The curriculum intent is to give the students a broader experience of music and the tools to enjoy listening to music while engaging at an elevated level of understanding. Through enjoyable activities and relating the curriculum to the students’ current interests, the study of music aims to promote attendance and academic ambition. The curriculum encourages thought about how society and people are affected by music and how music can create a positive impact in peoples’ lives through work, creating music or simply through listening.
The students at Lough Road study music for two lessons of fifty minutes a week. Where appropriate the students will study towards a qualification. The curriculum is structured in three components:
- Developing knowledge of music theory
- Playing as a group
- Independent creativity
The intent behind learning music theory is to help students develop their skills to enable better playing and learn about the music they experience around them. The subject matter is very varied and includes ethical learning around music responsibility (listening to grime and drill and understanding the effect of violent music and the responsibility of artists) and also teaching music theory such as how to build a chord or design a chord progression.
Playing as a group is used as a vessel to build relationships and the students’ interpersonal skills. It combines listening skills with learning to compromise and encourages a confidence to be vulnerable in front of others and receive and give feedback. The activities are designed to improve the students’ working memory and motor skills to develop their skills in music whilst having fun and developing a sense of achievement.
Independent creativity is a highly structured opportunity for the students to express themselves whilst working on their independent targets. Working to improve their skills helps students to develop a sense of discipline and improves their patience in learning new skills. It will involve elements of music theory in teaching students scales to improvise with and a knowledge of different genres to enable them to adjust their style to play along with a broader selection of music.