YEAR 7 UNITS of STUDY
Unit 1 - Bridging Unit the understanding of the elements of music
This is, for many pupils, the first time they will have encountered music in a structured environment. They will need to become familiar with the very basics of music as this will be the basis of their learning throughout their musical experience at school, and indeed beyond in many cases. Each pupil
needs to be aware of the elements of music – displayed on the walls of the classrooms – what they are and how essential they are in describing/ composing / understanding music.
Unit 2 - Melody Writing what is needed for a successful tune
Now that the basics of music have been addressed we begin more formal compositions and we start off with Melody Writing. Here the pupils will learn
what makes a good melody through its shape, range of notes, structure, rhythm, repetition etc…
Unit 3 - Structure the overall construction of a piece of music
Structure is an ‘element’ of music that we will not have visited properly as yet. This is about the way in which the music is organized in terms of sections
of sound. Three basic forms – binary, ternary and rondo – will be included here. To accommodate these sections the pentatonic scale will also be studied. The accompaniments ostinato and drone will be incorporated.
Unit 4a - Tonality music that uses either a major or a minor scale
Here pupils will be learning about and understanding the difference between major and minor scales, in terms of scale structures, and being able to hear the difference between them. Having worked on these scales the concept of the chromatic scale is also introduced. They will be involved in all three
activities of listening, performing and composing but singing also features in this unit.
Unit 4b - Intervals music using two simultaneously and, therefore, also introducing harmony
This unit is an extension of the work on tonality but this unit will be used to introduce computer software (namely the program Cubase) as a composition
tool. They should be familiar with some of the tones on the keyboard and this knowledge can be transferred across for this work. A simple task on the computer at the beginning, with a very specific and structured approach, will be used initially and then they can use this idea for their Interval composition. More able musicians will be able to introduce further ideas of their own and should be encouraged to do so – less able musicians will probably feel happier to stick to the guidelines set by the teacher.
Unit 5 - Programme Music music which depicts an image
This unit incorporates the continued use of music technology. This is still early on in their computer-based composition experience. In contrast to the
Interval unit this composition should not be based on a beat or pulse but more of an atmosphere and the pupils should be encouraged to think about the way that the music sounds in relation to a picture. At this stage their compositions will be very basic and, because of the lack of their technological expertise, may well be compromised. It is important to go through his process, however, as they will need to use this software program in years 8 and 9 and, possibly, into their GCSE years.
Unit 6 - World Music music that highlights traditions and conventions from other countries
Music studied in this unit will be from either: Africa, China, Japan or Bali (Gamelan). Pupils will be introduced to the traditional music from countries
other than those from the Western World. In this day and age it is easy to access all kinds of music from sources such as CD’s, YouTube, DVD’s etc… but in most cases pupils will only be aware of other music and will not necessarily have performed, composed or studied these other types of music. This type of appreciation can be very enlightening and fun!