Curriculum

Music at St Peter’s offers students the environment, equipment and expertise to develop their skills for both beginner and advanced musicians.

From composition, musical arrangement, to performing on stage, there are many opportunities to learn through experiencing this practical subject. Our Music courses have a strong performance focus with opportunities provided throughout the year for Music students to perform to an audience.

Music is an aspect of the core subject, Performing Arts, in Years 7 to 9 for all students. This gives students the chance to explore music and to gain an appreciation of the subject. Here interests and talents have the opportunity to be kindled.

Students may choose Music as an option from Years 9-13 where they will focus on developing fundamental musical, theoretical and technological skills in a supportive learning environment. There is a strong encouragement of students to think critically about music–making, both in their own lives and in the context of society.

Each academic course is complemented by individual one-on-one Itinerant instrumental lessons which allow for regular performance opportunities to develop confidence and performance skills. Students are also expected to participate fully in the high quality musical activities offered at St Peter’s – the school production, choirs,orchestras, bands, and chamber music.

Students learn transferrable skills on cutting edge technology, which prepares them for work in the music industry. Students have access to individual work rooms, computer labs and recording studios, and there is also a strong emphasis on BYOD where students can take advantage of installing Sibelius for music notation purposes. Sibelius is an industry standard composition software. At school students can dock their own machines into a MIDI keyboard (an electronic musical keyboard) and studio headphones.

For recording and mixing work, students have access to industry quality recording software and equipment. ProTools licences for use on BYODs are available to allow students to work from home or the boarding school.

Years 9 and 10 Music develops students’ musical knowledge and technical understanding, composition and performance. In Year 9, while previous experience is helpful, the course will benefit and challenge beginners through to more advanced musicians equally. Students will explore and discover a broad range of musical styles and genres in this course, from current popular music back through the ages. They will have the opportunity to develop practical knowledge and confidence on their chosen instrument through a range of performance opportunities. Students will also investigate the use of Music Technology and how this can be used to arrange, compose and record music in a variety of styles. Students will advance their theory and listening skills, providing a strong foundation for further study. In Year 10 Music students will have the opportunity to perform in groups as well as presenting individual performances. Students will create music for film, musicals and learn about the technologies available to capture and record these. Students will develop background knowledge and, aural and theory skills to complement their practical work.

From Years 11 to 13 Music is an NCEA subject offering students comprehensive programmes which encourages growth and development for students as performers, composers and musicologists. Students perform as soloists and also have the opportunity for group or ensemble performance. The craft of composition is studied and students create pieces for their solo instruments as well as a piece for an ensemble. Music works from both popular and classical idioms are studied. Students also continue to enhance their aural and theory skills.

In Years 12 and 13, NCEA students can also choose the Music Technology course which aims to further develop an appreciation and understanding of music in view of industry practice in a contemporary format. The Level 2 NCEA course is designed to further develop understanding and skills required to use technology associated with music. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to provide sound enhancement for a performance context as well as develop their performance skills. Students will also explore in depth how technology is used to create music with an emphasis on both songwriting and digital music making mediums. Students will also develop their aural abilities, allowing them to train their ears and further develop their overall musicianship. The Level 3 NCEA Music Technology course is in many respects an individualised programme of study. Students have the option of project based work to further develop musical skills in technology and sound enhancement as well refining their performance skills.

For those studying the International Baccalaureate programme, IB Music assists students in developing their potential as a musician, both personally and collaboratively. The course enables students to develop their musical skills through solo performance, and at HL, composition. IB Music also develops students’ perceptual skills in response to a wide variety of music (classical, jazz etc), and to explore the diversity of music throughout the world. Students also undertake an investigation into a topic of their choice.

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