Music Curriculum

“The world’s most famous and popular language is music”

Psy

Above: St. Bonaventure’s Choir performing at the October 2018 lunchtime concert

At St Bonaventure’s, 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.

KS3

All students in Year 7-9 have music lessons. We focus our learning around the three main skills in music; performing, composing and appraising (listening). 

Year 7

The pupils begin their music education at St. Bonaventure’s exploring the Elements of Music, the essential foundation of all music making. Pupils create two pieces of music in groups with contrasting themes (the Blitz and Narnia) which they then perform at the end of the Autumn term. 

In the Spring term, pupils develop their Keyboard and music theory skills. By the end of the term, most pupils are able to play simple chord patterns for most popular songs.

In the Summer term, pupils explore music for stage and screen. The boys compose a short piece of music to accompany an animated film or advert, using the music departments iMacs (complete with Logic Pro sequencing software).

Year 8

In the Autumn term, pupils learn about the different styles of music from around the world including African drumming, Samba, Gamelan and Indian Classical. This term cumulates in a group performance of a piece of world music that the pupils have composed themselves.

In the Spring term, pupils develop their music technology skills further whilst learning about the development of minimalism. Pupils will listen to and analyse the musical features of different pieces of minimalism and will use this knowledge to compose their own pieces of minimalism on Logic Pro.

In the Summer term, pupils perform the song ‘Three Little Birds’ (Bob Marley) in small bands. Throughout this term, pupils have the opportunity to develop their keyboard, guitar, singing and drum skills whilst learning about some of the key features of Reggae music.

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils begin the year by learning about the Blues. Pupils have the opportunity to listen to Blues music and build on their instrumental and band skills from Year 7/8, finishing in a performance of their own original Blues composition.

In the Spring term, pupils create their own piece of Disco music using Logic Pro software. This is an extended project which gives the boys a feel for the type of composition level and detail required for GCSE Music.

In the Summer term, the boys are encouraged to either create or cover a popular song either in bands or a solo performance. This allows the boys to develop their composition and performance skills with a final performance at the end of their KS3 Music education.

KS4

GCSE Music – Eduqas GCSE Syllabus

For GCSE, students study the WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Music syllabus. Throughout the two years the students will cover three components:

GCSE

Component 1Performing30% (Controlled assessment) The students will be required to perform a minimum of two pieces of Grade 3 standard.
Component 2Composing30% (Controlled assessment) The students will compose two pieces; one a free choice and one to a brief set by the exam board.
Component 3Appraising40% (1hr 15min examination) Students will be tested on four main areas of study.

Extra-Curricular

The 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 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.

We also host informal lunchtime concerts once every half term where staff and students are invited to watch performances of musical items that the boys have prepared in and outside of lesson time.

The music department has been on several tours abroad. In 2014 students went to Germany and in October 2016 we took students to Italy.

We also have instrumental lessons that happen during the week.  Students are currently able to take lessons in the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Bass Guitar
  • Vocals

Notable Achievements

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