Music in the Sixth Form at Bede’s offers perhaps some of the most unparalleled opportunities for music-making in any Sixth Form anywhere.
We follow the Pre-U Music syllabus (equivalent to A level) which allows theoretical and analytical learners to study listening and analysis of a very wide range of music.
Classical symphony from 1740-1805, Romantic opera, covering bel canto styles to Wagner and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the Great American Songbook – are some examples.
Composition covers harmonising in an early 20th century style, to Baroque four-part chorales in the style of Bach. A commissioned composition, set at the beginning of the Upper Sixth, allows students to compose in a style that suits them.
Before sitting the performance paper, typically around April/May of their final year, pupils will be required to meet the equivalent of Grade 7 level.
Perhaps the most enriching part of Pre-U Music is the personal study component in which students write a dissertation, explore further composing, delve into music technology and recording or even take a further performance paper.
BTEC Music Performance is perhaps one of the most enriching and rewarding courses in the Sixth Form, with a focus on practical music-making (most usually in the form of a brand or musical group).
In the Music Performance course, which is Sixth Form-only, there is a much greater emphasis on live performance and the development of organisational and promotional skill, as well as event planning, than in the more traditional A Level course.
Across the two years, pupils explore performance styles and develop performing skills across many genres, including Jazz, Blues, Soul, Reggae, Country, Rock and Funk.
Pupils also learn the fundamentals of arranging music and will experiment with performing well-known tunes in completely different styles.
As well as ensemble playing, the course also emphasises the individual both in terms of their performance and pre-performance preparations.
Along the way, pupils learn the importance of developing technical skill, with the work culminating in their own solo performances and the annual Bede's charity BTEC Gig.
A Level Theatre Studies takes our pupils on a physical and emotional journey.
It is a course which focuses not just on an academic exploration of theatre, although this a key component of the course, but also on the vocational aspects – performance and production.
In addition to performing themselves, pupils at Bede’s regularly have the opportunity to watch professional theatre and partake in workshops from highly regarded practitioners on residential courses and trips to NSDF or the Edinburgh Festival.
This is a subject which offers a huge amount; not only are pupils able to write and direct, to design sets costumes and make-up, to engage in technical direction but of course to also perform in both group and solo works
The academic dance programme is designed to develop pupils’ critical faculties and technical dance skills in a variety of genres.
BTEC Level 3 Dance is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative and intellectual capacity, encompassing both historical and current dance practices. Pupils will develop their skills as both a choreographer and performer through technique classes, choreography workshops, performance opportunities and theory classes.
Throughout their time at Bede’s, pupils’ academic dance programme will be enhanced by the variety of enrichment opportunities available through workshops and visits to watch external performances as well as the annual “Move it” exhibition.
Below image is © Tim Cross.