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Chris Gill's Music Resources

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Chris Gill has 20 years' experience in teaching classroom music and is Director of Music at a school in Oxford. He is the author of 'Harmonising Bach Chorales', 'GCSE Music Revision Guide' and 'Let's Get Musical', a series of topic based resources for Key Stage 3.

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Chris Gill has 20 years' experience in teaching classroom music and is Director of Music at a school in Oxford. He is the author of 'Harmonising Bach Chorales', 'GCSE Music Revision Guide' and 'Let's Get Musical', a series of topic based resources for Key Stage 3.
Minimalism
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Minimalism

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An engaging, practical scheme of work of 6 hour-long music lessons for KS3 or KS4, with plenty of activities involving performing, composing and listening. Included in the downloads are everything you need to deliver this project (all of them editable): teacher's lesson plans and notes (including assessment sheet), pupils' worksheets, example composition and presentation, including audio/video links to YouTube. Tried-and-tested over several years as a Year 9 project, this would also work for Year 7 or 8, or even for Year 10, particularly as a way of getting pupils into composition. The project does not require knowledge of music notation, but there is an additional notation-based composition task for more advanced pupils. Objectives • To experience, through listening and performing, how a whole piece music can be created from one simple idea • To practise minimalist techniques through performing and composing • To listen to and analyse music by the minimalist composers John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Terry Riley Lesson Overview • Lesson 1 – Motif and Ostinato • Lesson 2 – Note Addition and Note Subtraction • Lesson 3 – Canon and Layering • Lesson 4 – Augmentation and Diminution • Lesson 5 – Phasing and Phase-Shifting • Lesson 6 – Class Composition/Performance ‘in C’ Subject-specific vocabulary • MINIMALISM – a style of music which started in the USA in the 1960s. It is characterised by simple, repetitive patterns which are transformed throughout the piece, using various techniques, including: o Motif – a basic rhythmic or melodic pattern o Ostinato – a repeating pattern o Note Addition – gradually adding notes to a motif o Note Subtraction – gradually taking away notes from a motif o Canon – two or more parts performing the same motif but starting at different times o Layering – the process of adding or taking away parts (or layers) o Augmentation – the motif played in longer note values o Diminution – the motif played in shorter note values o Phasing – two or more parts gradually getting ‘out of sync’ with each other o Phase-shifting – two or more parts getting ‘out of sync’ by one beat at a time Assessments • Performing – Steve Reich’s Clapping Music • Composing – minimalist piece for two instruments, based on a simple one-bar motif • Listening – listening exercise on Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint
African Music
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African Music

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African Music KS3 scheme of work N.B. This is designed as a modular scheme of work with self-contained lessons linked by recurring themes. It works well in a short half of term and/or one interrupted by trips, exams, etc. Lessons 3 and 4 work best when taught consecutively. Objectives • Performing: to sing traditional African songs and to play African percussion • Composing: to create a layered, syncopated rhythmic ostinato within a group performance • Listening: to learn about, and to recognise, African musical styles and instruments Lesson overview • Lesson 1: Wimmoweh • Lesson 2: African instruments • Lesson 3: African rhythms • Lesson 4: Group composition • Lesson 5: Singing African Songs • Lesson 6: Listening to African Music • Research assignment (cover lesson/homework – no listening required) Vocabulary • African instruments: o CABASA large gourd with a handle covered with a network of stringed beads o KORA a harp with 21 strings, resounding in half a large gourd, covered with skin o TALKING DRUM A drum with two heads which are kept taut by strings o MARIMBA A set of wooden bars arranged in a row over a set of resonating gourds o DJEMBE A large single-headed drum o THUMB-PIANO A wooden board with thin metal strips attached to it • Polyrhythm and cross rhythm • Call-and-response • Ostinato • Layering • A capella • Close and parallel harmony Assessment • Performing: singing an African song (Lesson 5) • Composing: creating a rhythmic ostinato as part of a group composition/performance (Lessons 3 and 4) • Listening: ‘Listening to African Music’ (Lesson 6)
The Beatles
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The Beatles

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KS3 Scheme of Work – 6 lessons Objectives • To understand how to form primary and secondary triads in C major on the keyboard • To learn, through listening and performing, common chord sequences using these triads • To arrange a Beatles song for a group performance Lesson Overview 1. Love Me Do 2. Eleanor Rigby 3. Let it Be 4. Can’t Buy Me Love 5. Arranging a Beatles song 6. Performing a Beatles song Subject-specific vocabulary • Tonality: major and minor • Chords: C, F, G, Dm, Em, Am • Chord sequences: I-V-vi-IV, circle progression • Timbres and textures: electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit Assessments • Performing (keyboard) – ‘Love Me Do’ (Lesson 1) • Listening – ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ (Lesson 3) • Composing – arrangement of a Beatles song for group performance (Lesson 6)
Elements of Music
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Elements of Music

