Music is considered to be a very important aspect of learning and life at Windsor and it operates within the Technology and Arts Faculty alongside Art and Drama.
We are an extremely busy and committed department who believe that ‘music is for all’ regardless of age, gender, ability and interests. We believe that Music offers unparalleled opportunities for the development of imagination, sensitivity, inventiveness and essential elements that make up a balanced curriculum.
We provide opportunities for students to:
- Stimulate their imagination and encourage the desire to participate in music making of any kind.
- Develop students’ individual aural perception and ability to understand and appreciate a wide range of music in order to promote an awareness of oneself, our world and its cultures thus aiding social integration.
- Encourage an appreciation of the importance the role of music has in a modern society and how it is used to manipulate the emotions of the individual.
- Develop the capacity to express ideas and feelings practically, verbally and symbolically through the medium of sound.
- Develop an awareness of musical traditions and developments and allow individuals to explore their musical skills through composing, performing, listening and evaluating.
- Encourage musical performance in the classroom and outside the school curriculum and build links with the wider community and across the Windsor Academy Trust.
- Encourage students to take responsibility in the department by taking on roles of Leadership as Music Leaders.
What We Offer
The music staff at Windsor is very passionate about the subject and we aim to offer and explore an engaging music curriculum as we believe our students should be music making as much as possible. Music allows us to express ourselves and stimulate emotions.
We enrich our experience by learning about performance, composition, sequencing and song writing, to name a few. Through learning to play an instrument, we develop patience, resilience and the confidence to perform with and for others.
Our courses at key stage four and five enable students to build upon the skills listed above, preparing them for a future in the music industry and further education, as well as a plethora of relevant transferable skills that will be beneficial for whatever next pathway they choose. As well as extensive extra-curricular opportunities, we also offer an exciting peripatetic programme alongside our curriculum to enhance the musical experience.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, the Arts programme works on a rotational basis with Art and Drama. When studying Music, students receive one double lesson per week lasting 100 minutes.
For general classroom work students are seated boy / girl as this has been proven to be an effective method to facilitate good teaching and learning and ensure high standards are met. Students also use the practice rooms for group practical work.
The key stage 3 scheme of work is divided into two annual topics which are studied in depth. These are designed and organised in such a way that they enable students to build on their strengths and develop their musicianship year on year.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students receive three lessons per week, each lasting 50 minutes.
At both Key stage 4, students are organised into mixed ability groups. For general classroom work they are seated boy/girl.
The department follows the OCR GCSE Music syllabus which suits the needs and interests of our students very well. Students have opportunities to perform and compose and will also learn about a range of varying music styles linked to specific areas of study.
Key Stage 5
We have introduced the new BTEC Music course which is the National Extended Certificate in Music Performance Level 3. This course has been designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to progress to further study and training in a range of music performance and production disciplines. The qualification has been designed for students who have an interest in a range of music careers/skills who wish to explore and extend this via an immersive learning experience.
Students receive three lessons per week each lasting 100 minutes.
The Music ( Elgar) Department is situated above the Dance studio.
Music is taught in two main classrooms, plus we also have a small fully equipped IT suite, containing IMACS, synthesisers and recording equipment. In addition to this, our Dudley Performing Arts visiting instrumental teachers use accompanying practice rooms to teach specific instrumental lessons on a wide range of instruments and voice. Our practice rooms are also accessible for our own students to work in during lessons times as well as lunch and after school times.
The complete department consists of two main teaching classrooms, an IT practice room, a store room and three practice rooms.
All main classrooms contain interactive whiteboards and a vast collection of equipment including keyboards, percussion instruments, recording equipment and ICT music software, microphones, amplifiers, music text resources, iPod docks and other music equipment.
We have a team of Music Leaders ranging from Year 8-11 that are responsible for working together with the music staff to assist with various duties such as concert organisation,
booking of practice rooms to other students, student voice and supporting students at our music clubs etc. Two Head Music Leaders lead the whole team.
Leaders are usually selected based on excellent effort, attitude and a positive approach towards Music in and outside of the music classroom.
Music Instrumental and Vocal Lessons
Please note that any students who receive instrumental lessons from visiting teachers of ‘Dudley Performing Arts’ or by Windsor staff will be allocated a specific lesson time per week on their chosen instrument. All organisation of these lessons including registering for music tuition and payments of lessons are monitored directly by the music department.
Students can apply for lessons ready to start in September. This is usually organised in the Summer term beforehand.
A large number of our students are involved in our music clubs. These operate on a weekly basis and range from classical instrumental ensembles through to choirs and rock bands.
Each term, our music clubs are reviewed by staff and extra – curricular timetables are published and sent out to tutor groups and are advertised in the school newsletter. We are constantly reviewing our music groups to cater for the interests of both our staff and students.
Concerts take place on a regular basis and range from school productions, general music themed concerts, GCSE/BTEC Recital Evenings, Christmas activities and joint concerts with other organisations, as well as performances in the community, across the Trust and with Dudley Performing Arts.
In addition to this, we also offer opportunities for students to involve themselves in Music Workshops such as Song writing, African drumming, Jazz Masterclasses, DJ mixing etc.
Examples of previous events are listed below:
• Performances at Music Intake Evenings
• Awards Evenings
• ‘Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Halesowen’ music event
• St Margaret’s Church, Hasbury Christmas Carol Service
• Performances at Christmas and Summer Fairs
• Dudley Performing Arts Events
• Performer’s Platform – weekly summer outdoor performances
• House competitions
• Various pop musicians and/or workshops at our summer activities festival
• GCSE/BTEC Music Recital Evening
• ‘Excellence in Arts’ Celebration
• Summer themed concerts
• Arts Show Productions