The Knights Templar School

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How to Improve Year 7 Music

Help for students and parents

We encourage all our students to reflect on their learning in lessons and use feedback from their teacher’s to help them improve. Below, you will find the ‘statements for improvement’ that summarise the feedback students are given.

These statements will be used on the termly reports sent to parents and students and parents are asked to look at the further guidance below to help clarify the statements on the reports. 

  1. Show a better understanding of musical elements through listening, performing and composing.

Here is a short summary of the elements that you will learn about in Year 7 Music lessons:

Element

Description

Example

Duration

the length value of notes or rests

Ta, te, tiri

Metre

how many beats in a bar

usually 3 or 4

Tempo

the speed of the music

faster or slower

Dynamics

the volume of the music

louder or quieter

Pitch

how high or low the notes are

higher or lower

Melody

the tune

the main part that you usually play or sing

Texture

the layers of sound

thicker or thinner

Timbre

different types of sound or instruments

orchestral: strings, woodwind, brass, percussion

popular: keyboard, guitar

Structure

different sections of the piece

verse, chorus, intro

 

You should always ask your teacher if you do not understand any of the vocabulary used in lessons. All of the elements are referred to throughout the year, in all performing, composing and listening lessons.

 

  1. Improve your performing skills through careful practice.

What makes a good performance? Think about playing with fluency, accuracy and confidence. Fluency means the piece has a good flow and there are no hesitations. Accuracy means you are playing all the correct notes and rhythms. Confidence comes when you are comfortable knowing what you are doing. When you are practising, repeat the difficult sections carefully and slowly until you are feeling more confident. If you can, practise at home, or use one of the music classrooms at a break time.

 

  1. Develop your ability to play or sing in time with others.

When you are performing in a group, try to work on your listening skills. You must always listen to other performers in a group and stay together. Perhaps you could try counting the pulse silently in your head, or tapping out the pulse together as a group. You could practise counting yourselves in as a group so you begin playing together in time.

 

  1. Develop the quality and tuning of your singing.

Singing is one of the most important musical skills to develop. You can work on the quality of your singing by breathing correctly, doing warm ups, supporting your voice properly and not straining or forcing it. To sing in tune, you should listen carefully to the melody and the accompaniment, and try to pitch match correctly. If you are a boy and your voice is changing, this can be particularly tricky, so it is important to ask your teacher for help or advice if you need it.

 

  1. Try to show more confidence when working practically with other students.

Often in Music lessons, we work together performing music in pairs or small groups. It may be that you are a little shy about your performance, but don’t be! Always have a go, as getting involved is the best way to learn.

 

  1. Try to share your ideas more effectively with others during composition.

Composition is all about creating your own music, and often in Year 7 we compose in groups. It may well be that you have some great ideas; but perhaps you are a little shy about sharing them; or perhaps you are working a little too independently. Try to communicate effectively with your group members, by playing them your ideas and discussing how they could fit it with the piece as a whole.

 

  1. Try to develop your knowledge and use of rhythm and pitch within composition.

You have been learning all about duration and rhythms (Term 1) and pitch and notation (Term 2) in class. To develop your knowledge further, you could try to include some of the rhythms and notation you have learnt into your compositions. For example, use a whiteboard to jot down some rhythms you are using; use some manuscript paper to remind you of the notes you have chosen. Try to develop your ideas so that they are not always repeating themselves.

 

  1. Reflect more thoughtfully to identify successes and improvements.

You will often be given the opportunity to reflect upon your work at various stages throughout the lesson. Often you will be asked to think about WWW (What Went Well) and EBI (Even Better If). It is important that you consider both the positive outcomes of your work as well as the areas to be improved. Sometimes you might be asked to jot your thoughts down, in which case, use full sentences and try to explain yourself clearly and concisely.

 

  1. Be more willing to cooperate with others in the creative process.

Making music is very often about working with other people. It is important that when you are working in a group, ideas are shared collaboratively and everyone is communicating well. Most often your teacher will choose who you work with, although occasionally you might be allowed to choose your own group members. Make sure that you always listen to others and share your ideas effectively, demonstrating patience and tolerance at all times.