Intent Statement

Through teaching this curriculum, students will have a comprehensive understanding of how to confidently perform and compose music, as well as being able to identify genres and knowing the cultural and historical context behind them. Through performing and composing as part of a group, students will learn the importance of discipline and team work to achieve a desired goal. Through music technology modules, students will also gain an understanding of how music is often produced and released today. This curriculum, therefore, gives a very varied approach to music, providing a comprehensive knowledge of the importance of music in many contexts.

The main aim of the KS3 Music curriculum is to give all students a foundation knowledge in music theory, performing and composing skills. The curriculum is designed to give students the opportunity to perform and compose in a range of musical genre, as well as learn about the music industry through ‘music industry’ topics. Throughout the key stage, the genres covered are: Folk, Film music, Rock and Roll, Rock, Soul, Blues, Disco, Dance, Reggae, Hip-Hop, and Electronica. Through studying these genres, KS3 pupils are taught disciplinary knowledge of performing, composing, reviewing and analysing music. The context and origins of each genre of music will be taught throughout the topics, allowing for PSHE topics to be covered, including: racism and stereotyping in Blues, Soul and Reggae; slavery and the civil rights movement in Blues and Soul; sexism in Rock and Roll and Hip-Hop; industry and workplace in Music Industry topics. Some of these topics allow cross-curricular learning opportunities, such as focussing on the civil rights movement and slave trade in the year 8 Soul and Blues topics, which are taught in year 8 History. In addition, each topic with have a key focus on two of the six main elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, structure, tonality and instrumentation. Disciplinary knowledge of analysing and reviewing will be tested through analysing and reviewing these six elements of music throughout the key stage.

The curriculum is designed to revisit these key domains over the three years, meaning students will access and build upon their schema in each year.

In term one, Folk music, Soul, and Reggae are all performance based topics, taught on keyboards in year 7, 8 and 9 respectively. In year 7, students study the topic of Folk music which acts as an introduction to playing the keyboard and reading musical notation, using a simple mode (scale of white notes) on the keyboard. The key elements visited in Folk are structure and melody. In year 8, pupils build upon this knowledge by learning about Soul music, which requires a larger range of notes to be played, some use of chords and use of accidentals (black notes) on the keyboard. In year 9 students continue to build on their keyboard performance skills by performing more complex rhythms and chords.

In term two, we focus on composition. Year 7 start with character compositions, as this gives a good introduction to the use of tempo and tonality. Pupils are asked to create a simple leitmotif (short musical theme) to represent a character. In year 8, compositional skills are built upon through the Blues topic, as pupils will learn how to improvise over a set chord sequence. In year 9, pupils come back to the idea of a leitmotif but expand on their previous knowledge by studying how leitmotif is used in film music.

In term three, pupils work on listening and analysing throughout each year group, getting progressively more difficult from year 7 – year 9. The main content of this topic involved listening to various genres of music and trying to pick out key element focusses (e.g. melody, tonality, tempo).

The focus of term four is music technology. This is a relevant topic for term four, as pupils have already been learning about older styles of music limited technology and will now be able to see how technology has changed and impacted on the music we listen to today.

Term five and six both focus on reviewing and analysing genres of music. Year 7 focus on Rock and Roll and Rock as these are linked and have similarities to folk music, studied earlier in the year. Year 8 study disco and dance, which link to the soul and blues topic they studied in term one and two. Year 9 look at hip-hop and electronica, which follow on from the studio recording music technology topic they have just studied in term four.

As these topics require listening to and understanding a lot of music that isn’t mainstream in the UK today, this provides valuable learning opportunities to learn about other cultures and the way in which this influences the music. This gives ample opportunity to increase the cultural capital pupils, as listening homework will be set to encourage pupils to listen to a wider range of musical genres.


High-Level Plan


What are the key features of folk music and how is it performed?

What are the main features of soul music and why was it an important genre in the 1960s?

How are character theme tunes composed using tempo, tonality and pitch?

What is improvisation and how is it achieved through using the blues scale?

How are leitmotifs composed for film characters and scenes?

What are the main lyrical and melodic themes of pop songs?

What are the main elements of pop music?

What are the different sub-genres of Pop music and how do they differ?
4Intro to Music Technology

How has music technology developed over the last 60 years?
Studio Recording

How is studio equipment used to undertake a studio recording?
Music Software

How is music software utilised in the production of music?
5Rock and Roll

What are the stylistic features of Rock and Roll?

What are the stylistic features of Disco?

What are the stylistic features of Rock?

How is music technology used in Electronica?

How is music technology used in Dance music?

How is music technology used in Hip-Hop?


Medium-Term Plans

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

We recommend
Useful Information