Expressive Arts Faculty: Mr S Gordon (PTC)
Staff: Ms H Little & Ms L Mairs
Pupils will develop their skills on all classroom instruments throughout S1-3. Classroom instruments include keyboard, tuned percussion, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and voice. Pupils will learn solo pieces on these instruments as well as play as part of a group.
Composing music is a skill which is taught in a variety of ways. Pupils can work independently when writing their own music or as part of a group. Types of compositions pupils write include Raps, Jingles and Film Music. They will also learn to use music technology programmes such as Garageband and Mixcraft as compositional tools.
Pupils will develop an understanding of musical styles and concepts through performing and writing music. They will also cover the basics of music theory though completing theory booklets on a weekly basis.
There are three elements which make up the National 3-5 music courses. These are Performing, Composing and Understanding.
The performance element of the course develops instrumental skills on two instruments or one instrument and voice. The choice of instruments is wide and includes keyboard, guitar, drum kit, tuned percussion and voice. Pupils must be able to play a varied programme to a suitable standard which will be recorded as evidence throughout the year.
Pupils are encouraged to listen to all kinds of music and to become familiar with a wide variety of musical styles. Pop, Reggae, Scottish, Latin American, Blues and Jazz are amongst the styles which they will cover in S4. Pupils will also learn about musical literacy concepts.
The composition element allows pupils to create their own music through arranging, improvising or composing. As in performing and understanding, pupils are encouraged to compose a variety of musical styles and write for different instruments. Pupils will also learn to use music technology software to write and record their music.
NATIONAL 4 ADDED VALUE UNIT
Pupils sitting National 4 music will complete an Added Value unit consisting of an 8 minute performance or two instruments or one instrument and voice. All music performed must be at least Grade 2 standard or above. The performance will be graded internally and evidence of pupil progress must be gathered throughout the year.
NATIONAL 5 ADDED VALUE
Pupils who sit National 5 music will perform an 8 minute programme to a visiting examiner which contains music of at least Grade 3 standard or above. The performance makes up 60% of the final grade awarded. Pupils are also required to sit an Understanding listening paper which makes up 40% of the final grade. They will be prepared for both these exams throughout the year.
The Higher Music course is set out in the same way as the National 3-5 music courses to maintain progression throughout the senior phase.
Pupils are required to prepare a varied programme on two instruments, or one instrument and voice, which will be performed to an external examiner towards the end of the year. Chosen pieces must be of at least Grade 4 standard or above. Their first instrument programme must last at least 10 minutes and their second instrument programme at least 5 minutes giving a combined programme of at least 15 minutes. The Performing element of the course makes up 60% of the final grade awarded.
Through listening to music pupils will become familiar with a wide range of styles and be able to identify relevant concepts. The Higher course builds on previous knowledge learned from the National 3-5 courses. A final Understanding Paper forms the external assessment which makes up 40% of the final grade awarded at the end of the course.
Pupils are to create a folio using a range of complex compositional methods and music concepts in creative ways. Pupils can choose to compose their work in a variety of ways using different instruments and music technology programmes. Their folio must contain at least two contrasting pieces lasting at least 2 minutes in total (1 minute per piece). The folio is graded on a pass or fail basis. The Composition unit must be awarded a pass for a pupil to be allowed to sit both the Performing and Understanding exam at the end of the year.
The Advanced Higher course builds on the previous knowledge gained from the National 3-5 and Higher music courses.
Pupils are required to perform a live recital of contrasting pieces on two instruments or on one instrument and voice. The first instrument programme must last at least 15 minutes and the second instrument programme must last at least 10 minutes giving a total performance time of at least 25 minutes.
Pupils are required to show advanced aural skills in identifying concepts in a wide range of contexts, and in great depth. They will sit an Understanding paper and submit a 1500 – 2000 word Commentary on two or more related or contrasting musical works.
Pupils at this level will have the opportunity to build competence in handling a wide range of compositional techniques which they will use to produce a folio of original work. Their folio must contain at least two contrasting pieces which will last a combine 3 minutes (1 minute 30 seconds each). Pupils can choose to compose their work in a variety of ways using different instruments and music technology. The folio is graded on a pass or fail basis. The Composition unit must be awarded a pass for a pupil to be allowed to sit both the Performing and Understanding exam at the end of the year.
MIDLOTHIAN SCHOOLS’ INSTRUMENTAL SERVICEMidlothian Council provides a school’s instrumental music service which offers pupils the chance to receive music lessons on a range of instruments during school hours (charges may apply). Pupils who receive lessons are expected to take part in one or more of the many music ensembles run after school hours by dedicated staff. The ensembles perform together in an annual concert at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Details of the instrumental Music Service can be found on the Council’s website or information leaflets can be collected directly from the Music Department.