Year 8 were tasked with creating a piece of music that took the listener on a journey from the earth’s core to the very edge of space. They needed to think carefully about how to use a range of musical elements such as texture, timbre, pitch, tempo and harmony. Here is a selection of their work – imaginative and convincing all round.
Year 9 are about to start exploring music for film but by way of a warm up they have been composing music to tell the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in particular, the tense and atmospheric part of the novel where he brings his monster to life. Here are some of their imaginative compositions:
Year 7 have been composing with emojis – they were given around 40 to choose from and could select up to four to use as inspiration for a composition.
Here is one of their creations which used these emojis -😎😢😡😴
Year 8 have been composing over a chord sequence using the eight chord pattern from Pachelbel’s Canon. Inspired by this and by a very different hip-hop/fusion rendition of the piece, they have made their own versions, each of which is really individual in its approach. One group, performing their piece live, discovered that they could put the melody from ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ over Pachelbel’s chord pattern. Here are a few examples of their work to listen to:
Years 7 and 8 were treated to a workshop with the American cellist and composer Aaron Minsky. He started out as a rock guitarist before seriously studying the cello from his mid teens. His unusual playing style combines rock guitar techniques with traditional classical cello playing as you will see in the video clip below. Many of his compositions also combine both classical and popular music with the aim of making what is usually viewed as a classical instrument more accessible and versatile.
The whole school plus staff and parents filled out St Andrew the Great church in the city centre for Sancton Wood’s Easter service. The service included solos, readings, the staff/parent choir and a short talk from Rev Tom Hutchings. Two Year 5 students entertained us with poems they had written themselves and Minstrels played an arrangement of Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful tonight’. You can listen to some of the musical highlights below:
Year 9 have been working hard on learning how to create a successful rap, from writing lyrics, to making a backing and then rapping their lyrics in time over this. They have wrestled with the technicalities of flow, beat and enunciation but the hard work has paid off. Have a listen to some of the products of their labour:
Year 7 have been composing using a pentatonic scale as the basis for their piece. This means just 5 notes to choose from rather than the more usual 8 – the most obvious example of a ready made pentatonic scale is to play the black notes on a keyboard. Alternatively in GarageBand you can select a pentatonic scale and the keyboard will be automatically reconfigured to use just those 5 notes. Sounds a bit restrictive? Not if these creations are anything to go by:
Post-Christmas blues has prevailed in Year 9 music as they have been looking at The Blues from its origins in the US to it’s modern renditions by the likes of Eric Clapton and Jools Holland. Students all learnt to play the 12 bar blues chord pattern on keyboards before embarking on their own blues compositions. Here is a small taste of the varied and imaginative music they created. The first was composed on an iPad and the second is a live blues improvisation on electric guitar.
If you missed our school carol service on 12 December you may like to listen to some highlights: Vocal solos by two talented Year 8 students and readings by students, a parent and a member of staff.