Music

Staff members:

  • Mr G Bull – Head of Department
  • Miss D Barratt – Teacher of Music

Music at Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School is a thriving subject with two full-time members of staff and a team of ten visiting instrumental teachers.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In keeping with National Curriculum requirements music is taught to all pupils in Years 7-9. Students gain valuable practical experience and, through listening, are stimulated with new ideas.

They learn to make music using various acoustic instruments, from recorders and xylophones and a range of other percussion. There are opportunities to experience drum kit and guitar in classroom lessons. Keyboard work is undertaken by students in pairs, with the use of headphones.

As well as performing, students compose in a variety of styles and genres and practise their listening, singing and assessing skills.

In a typical year the vast majority of pupils meet and exceed the expected standards of both attainment and progress.

A summary of our Key Stage 3 curriculum can be found here:

GCSE and A Level Music

Beyond Key Stage 3 there are thriving GCSE groups – currently nearly 50 students are taking Music at KS4.

Academic results are consistently good. In recent years:

  • 85% of our GCSE Music entries have gained grades A*, A or B;
  • 50% of our AS and A2 Music entries gained grade A or B.

Many of our A Level students go on to pursue music at university or college.

Outlines of the GCSE and A level specifications can be found here:

Instrumental Lessons

The Music Department offers tuition in:

  • Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)
  • Woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, bassoon)
  • Brass (trumpet, cornet, horn, euphonium, trombone, tuba)
  • Classical, electric and bass guitar
  • Piano and keyboard
  • Drums and orchestral percussion
  • Voice

All lessons are individual and take place in school time, following a rota to minimise the effect on the academic timetable. They are of 20 or 30 minutes duration – the longer lessons being offered to students who are working beyond Grade 3.

For 2015/2016 the cost for tuition is £100.00 per term for 10 x 20 minute lessons and £150.00 per term for 10 x 30 minute lessons. A subsidy applies for students taking GCSE or A Level music courses, and there are exemptions in some other circumstances.

Instruments can be hired from Gloucestershire Music Service for approx £30.00 per term. Currently nearly 10% of the school’s roll is receiving such tuition through the Music Department.

Extra-Curricular music-making

We are very proud of the many instrumental and vocal groups that rehearse for various events, from small informal recitals to large concerts.  In the course of the academic year music groups that rehearse in the school include:

  • Senior Orchestra Training Orchestra
  • Jazz Band Ukulele Group
  • String Orchestra Wind Band
  • Senior Choir Junior Choir
  • Samba Drumming
  • Various Rock Groups

Our regular programme of events is published in the Music and Drama Events Calendar. This year’s events include:
2015

  • Year 7 Welcome concert (October 13)
  • Music Department Autumn Concert (November 19)
  • Christmas Carol Service (December 15)

2016

  • School Production ‘Grease’ (January 27 -29)
  • GCSE Evening (February 9)
  • House Music Festival (March 22)
  • Music Department Spring Concert (April 21)
  • Music and Drama Departments’ Summer Concert (July 6)

As well as these events, the Jazz Band and Samba Band are frequently asked to play at local functions, vocal groups sing to local care home residents (especially at Christmas), and some of the Rock groups that practise in the Music Department put on charity gigs in school and locally. There is even the occasional Battle of the Bands competition

Every few years the joint orchestras perform a “Last Night of the Proms” Concert, and choristers have occasionally been involved in local performances of choral classics such as Mozart’s Requiem and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

The Music Department works regularly with the Drama Department to put on the school’s Productions – ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Oliver’ are among recent shows put on. This year’s production, in January, is going to be ‘Grease’.

Many students take part in these activities and students learning orchestral instruments at KLB are certainly encouraged and expected to participate where appropriate.