The music department at Buile Hill is a thriving part of the school community where we believe that music is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps students to understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world.
Our main priority and vision is to be a leading Music Department which is known for its commitment to every child succeeding through excellent teaching and creative learning.
Students receive an hour of Music a week and through the disciplines of performance, composition and listening, cover a wide variety of topics experiencing many styles of music from different times, genres and cultures. Students develop a range of musical skills with the emphasis firmly placed on enjoyment whilst gaining a breadth of skills.
Throughout Key Stage 3 Music is taught as a practical subject, students in the Y band Year 7 and 8 learn an orchestral instrument during their lesson time which is supported by peripatetic lessons. Research shows that children who play an instrument, as a rule, do better in school than those who don’t. Research suggests exposure to music benefits a child’s reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline, through teaching the students this we hope to embed discipline qualities that will translate to other subjects within their school life. We firmly believe that providing the students of Buile Hill with the chance to play a musical instrument will benefit them in later life and give them opportunities which may not have been available to them before. Students learn either the clarinet, trumpet, tenor horn or flute. They sit exams regulated by Associated Board of the Royal School Music exams at the end of Year 8, these are intentionally recognised qualifications.
In Year 7 and 8 students in X band complete lessons which are planned around six set schemes of work per year and involve performing , composing and listening across a wide range of musical styles and cultures. Students will follow a spiral curriculum, whereby they learn a range of musical skills that are then developed as they progress through Years 7 and 8. Students complete Music work using the following means:
- Music Technology
- Personal Composition
- Group Composition
- Performance – using a range of instrumentation including tuned and unturned percussion, keyboards, and pupil’s own instruments
- Theoretical Work
- Independent Research and Presentations
- Listening and Appraising
Students are given access to music technology equipment in order to support and extend their learning. The development of keyboard skills is taught throughout year 7 and 8 as this is invaluable in terms of developing a means of effectively communicating and developing musical intentions. A key element used in our Year 7 teaching is singing; we believe that this is an instrument which everyone is able to refine and improve with ease. All pupils sing in class where they both learn traditional and more popular songs, develop sight singing skills and singing in harmony.
We think that students should not only learn the fundamental skills needed in music, but should also be encouraged to enjoy and appreciate music in all of its forms, gaining a skill for life. Many extracurricular activities take place in the Music Department and we promote engagement through our after school provision. Students are also encouraged to learn an instrument and we cater for all tastes and interests from oboe and French horn to drums and singing.
In Year 9 students may choose to pursue their musical interests by studying either GCSE Music.
The Edexcel GCSE in Music allows students to capitalise on their different musical interests and expand their knowledge of this versatile subject. Through the means of performance and composition students develop as musicians and composers.
Areas of study include a wide range of music including classical, world and popular music’s catering to all preferences. The GCSE is designed to allow the study of music through the integration of performing, composing, listening and appraising, with the opportunity to use music technology in either performance or as a compositional tool.
Students must play an instrument or sing to take this qualification; this is provided by the excellent team of peripatetic staff which support the department.
GCSE Music inspires performance at the highest level, students are actively encouraged to sit performance exams by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and Trinity Rock School to accompany their GCSE.
Extra-Curricular Performing Arts
Whatever your interest we have something for you in the Performing Arts Department at Buile Hill.
Over the past few years Performing Arts has expanded rapidly and is now an integral part of school life with numerous productions, concerts and events taking place in school every year and dozens more taking place in the community. Students here are given every available chance to work on, showcase their talents and shine.
Proud and Journey’s
Each year our Year 7 students showcase the work they have completed in Music lessons over a course of 6 weeks, accompanied by performances and work from all other faculties within the school.
Students in Year 7 perform in the ‘Proud’ event, during this night students learn a range of songs about being Proud of their achievements and what makes them unique and special. We celebrate the student’s accomplishments since starting high school and the work they have done.
Students in Year 8 perform in the Journey’s event, the format for this evening is different to Proud in that students learn and perform as a ‘class band’. Students learn either guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano or singing and combine the skills to perform a popular rock song, thus showing their music journey. The same as Proud these events are supported by the whole school with all faculties contributing and showcasing work the students have completed in their subject areas.
Encore is our school singing group; it currently has over 60 members, both boys and girls, who rehearse regularly to a high standard. Encore is no ordinary singing group; we work hard and play hard – learning exciting and fun songs which can be enjoyed by everyone especially us! The students have performed at a variety of locations and prestigious events including Salford Cathedral Christmas Carol Service, the Lowry Theatre, Royal Northern College of Music and live on BBC Children in Need. The group has also entered Manchester Choral Competition where they sang three songs against choirs from all over the world – they were Highly Commended by the judges for their excellent performances. At present the group are preparing for a choral exam with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.
Our Windband consists of 15 students at present all of whom have been through our instrumental programme during Y7 and 8. Students play a range of pieces from classical music through to show and popular songs. They also combine with students playing rock instruments to perform as a funk band playing classics by legends such as James Brown and other jazz and soul greats.