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A scheme of work lasting 8-9 weeks for KS3 (11-14) introducing pupils to the seven elements of music: pitch, rhythm, texture, structure, tempo, dynamics and instruments. This is particularly useful as a project at the beginning of Year 7. - Perform an arrangement of 'Ode to Joy' on the keyboard which demonstrates all the elements of music - Compose a piece for keyboard with contrasts in all of the elements of music - Listen to different examples of elements of music (all listening examples are provided as YouTube links) Includes a 16-page teacher's guide and 12-page pupil's workbook, which may be photocopied freely within the purchasing school. Also included are clear assessments for performing, composing and listening. Pdf and Word (.docx) formats included in the download. Pdf is ready to print at A4 size; Word format can be edited but the formatting and fonts may not match the pdf.
Gospel, Blues and Soul
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Gospel, Blues and Soul

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KS3 Scheme of Work – (6-8 lessons) Objectives • To learn about the evolution of African-American styles in the 1950s and 1960s • To listen to examples of spirituals, gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul • To consolidate previous knowledge of major and minor chords • To learn how to play seventh chords • To sing songs from these styles, both in class and individually • To arrange and perform these styles as a group Lesson Overview 1. Two Spirituals 2. Gospel Music 3. Rhythm ‘n’ Blues 4. The Birth of Soul 5. Respect 6. Stand By Me 7. Group arrangement* 8. Group performance* * The group arrangement/performance forms an optional extension task Subject-specific vocabulary • Primary triads – I, IV, V • Triads – C, F, G, Am, D, E • Seventh chords • Call-and-response • Ornamentation • Improvisation Assessments • Performing – chord sequences for various songs on keyboard (Lessons 1, 5, 6) • Listening – ‘The Birth of Soul’ (Lesson 4) • Composing (arranging) – chosen song in a small ensemble (Lessons 7-8)
Bernard Herrmann - Psycho
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Bernard Herrmann - Psycho

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16 pages of notes of this Edexcel A Level Music set work. All eight cues are analysed according to the Elements of Music. Includes a one-page introduction to the film and its music, and an 4-page overview of the other cues in the film, to put the set work into context.
KS3-4 English quiz - spelling, punctuation and grammar
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KS3-4 English quiz - spelling, punctuation and grammar

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Quiz with 40 questions (50 marks) provided as editable question and answer paper (as Microsoft Word documents) with a link to the online quiz template for Microsoft Forms. This template can be adapted and e-mailed to pupils, whose responses will then be automatically returned to the teacher. The answers are either multiple choice or short answers and can be marked quickly (or entirely automatically using the online version).
Baroque Music
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Baroque Music

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Baroque Music KS3 scheme of work – 6-8 lessons Objectives • To listen to music from the Baroque Era (1600-1750) in a variety of genres by several composers • To perform part of Pachelbel’s Canon on the keyboard • To compose a melody above the ground bass of Pachelbel’s Canon Lesson overview • Lesson 1: Pachelbel’s Canon • Lesson 2: Scarlatti’s Sonata • Lesson 3: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue • Lesson 4: Handel’s Messiah • Lesson 5: Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas • Lesson 6: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons • Lesson 7/8: Group composition and performance N.B. The last two lessons are optional and can be completed in one lesson if necessary. Vocabulary • Genres o Sonata – piece for solo instrument(s) in several movements o Oratorio - religious story in several movements with singers and orchestra (not staged) o Opera - non-religious story in several movements with singers and orchestra (staged) o Concerto – piece for soloist(s) and orchestra in several movements • Movements within vocal works o Chorus – where the choir sings o Aria – a solo song o Recitative – a style of story-telling, halfway between normal speech and singing o Overture – a scene-setting piece for the orchestra (without singing) • Ground bass (ostinato) • Bass clef and bass stave notation • Instruments: o Bowed string family (violin, viola, cello, double bass) o Keyboard instruments (harpsichord and organ) Assessment • Performing: part of Pachelbel’s Canon on the keyboard • Composing: a melody above the ground bass of Pachelbel’s Canon • Listening: short exercises on different genres of Baroque music
Classical Music
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Classical Music

