The Music department promotes a genuine appreciation of all types of music through a vibrant and inclusive programme of teaching and performances. Further details on the Music Department’s performances and facilities at Reed's can be found in the School Life section/589/music.
In the First, Second and Third Form (Years 7, 8 and 9) pupils follow a practical, performance-based course, gaining skills on a number of instruments whilst increasing their fluency in the reading of musical notation. In the First and Second Form pupils are given the option of a term's free tuition on either an orchestral string instrument, the flute, trumpet or trombone - giving them the opportunity to be involved in ensembles and concerts. Many opt to continue with these lessons afterwards. Music is an option subject in the Third Form (Year 9).
At GCSE pupils follow a dynamic course of composition, performance and the study of a variety of styles of music. The course covers Timbre and Dynamics, Rhythm and Metre, Melody and Texture, Harmony and Tonality, Structure and Form in the context of Western Classical Music, World Music and Popular Music since the 1960s. Assessment is through written examination, aural analysis, performance and composition elements. As there is a significant performance element, pupils need to study a musical instrument to complement the course; they will perform annually in a series of recitals.
The A Level course demands performing, composing, listening and analytical skills in almost equal measure. Pupils will improve their skills in performing and composing in a range of styles as well as listen to a wide variety of music and develop a more informed appreciation of how and why it was written and/or performed. The course is divided into three components - appraising music, performance and composition.
Ideally students should have Music GCSE. However, more importantly, they must be fluent in reading both treble and bass clef notation and be of at least Grade VI standard on their first instrument.
A Level Music is essential preparation for a variety of practical and academic music courses in higher education. The course focuses on developing analysis and essay skills which are widely applicable to degree level study. It is also an ideal complement to any Music Technology or Recording course as it helps to broaden knowledge of musical styles.