Why Study Music?
The study of Music offers students the opportunity to create music, perform it and to learn to appreciate it in all its forms more widely. The department is staffed by the Director of Music, two class teachers together with a team of visiting instrumental teachers. In addition to the various teaching rooms there is the Hall equipped with the 1932 Walker Organ and Steinway Grand Piano. We are equipped with technology to run music sequencing and recording projects and also enjoy a performance space in The Studio.
KS3: A Foundation Course in Music
All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are taught music and have the benefit of using a class of Yamaha full sized keyboards, tuned percussion, Samba drums and African Djembe Drums, all of which enrich the many topics taught. Students gain the opportunity to try out many different orchestral instruments and singing is at the heart of music making for all. Ensemble skills, small group work and individual music making all play a part in developing aural skills and every student has the opportunity to work with music technology and more traditional approaches.
KS4: GCSE Music (Edexcel)
The GCSE course takes students on a journey of the past 500 years of music in all its forms via a selection of 12 set works ranging from Mozart and Chopin to Bernstein, Miles David and Moby with a range of World Music alongside. Pupils all prepare individual performances or offer computer sequenced works and studio recording either as performer or engineer. Composition include the preparation of two new pieces or arrangements but there are also alternative pathways in DJ deck performance, traditional folk work and improvisation. It is fair to say that the GCSE Music course can be tailored to the musical interests and aspirations of every individual pupil.
KS5: A Level Music
Music at Key Stage 5 involves performance and composition as well as the study of a number of set vocal and instrumental works in increasing depth. Formal harmonic study and the associated exercises enhance understanding of composition and form and this is applied via an individual composition to a set brief from a choice in each year. A short individual recital, which can involve ensemble performance, is offered towards the end of the year and assessed.
Enrichment activities at DGSB
There is opportunity for all students to learn to play a musical instrument and teachers provide lessons on a weekly basis. Tuition is currently available in piano, electronic keyboard, organ, classical, electric and bass guitar, all standard orchestral instruments, drum kit and singing. The school owns many instruments and most are available on loan.
Student instrumentalists and singers are able to join a wide range of extra-curricular groups including the Junior Band, Training Strings, Brass Ensemble, Samba Band, Orchestra, Big Band and various choirs. There are a number of joint ensembles with Dover Grammar School for Girls and the Choir and Band have recently toured to Paris as well as taking part in local out of school events.
The school promotes a regular series of concerts both formal and informal. Besides performances at school, the music department’s profile is given prominence in the local area with concerts and events taking place in prestigious venues. Regular trips are organised to concerts both locally and in London, such as the London Philharmonic Bright Sparks Series as well as attendance at Student conferences for GCSE and A Level.
Studying Music leads to a number of different career paths in the fields of composition and performance and students often combine the skills learned in this subject with others needed for work in broadcast media, film and new technologies. Former students work in fields as diverse as Cathedral Music, Events Management and Teaching.