Music is taught throughout the whole school from Early Years to A Level and follows the English National Curriculum in collaboration with the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Music Curriculum. This allows for a very high standard of music learning for all of our students that is both challenging and inclusive.
When students join reception, they learn simple singing by focusing on pitch. Children start understanding rhythm by dancing and learn how to listen critically and describe music by responding with basic music terminology. They also practice and perform simple songs on keyboards and percussion instruments to prepare them for key stage 1.
Key Stage 1
From year 1, students develop their vocal ability and focus on singing in tune using solfege. They learn how to read and create rhythms using simple rhythmic notation, and how to listen critically and describe music and respond with basic musical terminology. Performance in class uses keyboards and percussion instruments, with many students having the opportunity to bring in their own instruments when appropriate.
Key Stage 2
As students advance to Key Stage 2, they embark on an exciting new programme where they learn to play ukuleles, guitars, keyboards, recorders, xylophones, djembes, Chinese drums and many other instruments. Singing skills are further developed by singing in harmony and in multiple parts. Students learn to read musical notation and to use music technology to create and record our own compositions. By the end of Key Stage 2, all students are musically literate and have confidence in performing and composing.
Key Stage 3 & 4
When students reach the Secondary School, they develop their skills further by undertaking a range of project based learning units on topics including Jazz, Reggae, Chinese Music, Variations, Film Music and Songwriting. These projects are designed to focus on both independent and collaborative learning where students come together in groups to analyse, compose, and perform a range of music using the Juilliard and English National Curriculum. This fully prepares students who opt to further their studies in music at IGCSE and A Level standard.
There are many opportunities for students to be involved in extra-curricular music and performing arts activities at BSG. Within music, the after-school activities (ASA’s), provide a range of choirs, chamber groups, musical theatre and larger ensembles structured to the abilities of the individual student. Guitar Ensemble and Rock Band allows students to develop skills on instruments and/or voice, and the very successful Youth Music Theatre (YMT) provides an opportunity for students to experience many areas of Musical Theatre including acting, dancing, make up and even set design. There are clear learning pathways from our beginner PIMs program to extra-curricular groups such as the Concert Band, String Ensemble & BSG Orchestra. Additionally, our Tuesday Recital Series provides an artist platform for students learning an instrument or taking ABRSM examinations to perform to an audience. Large scale concerts are regularly scheduled at venues such as Tai Koo Hui, The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Garden Hotel to name a few. We are a founding member school of ISMAG and regularly promote musical exchanges with other international school hosting events and competitions such as SingUp!, Battle of the Bands, and the Guangzhou Piano Competition.