Ms O’Leary - Head of Department
The music curriculum at Barking Abbey is an opportunity for students to explore the very basics of music for example, rhythm and music notation these key skills continue to be eluded to throughout the school years.
Music technology is a current key issue with relation to the music industry and as such Barking Abbey boasts a range of P.C.’s with Mixcraft software to enable students to have some experience of the creative sector with regard to technology.
Students study how to create their own music using both Mixcraft and Soundtrap. They study the basics of compositional techniques, style and development which follow through to GCSE. Students are able to compose rap lyrics which later on moves to composing songs for GCSE with accompanying music.
Listening and appraising a broad range of music is key to students at the school to empower them to use their local context and cultural values to gain more knowledge about a variety of musical genres ranging from African music, Western Classical music, 20th Century music as well as modern styles. The key elements of music are taught from a young age and these skills are then incorporated into the GCSE course.
Music is an inclusive subject and as such provision is made for students to be able to approach the subject from all age groups. With the introduction of technology from a young age this allows students to be able to play the piano but also learn about other techniques which may be a ‘way in’ and more accessible for all year groups. Using musical equipment for example drums, guitars and ukuleles within the curriculum allows students to get ‘hands on’ and work independently to thrive a culture of self- discipline and self-motivated musicians.
Students are encouraged to learn the key skills to reading music and playing the piano but also encouraged to learn the ukulele at a young age many local primary schools have taught the ukulele. The skill of reading tab can then follow onto the guitar and other instruments at an older age.
The provision of instrumental lessons, provided by the borough music service which allows for all students to have lessons on a number of instruments. This is an opportunity for students to enhance their curriculum lessons. All of our GCSE students receive free instrumental lessons once per week.
The school offers a wide range of extra curricular music clubs which take place at lunchtime and after school. Participation in joining the clubs is highly encouraged to enhance the music curriculum lessons which take place once a week.