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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Mr R Grace, BA(Hons), PGCE

Introduction to the department

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. At DHSG we endeavour to engage and inspire students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As students progress, they develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

The department is committed to exploring a range of different musical styles, genres and traditions with students in key stage 3 which provide a firm foundation for the EdExcel GCSE Course.

Key stage 3  (Year 7 and 8)  

During key stage 3 music the students explore a wide range of music and explore the fundamentals of music through performance, composition and listening. In year 7 the students look at basic music theory and explore notation before moving on to writing songs using popular music structures. The students also explore the exciting world of Opera and at the end of the year the students compose their own fanfares which could be used at Sports Day.

In year 8 the students consider the impact of music on other mediums and explore the role of music within films, which builds on their understanding of the orchestra and the sounds available to a composer. The students also recreate Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition through their own composition process. Using the skills gain throughout key stage 3 the students create their own mash-ups and medleys of their own favourite pieces. 

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) 

The Music Department follow the EdExcel GCSE syllabus which is divided into three main sections: Performance, Composition and Listening & Appraising.  The students explore a range of pieces from Beethoven to John Williams and look at the various musical devices within them.  Students have to undertake two performances; one as a soloist and one as a member of an ensemble.  Students also develop their composition skills by composing two pieces in differing styles.

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the Edexcel website GCSE Music Specification

Extra-curricular activities 

The Music department offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities through the week which include: Orchestra, Choirs and Small Ensemble groups.  We are always open to exploring new music groups which can be led by students.

The music department plays a leading role in the annual Carol Concert and contributions to both the School’s Speech Day and Drama Productions.

An established group of experienced peripatetic teachers provide instrumental, vocal and music training on site.