The Music department at RMGS has two full time teachers, both of whom are subject specialists. We offer both Music and Music Technology as subjects at appropriate Key Stages in the school.
Music is studied by all students up to the end of Year 9, after which it is available as an option subject at GCSE. All Music lessons are taught in form groups in years 7 to 9, and then as an option class in years 10 and 11. GCSE groups tend to have around 20 students, with A Level groups averaging at 3 for Music and 8 for Music Technology. For such a specialist subject these group sizes represent a healthy uptake of both subjects.
Students are introduced to a wide variety of musical styles, genres and compositional techniques throughout KS3. Students learn the key basics of music through the study of traditional musical notation and an exploration of the elements of music. They will listen to, analyse, and compose in the style of, many different musical genres including world music (Africa, China, India, Latin America), historical periods (Medieval Music, 20th Century Art Music) and popular genres (The Blues, Reggae). Students learn aspects of music theory allowing them to compose to fit many different scenarios through the exploration of scales.
An emphasis is placed on practical skills in music, and in each year of KS3 a unit is dedicated to learning a new instrument; in Year 7 the recorder, Year 8 the keyboard and Year 9 the Guitar and Ukulele.
Students also work with Music Technology in KS3 by recording compositions and performances, producing their own Podcasts, and working with videos to create their own film music.
The Music block is housed in an impressive building separate from the main school, and display work celebrates the achievements of students both in school and out of it. Students who pass instrumental exams have copies of their certificates placed on a “wall of fame”, and display boards show photos from recent concerts, workshops, musicals and trips. Class work is displayed in the two classrooms, alongside useful and relevant information to help students. Instrumental lesson times are clearly displayed in the Music foyer, as are details of musical activities and events in the local area, relevant items from published media sources, and details of musical opportunities on offer within the school such as competitions and concert auditions.
The Music department offers all students the chance to audition for concerts, and there are five formal concerts every year. At Christmas there are two very large concerts involving all of year 7, all the school ensembles, soloists and smaller musical groups. There is also a Carol Concert which follows the traditional nine lessons and carols format. A charity is chosen each year, and around £2000 is raised each year. Previous charities have included The Wisdom Hospice, Kent Air Ambulance, the Alzheimer’s Society, and Cancer Research. At Easter there are two Soiree concerts, one given by lower school pupils and one by upper school pupils. The Soiree concerts take place in the more intimate setting of the Recital Hall.
Students have the opportunity to put on their own lunchtime concerts, either as soloists, as part of a band, or as a variety / battle of the bands type event. Music Enterprise events often include charity concerts, with every aspect of the planning and production of the event being done by students.
Every other year the Music and Drama departments put on a joint production of a musical. Most recently were performances of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and the cult favourite Little Shop of Horrors.
The Music department offers students a safe and supportive environment in which to explore and experience Music.
For details of 6th form music courses see here
EXTRA CURRICULAR MUSIC
There are plenty of opportunities for all students to get involved in musical activities – from complete beginners to advanced musicians. Ensembles suitable for beginners include Vocal Chords (keyboard and singing), Ukulele Club, Jam Club, and Music Tech Club. Ensembles where at least one year of experience is required are ‘Cello Choir, Junior Wind Band, Brass Group, Guitar Club, and String Group. Our flagship ensemble, Big Band, requires students to have reached at least grade 3 standard on an appropriate instrument. Other clubs are added when appropriate to best provide for the students and their musical abilities and interests.
All students have the opportunity to receive peripatetic instrumental lessons, and the form for this is available for download.
In class students follow the National Curriculum for Music, and an emphasis is placed on academic achievement and practical experience. As students progress through the school they have the opportunity to take GCSE Music, A Level Music, and A Level Music Technology.
We hope to see you either as a performer or as an audience member at one of our many events throughout the year.