Year 7 have been working on call and response melodies, creating a musical question and answer. They were then given a chord pattern to learn with a simple call and response melody to add in as well as a bass line. Some students chose to work on keyboard whilst some opted to use an Ipad. Here’s one example of what some students created using an Ipad – they practised their ideas on the piano first before playing them into GarageBand.
Year 8 have been finishing off their unit of work on programme music by looking at music inspired by art. We listened to part of Debussy’s La Mer which has been linked to the famous Kanagawa wave by Hokusai. This picture was used on the cover of the first printed edition of Debussy’s musical score. We also listened to part of Dutilleux’s ‘Timbres, Space, Movement’ which is directly inspired by Van Gogh’s painting, ‘Starry Night’
We identified that texture, timbre and dynamics were important musical elements to consider as well as making sure the piece had a clear sense of structure. The students then chose one or other of these two pictures as inspiration for their own compositions. Here are some examples of their work:
Year 7 rounded off the half term with a composing challenge. They were given four 1-bar rhythms which they could use in any way they wished to create a piece of music. They had to give careful thought to the overall structure of their piece and keep it to around 1 minute in length. Here are a two examples of their finished work:
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: