1: Listening to and Appraising Music – preparation and practice

Author: Alan Charlton

This article is designed to support students taking the AQA GCSE Music Unit 1 examination paper, Listening to and Appraising Music (42701). It will look at the different types of questions that are typically set, and suggest ways in which they can be prepared for and approached. Practice questions, based on extracts on Spotify, are provided to practise and refine students’ knowledge and aural skills. Read less...

Edexcel GCSE set works: Moby, Miles Davis and Koko

Author: David Ashworth

This resource provides background and a discussion of the main characteristics of three of the set pieces from the current Edexcel GCSE syllabus. Read less...

Key Stage 5

Pre-U Music: Topic A – The Symphony in the Classical Period (c1740–c1802)

Author: Hugh Benham

Page 17 of the Cambridge Pre-U syllabus for 2016–2018 indicates the content for Topic A, including an understanding of the defining features of the Classical style, the development of formal structures, recognising relevant performance practice, and specific musical examples.
This article has the following sections:
- The symphony „
- The Classical period
- Sonata form, rondo form, minuet and trio
- Performance
- Representative works Read less...


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