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Scheme of Work (6-8 lessons) Objectives • To learn about different genres, composers, instruments and musical forms from the Classical Era (1750-1820), • To apply this knowledge when listening to an unfamiliar piece • To sing both a song and an opera aria from the Classical Era • To understand how both accompanying patterns and melodies can be created from notes in the underlying chords (using the major triads G, D, A, C and F) • As a result, to be able to play both an accompanying (‘oom-cha’) pattern and a melody (for a minuet) on the keyboard • To compose one or two 8-bar section(s) of music, using chords and melody, which can be used as another section of a minuet in either ternary or Rondo form Lesson Overview • Lesson 1: Schubert’s ‘The Trout’ and Strophic Form • Lesson 2: Gluck’s ‘What is life’ and Rondo form • Lesson 3: Consolidation of Classical Vocal music • Lesson 4: Haydn’s ‘Emperor Quartet’ and Variation form • Lesson 5: Mozart’s Minuet and Ternary Form • Lesson 6: Consolidation of musical forms • Lesson 7: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Sonata Form* • Lesson 8: Conclusion* * Optional lessons which may be omitted for a six-lesson scheme of work Subject-specific vocabulary • Composers: Schubert, Gluck, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven • Genres: song, opera, aria, symphony, minuet • Voices, instruments and their groupings: soprano, alto, piano, string quartet, orchestra • Forms: strophic, rondo, ternary, theme and variations, sonata form Assessments • Performing (singing) – Schubert’s ‘The Trout’ or Gluck’s ‘What is life’ • Performing (keyboard) – adaptations of accompaniment to ‘The Trout’ or Mozart’s Minuet • Composing – additional 8-bar section(s) for Mozart’s Minuet • Listening – exercise on unfamiliar piece in last lesson
Jazz
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Jazz

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KS3 Scheme of Work – 6 lessons Objectives • To listen to different styles of jazz and its influences: Blues, Ragtime, New Orleans Jazz, Swing Era big bands, Bebop, latin jazz, and rock fusion • To sing songs a spiritual and blues song in the jazz style, both in class and individually • To develop improvising skills using a variety of scales and note patterns (rhythm only, pentatonic minor scale, five notes (C-G), blues scale, chord notes) on given tunes and chord sequences Lesson outline • Lesson 1 – Blues and Ragtime • Lesson 2 – New Orleans Jazz • Lesson 3 – The Swing Era • Lesson 4 – Later Jazz Styles • Lesson 5 – When the Saints go Marching In • Lesson 6 – Improvising Assessment Subject-specific vocabulary • Instruments – piano, drum kit, double bass, trumpet, cornet, clarinet, trombone, saxophone, banjo • Blues notes – where some notes have a slightly lower pitch • Call-and-response – where the lead singer’s phrases are echoed by other singers or instruments • Major scale – an ordinary seven-note scale in a major key • Oom-pah accompaniment – a backing pattern where bass notes alternate with chords, all on the beat • Syncopated – where the offbeat notes are accented • Swing – where the beat is divided unequally into a long note and a short note • Rhythm section keeps the beat and accompanies with bass line and chords • Frontline instruments play the original melody (head) and improvise • Improvise - make up the music as you go along • Head – the original, composed melody of a particular song • Scat singing • Walking bass • ‘Ten-to-ten’ rhythm – repeated crotchet and two swung quavers on ride cymbal Assessments • Performing: playing ‘In the Mood’ on the keyboard (Lesson 3) • Listening: listening exercise on ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ (Lesson 5) • Composing: improvising on ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ (Lesson 6)
Dance Music
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Dance Music

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A scheme of work of 6-8 lessons for KS3 (ages 11-14; Years 7-9) including complete lesson plans, assessments and a 12-page pupil workbook - Listen to dances from Renaissance pavane to contemporary dubstep (all listening examples are provided as YouTube links) - Perform a disco song (solo and ensemble) using voices, keyboards and percussion - Compose an electronic dance track using online sequencer - Learn about time signatures, instruments and the 'circle progression' of chords
The Origins of Rock 'n' Roll
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The Origins of Rock 'n' Roll

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Lesson 1 in Rock ‘n’ Roll KS3 Scheme of Work – 6 lessons (or standalone lesson) Objectives of scheme • To learn about the origins of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s • To sing and play several rock ‘n’ roll and rock songs • To recognise some typical instruments – keyboard, drums and double bass – and their functions • To play the chords of C, F, G and Am on the keyboard • To perform the 12-bar blues and I-vi-IV-V chord progressions on the keyboard • To arrange a rock ‘n’ roll song for a group performance Lesson Overview 1. The Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll 2. The 12-Bar Blues 3. The Bass Line 4. The I-vi-IV-V Progression 5. Preparing Group Arrangement 6. Group Performances and Listening Exercise Subject-specific vocabulary • Performers: Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis Presley • Instruments: double bass, drum kit, keyboard • Chords: C, F, G, Am • 12-bar blues and I-vi-IV-V chord progressions Assessments • Performing (keyboard) – 12-bar blues • Composing – group arrangement of a Rock ‘n’ Roll song • Listening – Hound Dog This topic can be followed up with the topic on The Beatles, which introduces more secondary triads and more complex song structures, reflecting the development of rock music in the 1960s.
Caribbean Music
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Caribbean Music

