We are aware that secondary school is for many the first taste of a formal music education, and for that reason our curriculum starts with a program of study to swiftly build a foundation of musical understanding. Beyond the study of the basics of how sound can be created, performed, and organised, students embark on a journey studying why music exists as it does today, it’s rich history, and how diverse it can be. The position of music both in our own culture, but also its role in cultures around the world is delivered through performance, composition, and listening and appraising. Students will study the various different contextual styles of music throughout history, it’s socio-economic connections, and also why it stands as a reaction to both its present and its past.
There is a focus on practical musicianship, not only as a method to embed instrumental skill, but also as an opportunity for students to understand the styles they are studying, how they are organised, and how the genres work. At Key Stage 3 students will undertake a broad range of projects which balance performance, composition, and listening; they will learn the basics of music theory and its importance in Western Classical Music, whilst also exploring alternative ways of creating and performing music from other genres, and other cultures.
At Key Stage 4 students can undertake the traditional academic Music route, or alternatively a vocational route studying Music Technology; the departments are fortunate to offer a wide array of instruments, recording studios, and rehearsal spaces. The learning pathway can be continued for both of these courses at the Island VI Form with A level courses.
Students across all year groups regularly perform at Federation concerts and events, and beyond in the community at local events, and the international Isle of Wight Festival.