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KS3 Music

Please click on the links below to find out more about each unit.

Year Long Term Objective: To learn musical skills in performing, composing and appraising, in group work and individually.
Year Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1  Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Medium Term Objective:To develop understanding of rhythm and pitch alongside building skills as a performer
7 Introduction to Music Instruments of the Orchestra Calypso World Music – Ukulele World Music – Djembe Drumming Folk Music of the British Isles
Medium Term Objective: To apply musical skills by analysing music using key terminology and developing musicianship as a performer and composer
8 Reggae Egyptian Music Blues Theme and Variations What Makes a Good Pop Song? Composing a Pop Song
Medium Term Objective: To understand the different purposes that music can have and be able to compose and perform music that is suited to its intentions
9 Film 1 Film 2 Pop Bands Songs from Musicals Big Band Music Dance Tracks

Introduction to Music

Overview

An introduction to the keyboard and reading notes on a stave. During this topic we will also introduce singing activities including rounds.

Example Key Words

Pitch

How high or low a note sounds.

Rhythm

How different note values are arranged.

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Five finger technique

Finger placement on the keyboard keys.

Instruments of the Orchestra

Overview

Learn about the different families of instruments through appraising tasks along with learning ‘Ode to Joy’ on keyboards.

Example Key Words

Orchestra

A large group of musicians who play together on a variety of string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, led by a conductor.

Brass

Made out of metal these instruments are played by blowing through a cup shaped mouthpiece. The trombone is an example of a brass instrument.

Woodwind

Made out of wood or metal, a sound is made through woodwind instruments by blowing air through a very thin piece of shaved wood called a reed, or across a small mouthpiece. The clarinet is an example of a woodwind instrument.

Percussion

Percussion instruments are played by being struck or shaken. They can be tuned or non-tuned. A timpani is an example of a tuned percussion instrument.

Strings

String instruments use vibrating strings to make their sound. They can be played with a bow or plucked. The violin is an example of a string instrument.

Conductor

The leader of the ensemble who directs the musicians on how to play the piece and helps to keep the ensemble in time.

Calypso

Overview

Explore the origins and instrumentation of Calypso music and sing ‘Day O’ and ‘Benjamin Calypso’. Play ‘Yellow Bird’ on keyboards with an introduction on how to record this into Garageband.

Example Key Words

Syncopation

Where a rhythm feels off-beat, as the emphasis is on the weaker beats of the bar.

Bassline

The lowest pitched part of the music, often played on a bass instrument.

Harmony

Vocals or instruments playing together but using different pitches that work well with each other.

Unison

Vocals or instruments playing together at the same pitch.

Accompaniment

A musical part which supports another instrument or vocal part that has the melody.

World Music - Ukulele

Overview

Learn how to play the ukulele which originates from Hawaii. During this topic learn how to play diffferent chords on the ukulele. Then, play and sing along to a number of different songs as a class and in smaller groups.

Example Key Words

Ukulele

A 4-stringed small guitar-like instrument from Hawaii.

Chord

Two or more notes played at the same time.

Fret

Found on the neck of the ukulele, narrow strips of metal which indicate where the string should be pressed down so the correct note or chord sounds when strummed.

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Strum

How the ukulele is played, by brushing fingers over the strings by the soundhole.

World Music - Djembe Drumming

Overview

Learn how to play the djembe drum from West Africa. Identify and understand how to play the different devices used in these pieces of music. Then, compose your own djembe drumming piece in small groups using these devices.

Example Key Words

Djembe

A type of drum from Western Africa.

Ostinato

A repeating pattern.

Call and response

One person plays a rhythm, someone else responds with a different rhythm.

Improvisation

Making up a musical idea on the spot

Cross-rhythms

When two rhythms which are in different meters are played at the same time

Folk Music of the British Isles

Overview

Understanding the history of folk music and singing a variety of folk tunes. During this topic learn how to play ‘Drunken Sailor’ and how to record it into Garageband, adding in different layers.

Example Key Words

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Chord

Two or more notes played at the same time.

Instrumentation

The instruments which are used in a piece of music.

Fiddle

The word used in folk music to describe a violin.

Bodhran

An Irish drum which often features in folk music. It is narrow and can only be played on one side using a short stick with rounded ends.

Reggae

Overview

Understand how to play rhythms which are syncopated and on the back-beat, a common features in reggae music. Apply this knowledge to sing and play ‘Three Little Birds’.

Example Key Words

Syncopation

Where a rhythm feels off-beat, as the emphasis is on the weaker beats of the bar.

Major chords

Brighter sounding chords, where the middle note of the chord is a semitone higher than in a minor chord.

Minor chords

Sad sounding chords, where the middle note of the chord is a semitone lower than in a major chord.

Back-beat

The chord or note is on the 2nd and 4th beat of the bar making it feel ‘off-beat’.

Tempo

The speed of the music.

Egyptian Music

Overview

Learning how music is transferred from one culture to another. In this topic vocal chants accompanied by djembe drums will be explored as well as composing fusion music using Garageband.

Example Key Words

Scale

A set of musical notes ordered by pitch.

Flat

The lowering of pitch, one note below the note it is attached to e.g. Bb

Sharp

The raising of pitch, one note above the note it is attached to e.g. C#

Fusion

Two or more different styles of music that are put together.

Ostinato

A repeating pattern.

Layering

The way musical ideas a built up to form a piece of music.