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KS3 Scheme of Work – 6 lessons Objectives • To recognise and be able to perform offbeat and syncopated rhythms in calypso and reggae music • To participate in a class performance of a calypso song using the steel pans • To arrange own part in a reggae song for small ensemble performance • To revise formation of chords made up of white notes (C, G) • To learn formation of chords with a black note in the middle (D, E, A) Lesson Overview • Lesson 1: Calypso • Lesson 2: Yellow Bird • Lesson 3: offbeat • Lesson 4: Riffs • Lesson 5: Three Little Birds • Lesson 6: Music of the Caribbean Subject-specific vocabulary • Instruments: steel pans, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums • Rhythm: syncopation, offbeat • Styles of music: calypso, reggae, soca, merengue Assessments • Performing (singing and steel pans) – ‘Yellow Bird’ (calypso) • Arranging within a small ensemble – ‘Three Little Birds’ (reggae) • Listening – Caribbean styles (calypso, reggae, soca, merengue)
Romantic Music
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Romantic Music

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KS3 Scheme of Work – 6-8 lessons Objectives • To listen to music, particularly waltzes, in different genres by composers from the Romantic era (1830-1900) • To perform the accompaniment for a waltz on the keyboard • To compose a 16-bar waltz for piano, fitting the melody to chosen four-bar chord sequences Lesson Overview • Lesson 1: Romantic Music • Lesson 2: Oom-pah-pah • Lesson 3: A piano waltz • Lesson 4: An orchestral waltz • Lesson 5: An operatic waltz • Lesson 6: Listening to Programme Music • Lessons 7/8: Composing Programme Music Subject-specific vocabulary • Instruments of the symphony orchestra: violins, viola, ‘cello, double bass, harp, piccolo, flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion • Romantic Composers: Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss jr, Grieg, Schubert, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi • Musical Genres: piano music, orchestral music, ballet, opera Assessments • Listening – Romantic Music (Lesson 1) • Performing (keyboard) – ‘Oom-pah-pah’ accompaniment (Lesson 2) • Composing – 16-bar waltz (Lessons 3-6)
Jazz
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Jazz

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Powerpoint presentation with over 50 slides, including graphics and audio links, giving an overview of the history of jazz, covering major genres and performers. Includes brief analysis of several pieces. Suitable for GCSE/A level wider listening.
GCSE Songwriting
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GCSE Songwriting

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A step-by-step self-guided process for GCSE students to compose a song in any style. Typically lasts for 5-10 hours. Four-page worksheet with lyric ideas (both in .doc and .pdf format) plus example song in .sib format.
Indian Music
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Indian Music

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A complete scheme of work for KS3 Music Objectives • Performing: to play Indian ragas (melodic patterns) on the keyboard and to play talas (rhythmic cycles) on unpitched percussion • Composing: to compose a raga for keyboard using black and white notes, with two-note drone • Listening: to identify the following features of Indian classical music: o Timbre – Indian instruments: sitar, tabla and tambura o Melody – ragas (melodic patterns) o Rhythm – talas (rhythmic patterns) o Texture – layers of melody, drone and drum rhythm o Structure – sections of Indian classical piece: alap, jor and gat Lesson overview • Lesson 1: Instruments • Lesson 2: Ragas • Lesson 3: Composing your raga • Lesson 4: Playing your raga • Lesson 5: Talas • Lesson 6: Further listening Vocabulary • Indian instruments: o SITAR o TABLA o TAMBURA • Raga (melodic scale/pattern) • Flats and sharps • Tala (rhythmic cycle) vs. free rhythm (in alap) • Improvisation • Drone • Structure: Alap, Jor, Gat Assessment • Performing: playing given raga on keyboard • Composing: composing own raga on keyboard • Listening: written exercise on Indian classical music
Latin Music
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Latin Music

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KS3 Scheme of Work (6 lessons) Objectives • To perform a samba rhythm on unpitched percussion • To perform the tango ‘Por Una Cabeza’ on unpitched percussion or keyboards (rhythm only, bass line or chords, depending on ability) • To listen to a variety of sambas and tango • To compose a tango using a descending bass line with a ‘habanera’ rhythm, chords and melody Lesson overview • Lesson 1 – Listening to Samba • Lesson 2 – Performing a Samba • Lesson 3 – Listening to Tangos • Lesson 4 – Performing a Tango • Lesson 5 – Composing a Tango: chords and bass line • Lesson 6 – Composing a Tango: melody Subject-specific vocabulary • Samba instruments: o Tamborim o Caixa de Guerra (‘War Box’) o Cuíca o Repinique o Chocalho o Surdo (bass drum) • Tango instruments: bandoneón, violin, piano and bass • Habañera (dotted) rhythm • First inversion chords • Descending bass line • Perfect cadence Assessments • Listening: Listening to Samba (Lesson 1) • Performing: Samba band (Lesson 2, self-assessment) and ‘Por Una Cabeza’ (Lesson 4) • Composing: Tango (Lesson 6)