Music

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm of sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form”

Greek Philosophy

Within the Performing Arts, music is held in high esteem. To allow a student to express themselves through music is fundamental to the Arts, and our talented musicians are held in high regard throughout our school community. The dedication needed to learn and become expert in an instrument or voice and the determination to achieve a high level of performance are great examples of our LEARN ethos in action. The music curriculum is designed to develop artistic and cultural competence and expression, as well as fostering creativity, critical judgment, and general cultural and social skills.

Our belief is that discipline and talent in music can lead to success in other areas as it:

  • promotes respect for other people’s cultural identities
  • promotes awareness of one’s own identity.
  • fosters critical reflection and general life skills.

Our aims in the music department are to:

  • Give every student the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in the arts 
  • Give every student the opportunity to discover and communicate their own artistic and cultural expressions
  • Strengthen the students’ aesthetic, social and cultural competences
  • Strengthen the students’ capacity for critical reflection and independent choice
  • Provide opportunities for in-depth training, preparing them for higher education in arts and culture
  • Contribute, in cooperation with the school system, to a comprehensive general education in arts and culture for children and young people
  • Cooperate with local cultural life in offering cultural and artistic support for teaching and communicating arts and culture to the entire local community

By the end of the students’ experience of Music at Westhoughton, whether it is at KS3 or 4, we want to ensure that every student has been given the opportunity to express himself or herself in front of an audience; concerts, shows and exhibitions must be an integrated part of the experience, and every student must receive feedback on their development and results through student-teacher feedback.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, learn how to play the keyboard. They also learn how to read music from the treble clef. Those pupils with previous experience of learning an instrument are placed on an accelerated and personalised programme of study. In Years 8 and 9, pupils study a variety of genres and styles through performance, composition, listening and appraising, and music theory. Instrumental lessons are an option for those pupils who wish to have a more intense programme of learning on their preferred instrument.

In Years 8 and 9, pupils study a variety of genres and styles through performance, composition, listening and appraising, and music theory. Instrumental lessons are an option for those pupils who wish to have a more intense programme of learning on their preferred instrument.

UnitWhat We Learn
Vocal Work
At the start of Y7 we look at our most natural instrument we possess; our voices. In this unit we work in groups, exploring arrangement practically looking into the elements of music including texture, pitch, rhythm and pulse. We also learn how to use our voices properly adopting good technique. This is taught using some of the best pedagogy in the world from a Kodally approach to music learning.
Keyboard Skills and music reading
In the second part of music lesson we look at learning how to read music from the traditional music stave. We do this by continuing the Kodally approach to learning and in addition to this we learn how to play the keyboard using the treble clef
UnitWhat We Learn
La Bamba
In this unit we explore the music from South America. We look at Salsa and Samba music. We also learn about fusion in music where styles and genres combine to produce an all new sound
Blues and Jazz
In this unit we explore Jazz and it’s roots from Ragtime music and the 12 bar blues. Here we explore improvisation and pupils compose their own music
Groups and Band work
Finally at the end of year 9 we look into developing band work within the classroom. In small groups we perform music by famous bands and artists from the most current performing artists.
Tonality and scales
In this Unit learning is extended where pupils explore music and tonality. In this unit we look at the music of Mussorsgy and learn about accidentals in music. We learn about scales and the difference between Major, Minor and chromatic scales
Ukulele In this unit the pupils lean how to play the Ukulele mastering a variety of chords to accompany themselves in the singing of several pop songs from the last 3 decades
Film Music
In this unit we explore the writing of Film score composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Again we explore tonality and why music sounds like it does and why it is appropriate for scenes and emotions for the stage and screen.


Key Stage 4

Courses run in Key Stage 4 include GCSE Music and BTEC Performing Arts Music – the exam course chosen is decided according to the talents and abilities of the small cohort opting to take music.