Villiers High School has a vibrant Music department, offering a variety of structured and challenging musical experiences, both within and beyond the curriculum. It is our abiding aim to encourage students of all ages and abilities to broaden their musical horizons, explore their potential, discover their talents and challenge their individual capabilities within a supportive, stimulating and inclusive environment.
Students at all levels are encouraged to develop individual and ensemble performing skills, to deepen their listening and analytical skills and to create and compose with confidence and courage. Within the classroom, musical learning is developmental; ensuring continuity, progression and skill development at every level. Beyond the classroom an expanding extra-curricular programme offers opportunities for individual and group instrumental lessons and a variety of lunchtime and after-school activities.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
KS3 students follow a course in music designed to motivate, challenge and elicit success, regardless of background or aptitude. Through the integrated practical activities of performing, composing and listening students deepen and expand their knowledge, skills and understanding. Schemes of work provide opportunities to actively engage in different forms of music making, to appreciate a wide variety of styles and genres and to understand the ways in which music is structured and influenced by time and place.
Most units last approximately half a term and build upon previous units: although different styles, ideas and genres may be explored, students will constantly revisit, consolidate and develop the skills and knowledge they have already acquired. Students are assessed at the end of each unit, although teacher, peer and self-assessment is an ongoing process throughout.
In Year 7 pupils study:
• What is Music?
• Rhythm & Pulse
• Pitch (Keyboard & Vocal Skills)
• Pentatonic Project
• Instruments of the Orchestra
• The Voice
In Year 8 pupils study:
• The Blues
• Song Structure (Guitar Skills)
• Chords and Keys
• African Drumming
• Film music
In Year 9 pupils study:
• Ground bass
• Theme and Variation
• Pop song / arrangement
Key Stage 4
The Music department follows the new Edexcel GCSE specification for Music at Key Stage 4. This is a two-year course for those who enjoy performing, composing, and learning about different styles, genres and idioms in music. It allows students to build upon and develop basic skills studied during Key Stage 3, and provides excellent preparation for further musical study and a foundation for AS and A level Music. GCSE music students should ideally expect to be performing at a minimum standard equivalent to Grade 3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
Schemes of work are designed to develop students’ performing, compositional and aural skills through the study of 8 set works drawn from across the history of music. Performance opportunities are offered at regular intervals both within the classroom and beyond.
• S. Schwartz: 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked
• J. Williams: Main Title / Rebel Blockade Runner from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
• Afro-Celt Sound System: Release
• Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio
• Queen: Killer Queen
• H. Purcell: Music For A While
• J. S. Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major
• rL. V. Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Minor
Assessment and Examination
The two year GCSE (EDEXCEL) course is assessed through:
• Unit 1 – Performance – Coursework: one solo and one ensemble performance (30% internally assessed and externally moderated)
• Unit 2 – Composition - Coursework: two compositions or two arrangements or one composition and one arrangement (30% internally assessed and externally moderated)
• Unit 3 - Listening and Appraising - written examination: 1hour 45 minutes (40% externally assessed.
In order to encourage and support our students in all aspects of their musical development, the Music Department offers a varied programme of extra-curricular activities and trips. Key Stage 3/4 Choir and 6th Form Vocals give those who enjoy singing the opportunity to sing in harmony and as part of an ensemble. Instrumental ensembles are available to those who have instrumental lessons, and band rehearsals take place on a weekly basis. Our annual Summer and Christmas concerts and recitals showcase the success of soloists and ensembles.
Instrumental and Vocal Lessons
Students wishing to develop their musical interests and talents beyond the school curriculum may apply for instrumental/vocal tuition. Lessons take place during school hours and in most cases last for 30 minutes.
Learning in and through instrumental Music opens the door for young people to nurture:
a love and understanding of Music;
a wide range of individual skills (reading, technical, interpretive, communicative, physical and critical);
sensitive and imaginative response;
self-confidence, self-respect, self-reliance and self-expression;
co-operation, commitment, team-work, interdependence and loyalty;
a sense of discipline, initiative, purpose and achievement;
the ability to concentrate upon and coordinate several tasks at once;
an empathy towards the working of the creative process in other arts.
Careers in Music:
Music is a thriving industry and employment opportunities for musicians in education, business and performance are constantly increasing. Some of these include: composing, conducting, performing, arranging, film/video production, music history, musicology, ethnomusicology, broadcasting, advertising, music librarian, teacher/professor, copyist, lawyer, lyricist, publisher, journalism/reviewer, music administration, audio engineering, technician, music therapy, public relations.