Music is a universal language, spanning cultures, time spans and beliefs. It can provide a unique and special joy, and often form an emotional outlet for performers and listeners. In addition studies have shown that it boosts memory, aids concentration and develops resilience and confidence, skills that will be invaluable throughout school and beyond.
In addition the music industry is a vibrant, exciting and highly competitive industry that contributed £5.2 billion to the UK economy in 2019 and generated a further £2.7 billion in export revenue. In 2016, live music alone created £3.7 billion in direct and indirect income for the UK. The music industry is constantly evolving and offers many different and exciting new work opportunities. In 2019, the music industry supported more than 190,935 full-time jobs in the UK, 139,352 of which were in the music creators’ sector.
Our mission is to build confidence and encourage independent learning to equip learners with the skills and qualifications to become the next generation of creative practitioners. Our intent is to provide an exciting, broad and engaging musical curriculum with a focus on practical learning underpinned by a foundational musical theory. We intend to explore a range of popular, classical and modern genres and develop a variety of musical performance, listening and compositional skills.
Outline of course content
Year 7, 8 and 9 topics include:
In year 7 instrumental skills and essential theory is taught, incorporating keyboard, ukulele, ensemble work and rhythm workshops.
In year 8 the focus is on music from around the world and musical styles such as the blues and film music as well as song-writing and computer composition.
In year 9 learners continue to explore musical styles such as minimalism, how music is used in the media and build their band musicianship skills. An increasing focus is on the use of technology as a tool for creating music, using the software Ableton Live.
Year 10 & 11 topics include:
In years 10 and 11 they study the BTEC Tech Award L1/2 in Music Practice and complete 3 components:
- Component 1 - Exploring Music Products and Styles (internal assessment through set assignments), 60 marks 30%
- Component 2 - Music Skills Development (internal assessment through set assignments), 60 marks 30%
- Component 3 - Responding to a Music Brief (external synoptic), 60 marks 40%
The Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific applied knowledge and skills through realistic vocational contexts. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:
- development of key skills that prove learners’ aptitude in music, such as responding to a musical brief using musical skills and techniques
- processes that underpin effective ways of working in the music sector, such as the development of musical ideas, and using skills and techniques for rehearsal, creation, production and performance to respond to a music brief
- attitudes that are considered most important in the music sector, including personal management and communication
- knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes in the sector, such as musical skills and styles.
BTEC Music is a Level 2 qualification (equivalent to GCSE); the grades range from Level 2 P to Level 2 D*. Learners who do not achieve at Level 2 may be graded at Level 1P, L1M or L1D. Learners whose level of achievement is below a Level 1 will receive an unclassified (U) result.
- Level 1 Pass - equivalent to grade 1.25 at GCSE
- Level 1 Merit - equivalent to grade 2 at GCSE
- Level 1 Distinction - equivalent to grade 3 at GCSE
- Level 2 Pass - equivalent to grade 4 at GCSE
- Level 2 Merit - equivalent to grade 5.5 at GCSE
- Level 2 Distinction - equivalent to grade 7 at GCSE
- Level 2 Distinction* - equivalent to grade 8.5 at GCSE
Extracurricular and Enrichment Opportunities
Outside of lesson time there are opportunities to engage in musical activities such as extra-curricular instrumental lessons, creative workshops, school trips and performances in a variety of school and non-school events.
As part of the Creatives Department we offer after school Creative Workshops which are open to all learners at UBHS. We also offer an annual residential trip to London so learners can visit a range of places to enhance their subject knowledge. Our recent London trip included a visit to the Tate Art Gallery, Design Museum and the opportunity to see a West End show.
Visits to concerts, rehearsal studios and other musical environments are an excellent way to encourage a love of and engage with the huge musical world that exists in society. Parents/carers can also support their child by:
- Encouraging them to take instrumental lessons.
- Taking an interest in your child’s musical work and ensuring that they are spending an appropriate amount of time on it.
- Encouraging your child to attend concerts, engage in extra-curricular music activities, watch programs on TV etc.
- Encouraging any form of music work for pleasure (songwriting, singing, practising, arranging, DJing, playing music).
- Providing musical materials at home for them to use and explore.