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Key Stage 3 Curriculum Mapping – Skills Over Content

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Having read a wide variety of articles around skills over content I have taken a look at redrafting and changing area’s of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum offered in the Performing Arts Department I lead. We have completely refreshed the curriculum this year and rather comfortingly only a few tweaks were needed.

Unit 1 – Vocal Coaching. (was singing) If your learning how to vocal coach you do it through singing. Therefore why not put the emphasis on being able to coach others. This also boosts independence

Unit 2 – Composing Soundscapes. This was introduced by my colleague last year and was by far my favourite thing to teach this year for music. I loved it. It’s quite a learning how to represent a particular acoustic environment using whatever you can find in a music room. We do storms, bus stops, the city, the forest.

Unit 3 – Staging Drama. We mix drama and music up at key stage 3 in order to more fully prepare learners for key stage 4 drama if they opt for it. It was also a strategy to boost numbers at key stage 4 which gave us our first ever key stage 4 drama class this year – 20 strong! It’s quite a skill coming up with a scene and then changing it if it’s going to be performed in the round, or on a proscenium arch stage. It also instantly helps bring to the forefront – face the audience not the action!

Unit 4 – Ensemble Performance. This used to be Samba but I’ve changed the name to represent the skill pupils learn. The skill is to stay in time and hit the drum and the right time. To not get faster. Then the skill is to take this a compose their own rhythmic piece on chairs. Can they all lead a whole class ensemble? Can they follow while playing in a whole class ensemble?

Unit 5 – Creating a Character. How to use stereotypes to create a character that the audience has a feeling towards. What stereotypes to ignore. Who are they? What do they do? Why do they do it?

Unit 6 – Guitar Skills. What is strumming. What are the patterns. Think of this as a one to one guitar lesson. Except it’s 30 to 1, they share guitars and test each other to see it they’re right. They also learn how to act as each other’s peri.

Unit 7 – Improvisation (Music). I’ve done Blues to death. 12 Bar Blues. Walking Bass Line with a Riff and Fill and then always ran out of time to do the improvisation at the end because we always seem to miss lessons. So let’s spin it around and do the improvisation first. If I treat the WBL or chordal riff as just a supportive after thought hopefully the kids will and instead of 2 weeks it may only take one. It’s not that hard after all!

Unit 8 – In at the deep end (Pop). https://www.musicalfutures.org/resource/27363 Pupils learn to listen to pop music, independently seek out how to play the chords on whatever instruments they want and put it together while I play Candy Crush. (The last bit may be a little exaggeration but the point is THEY do it and NOT ME)Here’s another school’s results – https://www.musicalfutures.org/resource/27840/title/inatthedeependatysgolmaesgarmon

Unit 9 – Improvisation (Drama). Think Whose Line Is It Anyway. Brilliant fun. No content planned just skills practised with a lot of laughter and a flip cam/ipad to capture it all and allow pupils to instantly watch it back.

Unit 10 – In At The Deep End (Classical) – https://www.musicalfutures.org/resource/27366/title/informallearningandothermusics Pupils pick a piece and then learn it by ear. They either download the differentiated examples themselves or you have them available on a laptop/mobile device/tablet for them.

Unit 11 – Dramatic Form This is the skill of using Dramatic Conventions/Devices in rehearsal or Performances.

Unit 12 – Composing Without Limits Do you have to play the Guitar like that? How about if you didn’t

Download the document (not completed) here – FoxyMusicEd KS3 Curriculum Map

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Stomp Scheme

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is a scheme based on ‘Stomp’.

It features one of my favourite things to do which is only to focus on Exceptional Performance and Level 8 Level Descriptors. Towards the end of the project we talk in terms of showing a little bit of exceptional performance. It’s proved to be really good way of boosting the self esteem of pupils and they always leave on a high feeling they can no begin to look at those level descriptors feeling they can do it.

In terms of the scheme, again, I think it has it’s strengths mainly as it’s really creative, you can leave the kids to generate ideas and sounds themselves and IT’S FUN!

Stomp 2010

FoxyMusicEd

Blues Music Scheme

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is a 7 week Blues Scheme I developed a year or so ago from a project I first encountered on my PGCE three years ago. It has it’s positives. I’m looking into unlocking a lot more creativity with the redraft for next year.

Year 8 Blues Music 2010

Blues Music Project Card

FoxyMusicEd