“The world’s most famous and popular language is music”
Here at St Bonaventure’s, no matter what your musical interests or preferences are, the Music Department will challenge you and open up your spectrum of musical knowledge.
No matter whether you want to pursue writing or performing, producing or composing “where words will fail, the music will speak” (Hans Christian Andersen). Music has a very important role to play in the life of the students and the department takes pride in ensuring your son’s musical styles and abilities are catered for.
All students in Year 7 – 9 are on a carousel where they will get two hours of music per week for a term. During this time we aim to teach the students about the theory associated with the topic they are studying, extend and sharpen their listening, composing and performing skills. They learn how to perform as individuals and as an ensemble and compose music using GarageBand and Logic Pro X.
In Year 7 students will learn about music from Africa. They will listen to music from the different regions of Africa, they will then perform a piece of music associated with West Africa. Finally, they will compose a piece of music in a style of their choice from a region of Africa. In year 8 students will learn about the development of Minimalism. They will listen to different minimalist composers and will explore how they used key features of the style of music to make their compositions interesting. They will perform their own arrangement of Tubular Bells by Mike Oakfield and compost in a minimalist style. During this time the students can expect to work on projects that will reinforce their musical understanding of the elements of music, composing a piece of music to a composition brief and performing a short piece of music to their class.
In Year 9, students will learn 2 different topics and this gives them an opportunity to work on extended projects so they can compose and perform to a high standard; the kind of standard that would be expected if they were to take GCSE or BTEC Music at Key Stage 4. These extended projects are Film Music where students will create their own short film using iMovie and compose the music for it as well. The second extended project is song writing where the students can either use our MacBook Pro’s or various instruments to create their own song in whatever style they decide. Both of these projects will be assessed against a standard that the students would see at KS4, giving the students an opportunity for them to get used to the vocabulary and standard of work that would be expected of them if they decided to take the subject further; it also allows the students to be creative.
GCSE Music – Eduqas GCSE Syllabus
For GCSE, students will study the WJEC Eduqas GCSE in MUSIC Syllabus. This course is for students who are interested in taking A level Music at college or sixth form or students who are interested in the traditional areas of Music. Throughout the two years the students will cover three components:
|Component 1||Performing||This goes towards 30% of their overall GCSE grade and is the first part of the students controlled assessment. The students will be required to do a minimum of two pieces of which one must be an ensemble performance lasting at least one-minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must be linked to an area of study of the student’s choice. The total duration of the student’s performances must be between 4-6 minutes.|
|Component 2||Composing||This goes towards 30% of their overall GCSE grade and is the second part of the students controlled assessment. The students will be required to do two compositions. The first composition will be in response to a brief set by the exam board. The students will be required to choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The second composition is a free composition that the students will set their own brief. The total duration of the student’s composition must be between 3-6 minutes.|
|Component 3||Appraising||This goes towards 40% of their overall GCSE grade. This strand is a listening and written examination; this exam will be 1hour and 15minutes. There will be a total of eight questions, two on each of the four area of study. The four areas are:
• Musical Forms and Devices
• Music for Ensemble
• Film Music
• Popular Music
BTEC Level 2 Music Award – Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Syallbus
For the BTEC course, students will study the Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Music Award Syllabus. This course is for students who are interested in any areas of the Music Industry. Throughout the two years the students will have to complete two core units and two optional units. The two core units are:
- The Music Industry – this unit is a 1hour written examination. There are two main learning aims with this unit: Learning Outcome A “To understand different types of organisation that make up the music industry” and Learning Outcome B “to understand job roles in the music industry”.
- Managing a Music Production – This unit is internally marked and externally moderated. This unit covers three areas: Learning Outcome A “plan, develop and deliver a music product”. Learning Outcome B “Promote a music product” and Learning Outcome C “Review the management of the music product”. This unit requires students to work in groups and have to either create a CD, create an Online Podcast using Sound Cloud or organising a concert. As well as creating a Product or Live Event students will be marked on their team-working skills and personal management and how they managed the whole process.
The optional units are:
- Introducing Live Sound
- Introducing Music Composition
- Introducing Music Performance
- Introducing Music Recording
- Introducing Music Sequencing
Extra-Curricular life of the Department is varied and hugely important to the work that we do in the school. It gives the students a chance to develop their skills further outside the classroom and helps to create a strong sense of community amongst the boys who participate. If you pop up to Music on any given day there is always something going on! We currently run the following ensemble groups:
- Year 7 Choir
- Whole School Choir
- String Ensemble
- Mixed Ensemble
- Jazz Band
- Guitar Ensemble
- Year 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 House Bands
We have 3 concerts a year – Christmas Carol Service; Spring Charity Concert; MAD Showcase (Mad, Art & Drama) where the students are encouraged to perform solos, duets, ensembles and in bands of their own as well as the ensembles that are run in school. Every two years there is an opportunity for students to go on a Music Tour. In 2014 students went to Germany for 4 days and 3 nights. In October 2016 we will be taking students to Italy for 7 days and 4 nights.
We also have instrumental lessons that happen during the week. Students are currently able to take lessons in the following instruments:
- Electric Guitar
- Bass Guitar
Boys are taught by the Music Department and some tutors from our Music Service (Newham Academy) and have ½ hour lesson in either groups of 4, the boys come out of lessons on a rotating timetable.
Ex-members of the Boy’s and Gospel Choir were part of ‘Revelation’, the Gospel Choir that came third in the BBC ‘Last Choir Standing’ programme in the Summer of 2008. They also performed on ITV “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2015.
The school choir have been involved in workshops with Stratford Circus and The New YVC choir. They have been a part of the Commonwealth Youth Choir that have performed at Royal and Prestigious events – Westminster Abbey, Coldstream Guards, Chapel of the Guards, Horseguards Parade and Marlborough House. The students also recorded the Song for Commonwealth and the Commonwealth anthem at the Royal Air Force in Northolt in 2016. The choir has performed at The London Mayoral Accountability Assembly 2016 which was held at Copper Box, Olympic Park and Southwark Cathedral where Sadiq Khan was sworn in as the Mayor of London.
Former Pupils working in the Music Industry
St. Bon’s has produced some excellent musicians and artists. Below are a few of the boys who have left the school recently and are enjoying success in the Music Industry.
- Tinchy Strider (Kwasi Danquah)
- Talay Riley
- Gracious-K (Lance Agyepong)
- Trevor and David Francis – Gleemania Tour 2011
- Jay Vades (Junior Busia)
- Dr Kane (Nana-Kofi Busia)
- Denis King