Blues

Overview

Understand how a new style of music was created during the slave trade. Explore the different components which feature in blues music and compose a piece of blues music using Garageband.

Example Key Words

12 bar blues chord sequence

A set of chords in a specific order made up of chords I, IV and V.

Walking bassline

A bassline, played at a low pitch, that plays notes of equal length that relate to the chord being played.

Blues scale

A specific scale used in the Blues.

Improvisation

Making up a musical idea on the spot.

Call and response

One person plays or sings a musical idea, then other people play or sing back a different musical idea.

Dance Tracks

Overview

Understand the key elements and structure of a dance track. Compose a dance track using drum loops, chords, riffs and basslines.

Example Key Words

EDM

Stands for Electronic Dance Music.

Loop

Repeating musical ideas.

Riff

A short, catchy musical idea.

Bassline

The lowest pitched part of the music, often played on a bass instrument.

Synthesised

An electronic musical instrument which creates and modifies sound electronically.

Structure

The order of the sections in a piece of music e.g. introduction, verse, chorus.

Theme and Variations

Overview

Understand how to use different elements of music to change ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ into a theme and variations piece using Garageband.

Example Key Words

Theme

The original idea which is presented first in a theme and variations piece.

Rhythm

How different note values are arranged.

Articulation

How a note is played e.g. detatched or smooth.

Dynamics

The volume of the music.

Accompaniment

A musical part which supports another instrument or vocal part that is playing or singing the melody line.

What Makes a Good Pop Song?

Overview

Identify the typical structure of pop music and the roles that different instruments have in a pop band. Work on playing in time with others, playing a variety of pop tunes.

Example Key Words

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Chord

Two or more notes played at the same time.

Timing

The ability to be able to synchronise a musical part correctly with others in an ensemble.

Tempo

The speed of the music.

Bassline

The lowest pitched part of the music, often played on a bass instrument.

Structure

The order of the sections in a piece of music e.g. introduction, verse, chorus.

Composing a Pop Song

Overview

Using knowledge from the previous half term on the roles of each instrument in a pop band, compose a piece of pop music using Garageband.

Example Key Words

Chord sequence

A series of chords played in a specific order.

Bassline

The lowest pitched part of the music, often played on a bass instrument.

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Lyrics

The words used in a song.

Timing

The ability to be able to synchronise a musical part correctly with others in an ensemble.

Structure

The order of the sections in a piece of music e.g. introduction, verse, chorus.

Film 1

Overview

Identify how composers create tension and drama for film music and how the music reflects what is happening on screen.

Example Key Words

Mickey-mousing

Where the music reflects directly with the movements on screen.

Diegetic music

Music or sound that is part of the scene so the characters would be able to hear it, as well as the audience e.g. something playing on a TV they are watching in the film.

Non-diegetic music

Music or sound that is not heard by the characters on screen and is for the purpose of the audience only e.g. background music to help create a certain mood.

Leitmotif

Music that represents a specific character, place or situation e.g. Darth Vader. The music often returns multiple times throughout the film.

Ostinato

A repeating pattern.

Dissonance

Harmony (chords) that deliberately clash, often used to create tension.

Film 2

Overview

Understand how to use different devices to help create a mood. Add in sound effects and compose music to reflect the action on screen in a Wallace and Gromit film clip.

Example Key Words

Sound effects

An artificially created sound which reflects a movement or action on screen to imitate a real life sound.

Mickey-Mousing

Where the music reflects directly with the movements on screen.

Major chords

Brighter sounding chords, where the middle note of the chord is a semitone higher than in a minor chord.

Minor chords

Sad sounding chords, where the middle note of the chord is a semitone lower than in a major chord.

Timing

The ability to be able to synchronise a musical part or sound effect accurately with the action on screen.

Ostinato

A repeating pattern.

Pop Bands

Overview

Work as part of a band to perform a pop song. Develop clear understanding of the roles within the group and how to play the different parts in time together.

Example Key Words

Ensemble

A group of musicians who perform together.

Melody

The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece.

Chord

Two or more notes played at the same time.

Bassline

The lowest pitched part of the music, often played on a bass instrument.

Tempo

The speed of the music.

Structure

The order of the sections in a piece of music e.g. introduction, verse, chorus.

Songs from Musicals

Overview

Explore the evolution of musical theatre and learn a musical theatre piece of music.

Example Key Words

Opera

A story told through siging, usually in the classical style.

Musical

A story told through singing, acting and dancing, usually in a popular musical style.

Chorus (ensemble)

A piece of music in a musical where all the cast sing together.

Syllabic

Where the vocalist sings one note per syllable.

Melismatic

Where the vocalist sings more than one note per syllable.

Overture

The introductory music for an opera or musical, often featuring short sections of different pieces which will be heard throughout the performance.

Big Band Music

Overview

Explore how Big Band music evolved and its links to World War II. Understand the key features of Big Band Music and learn music by Glenn Miller.

Example Key Words

Swing Music

A style of jazz music that evolved in America in the 1930s.

Swing Rhythms

Refers to the feel of the music, where quavers are played in a triplet feel, with the first of the two quavers being held for longer.

A 'Head Arrangement'

The ‘head’ refers to the main melody in a jazz piece. Jazz music often starts and ends with the ‘head.’

Blues Scale

A type of scale unique to blues and jazz music, often used during improvised sections of jazz pieces.

Improvisation

Making up a musical idea on the spot.

Syncopation

Where a rhythm feels off-beat, as the emphasis is on the weaker beats of the bar.