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Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

Year 9 links the idea of contemporisation and variation of existing tracks from a range of times and cultures. Beethoven is developed into variations. Paganini is studied through the ‘disco’ lens of Andrew Lloyd Webber Variations of Caprice 24. Learners apply their skills and knowledge to create their own musical arrangements of Pachelbel’s Canon. Folk music and African fusion becomes the exploration to prepare for Term 2 

In Term 2 this base study progresses to international influences by looking at Celtic fusion music as a study of geographical and cultural overlaps of UK, France, Brazil and the Irish Republic alongside traditional African AND African-American music. (Afro Celt music and jazz/samba/salsa).

Year 9 culminates in learners being presented with a performance brief which will incorporate composition, scoring, performing and evaluating work in a particular style and genre. This is differentiated by the groups which are formed throughout the Year 9 course.

Unit overview

Subject: Music


  • Reading music notation
  • Playing Djembe
  • Performance Analysis

Prepare a performance using musical skills practiced in class.

  • Pitch, Rhythm, Beat and Sonority


Knowledge will be demonstrated through the following skills:

  • Correct application of pitch, rhythm and beat in performance
  • Demonstration of musical intent and successful communication with audience, creating engagement with audience

Key skills:

  • Identifying and applying aspects of West African Music and its historical context
  • Discerning Elements of Music in performance analysis
  • Perform in a group drumming performance
  • Engage an audience, using performance skills associated with West African Music
  • Oral and written evaluation of performance
  • Successfully identify areas for improvement in performance

Extended writing:

  • Evaluating performance through analysing the skills of African Drumming performers and how successful they are in their ability.
  • Justifying performance choices using understanding of historic context


Studying ‘West African Music and Drumming’ will allow learners to study West African music and the social & historical context that has informed both its traditional and contemporary practice. Special attention is given to understanding musical practices in West Africa that function to increase social harmony and wellbeing among its inhabitants. This encourages learners to expand their perceptions regarding what music is and how it can be used.

Interpersonal relationships will be developed through paired and group work.

Year 9 music builds on skills and learning from the previous years, challenging students to develop confidence and independence while engaging in group performance. Skills learners develop will lead to creative composition work and the ability to perform different styles of music. GCSE composition component looks at how learners apply different styles and genres of music to their creations.

Knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • practise spelling key vocabulary
  • further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.