Music at Michaela encourages mastery of the subject, giving the pupils a working understanding of music in theory and practice. The KS3 curriculum gives all pupils access to music theory at a level that is usually only reserved for those receiving private tuition. Pupils will learn rhythm, harmony, music notation and written analysis, allowing them to access and understand written music. Pupils will reach ABRSM grade 4 by the end of Year 9 in both theory and aural practice. Music history is also taught throughout KS3, with a broad overview in Year 7 followed by in depth studies of particular genres. By the end of Year 7, pupils learn the works of 24 important composers and musicians throughout history, and the features of their work.
As well as in the curriculum, music is embedded throughout Michaela. Important national and cultural songs are shared with the whole school in weekly assemblies, making singing a part of everyday school life. Approximately one fifth of the school have access to high quality instrumental lessons within school, working towards ABRSM qualifications. Lessons are taught 1:1 or in pairs, with two half-hour lessons a fortnight. All instrumentalists take part in an instrumental ensemble, performing at termly reward events, and flute pupils form a weekly flute choir. A chamber choir rehearses for two evenings a week, training pupils in sight-singing, close harmony and a cappella singing.
“Music is a rich subject, and can bring immense satisfaction, enjoyment and academic stimulation. It is mathematical, historical, physical, it is in many ways a foreign language. At Michaela we aim to provide our pupils with access to the richness of the subject by showing them how music works, and training them in crucial aural skills. Armed with in-depth theoretical knowledge, pupils can develop a full appreciation of the breadth of our musical history and culture, and can enjoy taking part in all aspects of music, whether listening, analysing or taking part”