Music and Performing Arts

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. 

Music and Performing Arts build pupil’s creativity and self-esteem. Our Music and Performing Arts Curriculum follows the main ethos of OBA, Opportunity, Belief and Aspiration.  We aim to build cross curricular links with subjects across the wider curriculum.  For example, History will help pupils develop an understanding about Tudor times, but Music will allow students to experience the sound of the historical period.  We will develop wider knowledge, making students aware of how music originated in the church and the role performing arts played in societies through time.  Understanding the developing role of music and performing arts through time will develop an understanding of the role these two areas play in society today and help students to feel more connected to the world in which they live.

In March 2021, OFSTED’s Music Research Review stated ‘Music touches the very heart of our humanity and a sense of the wonder of music has touched human societies throughout history.  Music education offers young people the chance to understand, perform and create in an aural dimension that often sits outside our capacity to describe in words.  For many pupils, the music they love will be part of the narrative of their lives and bring colour to the experiences that shape them.’  At OBA, we wholeheartedly agree with this statement and believe it is our role to ensure that all OBA students are able to feel the many benefits a Music and Performing Arts curriculum can bring.

All students will study music in Key Stage 3, the lessons will be delivered in ways that are accessible to all students of all abilities. When joining us in Year 7, due to the differing music provisions in primary schools, pupils arrive with a range of abilities from orchestral and theoretical understanding to no formal music teaching. 

Therefore, we ensure Inclusivity is paramount and is at the forefront of our planning and teaching – everyone is welcome and every single pupil can make progress.  Our curriculum can demonstrate challenge at all levels – and provide worthwhile and meaningful learning opportunities beyond the classroom.  It is our ambition to ensure our curriculum is challenging, engaging, welcoming, creative, imaginative but also non-threatening.

For any performer, research and understanding of form and technique is essential for the continual development of knowledge, technique and skill. Embedded within music and the performing arts subjects are opportunities for students to foster their inquisitive nature by researching wider contexts. These include developing understanding of professional practice through detailed case studies, building knowledge of genres and disciplines, and empowering their own creativity by reading literature on current creative practice. 

Recommended Reading:

The following are suggestions of books to consider, but the list of reading that is relevant is varied and should be adjusted to meet your own personal areas of interest. Including reading available autobiographies of artists that you follow.

Music: The Definitive Musical HistoryDK Smithsonian
The Classical Music BookKate Derham (DK)
Year of Wonder – Classical Music for Every DayClemency Burton-Hill
Theft – A History of MusicJames Boyle
The Story of the Orchestra – Four Seasons in one dayJessica Cortney-Tickle
Music Theory for DummiesM. Pilhofer & H. Day
The Story of Now That’s What I Call Music in 100 ArtistsMichael Mulligan
Listen to ThisAlex Ross
The Rest is NoiseAlex Ross
How Music WorksJohn Powell
On the Come UpAngie Thomas
The CommitmentsRoddy Doyle
The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald
A History of Western MusicDonald Jay Grout
The Art of Songwriting: How to Create, Think and Live Like a SongwriterEd Bell
Glastonbury 50: The Official Story of Glastonbury FestivalEmily Eavis & Michael Eavis

One of the most important aspects of creating an engaging music and arts curriculum is to recognise that only around a third of activities take place within curriculum time.  Our KS3 students have 1 lesson per week for 38 weeks for 3 years. The music and arts education comprise of three sections: 1) curriculum time 2) extra-curricular time 3) 1-2-1 small group tuition.  The music and performing arts departments are nothing without a vibrant extra-curricular provision and an inspiring team of visiting specialists.  To encompass the ‘special’ feeling that should be part of any curriculum and is central to ours at OBA – children need to feel their contributions are valued.  Parents want to see and hear the final product.  Children love the sense of community and camaraderie experience in the school production – music and the performing arts need to have ‘magical events’ like this.  

Some of the main ways in which we develop cultural capital:

●        Peripatetic Music Lessons

●        School Production

●        School Choir

●        KS3 Dance Club

●        Musical Theatre Club

●        Opportunities to form bands within school

●        Extra-curricular opportunities to work with professional musicians and performers through the Peterborough Music HUB/Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians

●        Visit to London to experience a West End show and workshop with West End performers

Curriculum Maps

Here you can browse the curriculum maps for each Key Stage. Use the tabs to select the subject and key stage you wish to view, and use the left & right arrows to browse through the slides.