Music is central to life at Stanborough. Through music lessons and extra-curricular activities we aim to develop a lifelong love of music. Students are encouraged to develop their skills in composition, performance, listening and arranging. Students have many opportunities to take part in extra-curricular music through choirs, musical ensembles, concerts and tuition and we celebrate the energy and talent we have at Stanborough whenever we can.
Head of department: Mrs E Jackson
What will students study?
Students learn the basics of music theory including reading pitch and rhythm notation, and develop their performance and composition skills through various music topics, including folk music, musicals, samba, film music and working as part of a band. Students are encouraged to develop their confidence and creativity through all their work.
Students can choose to study GCSE Music, for which we follow the Eduqas syllabus.
Students study a wide variety of musical styles through performance and composition, and learn to analyse music using musical language. Students receive 50% off the price of instrumental/vocal tuition if they take GCSE Music, and do not need to have studied an instrument before to do well at music.
Students can choose to study A Level Music (Eduqas) and/or Music Technology (Edexcel). These two courses are very different and offer diverse insights into music.
In Music A Level students study traditional music, through studying the development of the symphony from 1650 to 1800, Expressionism and 20th century music, musical theatre across various composers and decades and popular music genres. Students have to present two to three compositions in various styles and perform between six to twelve minutes to a visiting examiner on the instrument/voice of their choice, as well as complete a listening and theory exam based on some seen and some unseen music. This course develops further the skills learnt at GCSE and builds towards possible university study of music.
For Music Technology A Level students study the advancement of technology and its uses by music producers and performers. Students will have to demonstrate their understanding of production techniques, microphone placement, the science behind sound waves, use of mixers, use of effects, such as reverb and compression, both by using them effectively in their coursework, and by explaining them in exam conditions. Students complete a work portfolio, including a studio recording and composing using music technology software. This course develops skills started at GCSE and develops them in depth towards possible university study of music production or music. Students would be wise to also study physics if they are keen to pursue a career in music production.
How can I support my child in this subject?
Encourage your child to take up all the opportunities they can to perform and compose both in and outside of lessons.
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
On most occasions students will only need a pen, pencil and rubber.
Students are welcomed and encouraged to bring their own instruments in to school to play. We have a locked cupboard where students can store these.
Celebrating successes in this subject
Every term we have at least one evening concert where you can see all the fantastic music making which is going on in our school. Teachers use reward points every lesson to recognise the effort, attainment and presentation of students. Each term subject prizes are given to students whose work has gone above and beyond what we might have expected. The very best students in each year group are also recognised when they are given the subject prizes in the celebration of achievements evening.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
We have a wide variety of extra-curricular activities: Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Group, Guitar Group, Percussion Group, String Group, Flute Group, Brass Group, STAGs (boys’ choir), Vocailini (girls’ choir), über Choir (our large choir of boys and girls) and Senior Choir. Practice rooms are also available every lunchtime and after school.
We perform a musical every year which we rehearse from September and perform in February.
We do a music tour in Europe every two years. We also go on regular trips to see concerts and musicals at various venues in Hertfordshire and London.