Music is sound, not all sound is music but all music is sound. Academic music at Warwick School is taught as a practical subject with amounts of time devoted to performing, composing and listening.
Boys listen to music as inspiration or as a model, compose their own piece which may or may not be based on the model and then perform their pieces solo or in a group.
Performance within the lessons is encouraged, particularly as examinations approach. For GCSE and A level each boy must perform a solo and ensemble which is recorded. Boys are encouraged to perform their own and others compositions.
We follow a spiral curriculum, which returns to ideas, concepts and the elements of music started in KS2. A more detailed understanding and exploration is then undertaken to add to knowledge in breadth and depth, perfect performing skills, and refining compositional techniques.
At Warwick School we aim to give the boys as many exciting, practical music making experiences as possible. The course is based on Performing and Composing. All boys learn an orchestral instrument in the ‘Lower Fourth Scheme’ and perform together as a huge orchestra in a concert at the end of their first year. They learn to sing a major choral work and perform it together with our Chapel Choir and Choral Society. As they progress through the school, all boys compose on keyboards, use different computer programs and synthesizers to produce Superheroes music. Those who choose music in the Lower Fifth produce their own film music which is performed with a live film to an audience at the end of the year.
The IGCSE course comprises 30% of the examination for two compositions, 30% of the examination for two performances and 40% for a listening paper linked to a CD of musical examples. Results are excellent, with the greater percentage gaining A/A* grades. The option groups for music are strong. 49 boys studied GCSE in 2016 and class sizes are small.
We study OCR in a two year linear course concentrating on composing, performing and listening. Boys can play to their strengths opting for a greater percentage of marks for composing or performing which is assessed through audio and video recordings. The listening paper is linked to a CD containing previously unheard examples to be analysed and previously studied set works. Historical knowledge is examined through essay writing.