How can I help my child in Music?
Years 7 & 8
I can help my child by listening to as much music, in as many different styles as possible, including taking them to concerts, and talking about the music, in terms of speed, types of instruments playing, rhythms or beat, melody, style, period of composition etc.
To help with note reading, use the website musictheory.net which is excellent and has test yourself games.
I can help my child in music by encouraging them to play what they've learnt in class to you. These will be compositions or re-mixes which they will be able to download as sound files or chord seqeunces and riffs that they can play on guitar and keyboard.
Years 10 and 11
I can help my child in music by listening to my child practise at least 3 times per week, for at least 20 minutes and encouraging them to play to you at family occasions.
I can also help by asking them about the types of music they listen to (both for fun and in class) and getting them to describe them to you, in terms of the musical elements (tempo, texture, dynamics, melody, structure).
Further Music help
Years 7 & 8 (Key Stage 3)
Identifying and Recognising Sounds and Describing Music
• By listening to music, either at home, or in the car, in as many different styles as possible, and talking about it – which instruments can you hear? What are the lyrics about? How does the music reflect the lyrics? How fast is it? How many tunes can you hear at once?
• Go to concerts or live ‘music making’, whether it is an event in the park (eg. Music on the Moor) or a local band playing in a gig, and talk about the music, in terms of speed, types of instruments playing, rhythms or beat, melody, style, period of composition etc.
Websites for musical instruments and musical ‘elements’ (ways of describing music) include:
• To help with note reading, use the website www.musictheory.net , which is excellent and has test yourself games.
• Encourage your child to play you what they’ve learnt in class – riffs or chord sequences or sing the songs they’ve been doing. This will really give them confidence and encourage them to perform in school.
• Look at different youtube ‘teach yourself’ clips – such as keyboard, bass and guitar riffs and encourage students to learn them, especially if they have instruments at home they can have access to. For those that don’t, please encourage them to book rehearsal times in school.
• Find their favourite songs with them on-line, download the lyrics and perhaps find a karaoke version on youtube that they/you can sing along with.
• Encourage your child to come to extra curricular clubs – they’re free! Come and join in with others and develop their skills
• If you have access to singstar, or rockstar for guitar hero, encourage your child to join in and set up a challenge with you! This is great for boosting confidence and developing rhythm, timing and pitch skills
Music and Creating music on Computers
• Audacity is a ‘free download’ programme, for any computer, that can encourage students to layer sounds, input their own ideas and record and sequence their music. Students can input a song file, cut it into different sections and re-order it to create their own files.
• If students have access to iphones or an ipad – there are many, many apps that are fantastic for music generation. One of the most widely recognised is garageband.
GCSE and BTEC – years 9, 10 and 11
• There are 3 sections to both of these courses:
2 Listening and Appraising
• by listening to my child practise at least 3 times per week, for at least 20 minutes and encouraging them to play to you at family occasions.
• By taking students to live concerts and events, encouraging them to comment on performances and engage with music at a professional level.
• By encouraging them to attend extra curricular clubs, both within and outside of school where they can develop their talents and work with ensembles.
• By getting them to play what they have been learning in class, to you.
Listening and Appraising
• Use www.musictheory.net to ensure that students have good notation skills
• ask them about the types of music they listen to (both for fun and in class) and get them to describe them to you, in terms of the musical elements (tempo, texture, dynamics, melody, structure)
• Use Learn Listening on-line (www.musiclisteningrevision.co.uk/intermediate2/intermediate2index.htm ) to go through key terms, and identify structures, musical elements and musical instruments.
• Buy the coursework book – Nelson Thornes AQA GCSE Music workbook
• Use the BBC bitesize website for music for ideas (but beware – the syllabus they use on here is not identical to AQA – which is the one we use. Some of the information is not relevant)
• By getting students to play through ideas to you
• By getting your son/daughter to download their favourite songs and chord sequences and learn the chords, so that they can then gain a wider range of ideas that they can draw from in their own pieces.
• By listening to as wide a range of music as possible and discussing what is effective, what works and what doesn’t in each piece eg. Do you like the riff, the verse, the chorus, what makes it catchy? So that students can hear what they want to include in their own pieces and get more ideas for their own work.
• A general guide is – a piece that scores an A or A* is as near professional as possible. Try and encourage your son/daughter to identify with/explain/explore/listen to and understand music that is of a ‘professional’ quality – even if it isn’t their genre, it is still likely to be commercial and therefore of a high standard.