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Music on the Map 2017
All Year 7s celebrated their free in-class instrument learning in Music on the Map

The heartbeat of any school is a thriving programme of practical music making. We firmly believe that rather than just teaching music we are creating musicians who are on a journey to develop their musicianship and skills, which will in turn help develop critical skills in other subject areas.

Samba band performing at the Children's Parade 2017We aim to: make music learning relevant to students, connecting their in-school and out-of-school interests and experiences and enable students to experience practical music making, to understand the processes of music making, and for music making to contribute to their overall social, educational and personal development

Alongside these aims we identify the best musicians and raise their skills to a very high level, to prepare them for the next step of their musical education.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind and flight to the imagination.

PLATO

Why study this subject? 

We believe music is a universal language that crosses many divides that we see in the world. It is a highly academic subject requiring students to analyse and comment upon composers and performers intentions as well as discusses key musical features of a large number of genres. It helps build skills for life-long learning such as self-discipline, resilience and teamwork.

Music qualifications are highly regarded by colleges of further education and employers alike as musicians are trained to work methodically and to be self-disciplined.

Topics of Study and Assignment 

In Years 7 & 8 all students follow a class instrumental programme allowing them to learn a musical instrument at no cost. These instruments include; Cellos, Violins, Clarinets, Flutes, Trombones and Trumpets. Students will develop the core musical skills of performing, improvising, composing and listening and appraising. A wide range of music is covered from all different backgrounds and cultures. Students are also able to use the extensive range of technology and specific music technology equipment to support their on-going learning in music.

In Year 9 students begin GCSE or BTEC music. In GCSE we focus on further enhancing ensemble skills through class and small group performances looking at the music of Queen and developing their compositional skills. Students will then examine the role of music in film and theatre through the study of the music in the opening titles to Starwars IV: A New Hope and from the hit musical Wicked ,Defying Gravity. We also explore orchestral music in more depth through the study of Bach's Brandenberg concertos with a focus on development and melody writing.

In Music Technology BTEC we explore the music industry, sequencing, audio recording whilst working with industry standard equipment and programs. This course is developed mostly through assignments linked to real life situations as students really develop their understanding of the music industry.  

The Team 

James Cocks is the Director of Music and is qualified with a BA Honours in Music, DipLCM from The London College of Music and a PGCE in Music.

Robbie Mitchell is qualified with a BSc Honours in Psychology, a Diploma from the Waldorf Education (Michael Hall School / Rudolph Steiner House), a Double certification British Kodály Society 'sol-fa' & choral training, a Diploma in Speech & Drama from Emerson College, a Certificate in Drama in Education from the Central School of Speech & Drama, a PGCE in Secondary Music, as a Course Tutor from 'World' Music: Gamelan / Samba and a PGCE in Music.

Lorna Denman is qualified with a BA Honours in Music, an MA in Music Performance and a GTP in Secondary Music.

Events and Activities 

I really appreciate the opportunity that you give to such a variety of performers.  From the Year 7 child at the start of the evening who stands at the mic and sings a song unaccompanied that he has written to the Year 11 child who is astounding on the piano playing a classical piece. 

There is an inclusivity in the music department that shines through the evening.  I can see that children are encouraged to 'give it a go' and supported to be brave. 

Parent feedback following the Spring Music Celebration 2017

Three concerts each year; numerous performances and workshops around Brighton and Hove including the Childrens Parade, Glyndebourne, Brighton Early music Festival and Brighton Dome. Music is also usually a feature of the Artists' Open House exhibition.

Music tour to Paris.

Extra-curricular 

Gospel choir; senior choir; Samba band; music technology; Vocal Union; Soundstage; orchestra and Gamelan. See the calendar for details.

Contact

Email: jamescocks@varndean.co.uk