A New Adventure, A New Music Curriculum. Part II


In my previous post here I explained what I thought the purpose of music at KS3 should be and what I’m aiming for when devising a curriculum. I’m using the following question to try and help me get there…

Musically what are the MOST important things a student needs to know, understand or be able to do (by the end of KS3)?

The ISM has helpfully recently published an assessment and progression framework to support the new National Curriculum for music, available here. It suggests 5 key processes or musical activities:

Singing, playing, improvising, composing and listening.

In the table below I tried to use these 5 processes to answer my question. However I’ve ended up with 9!

Anyway it’s just a first draft, I’ve probably missed some really obvious things, so it would be great to know what you think…

Processes/activity By the end of KS3 all should…
Performing – Perform confidently, fluently and with expression individually and as part of a group
-Maintain a strong sense of pulse and recognise and self correct when going out of time
-Be able to follow & lead a group performance, giving verbal and non verbal directions where appropriate
Singing -Sing within an appropriate vocal range with clear diction, mostly accurate tuning, control of breathing and appropriate tone
-Be able lead/hold/sing their individual part in (for example) a 4-part vocal group
Playing -Be able to play melodies, bass lines and chord sequences on the keyboard & guitar, individually and as part of a group, fluently accurately and with expression
– Be able to play melodies/rhythms on other instruments, tuned and untuned percussion, individually and as part of a group, fluently accurately and with expression
Improvising – Be able to improvise rhythms/melodies over a given chord sequence/riff/texture using appropriate conventions (e.g blues scale/modes)
-Be able to respond spontaneously and musically to others (e.g call and response)
– Be able to improvise short rhythmic/melodic ideas/motifs/riffs that lead on to composition
Composing/Arranging – Be able to draft, refine, develop, extend, shape musical ideas. Drawing on a range of musical structures, styles and conventions
-Use a variety of musical devices, timbres, textures, techniques etc. when creating and making music
-Arrange/structure compositions/performances combining musical ideas appropriately (e.g creating mashups)
Listening/Evaluating – Critique own and others’ work, offering specific comments and justifying these
– Be perceptive to music and communicate personal thoughts and feelings
– Understand and be able to use appropriate music subject specific language/keywords to identify, describe, comment and analyse music
Use of Music Technology – Be able to record,sequence,layer, multi-track, arrange, structure, produce, edit, copy, paste, loop, quantise, mix sequenced and/or recorded musical ideas
Use of appropriate notation -Understand and be able to use basic staff/graphic/tab/chord symbols appropriately to realise or notate musical ideas
Collaboration – Be able to work & communicate with others positively- Be able to follow and lead as part of a group- Be able to respond, communicate, give and receive feedback/constructive criticism

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