Sandbach School music department has a long tradition of musical performance coupled with excellent examination results. The opportunities afforded to the pupils who choose to study the A level in music here are truly unique and set out to give the individual an insight into the high demands of and experience first-hand professional music making
At Key Stage 3 we believe that students should experience a range of musical styles and genres through practical music making.
The Music Department houses many sets of musical instruments which are used in the classroom. Performing, Composing and Listening & Appraisal skills form the basis for tasks set. Our Music Technology facilities including Cubase, Fruity Loops and Sibelius allow students to develop skills in sequencing, recording and producing.
Due to the new curriculum review for KS3 we have designed an Autumn Term outline of the topics KS3 will experience (see below). Links to future topics in the Spring and Summer Terms will be available after they have been completely finalised within the department.
At KS4 we offer AQA GCSE Music (see link below) and BTEC Level 2 Music Technology (see link below).
Performing Opportunities at Sandbach School:
Each year the department organises and participates in an average of 60 public performances. In addition to school commitments (Commemoration Day, Carol service, Christmas concert, Awards Day etc.) the department takes the opportunity to travel, ranging from the Cheshire Show and the Bridgewater Hall, to performances at the Edinburgh Festival (where the Big Band received two 4* reviews) and in the past few years tours to New England (USA) Berlin and Istanbul. The department has celebrated many years of success in the Cheshire Schools’ Music Competition having won the secondary ensemble category with the big band and now our newly formed ‘The Brass Boys’ in 2014
The department has established links and performance opportunities with many professional individuals and organisations in the music world that allows the student to gain invaluable experience:
The Foden’s Brass Band performs regularly at Sandbach School and is a permanent fixture in our annual summer concert. At these concerts, opportunities exist for some of our senior players (not exclusively brass) to work with and perform as soloists with this incredible ensemble. This is truly a unique opportunity for any young aspiring musician.
Foden’s Band performing in the School Summer Concert 2014
Andy Scott is professor of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and Composer in Residence for the Foden’s Brass Band. We are fortunate to be able to welcome Andy into school on regular occasions to lead improvisation and composition classes as well as writing for many of our school ensembles (Andy was Sandbach School’s composer in Residence for two years).
Andy Scott performing with Lucas Bailey at the School Christmas Concert 2013
Matthew Ford was for five years the lead singer with the legendary Syd Lawrence Orchestra and is now lead singer with the John Wilson Orchestra. For the past 4 years has performed concerts with the Sandbach School Big Band working alongside not only or instrumentalist but taking the opportunity to nurture some of our young vocal talent also.
Sandbach School Music Department continues to nurture vocal work and have recently been involved in a project called ‘Singing Playgrounds’ with the professional vocal performance group, Ex-Cathedra.
The local primary schools visited Sandbach School in January 2014 to take part in the workshop alongside Sandbach School Students
Through our local music hub, The Love Music Trust, we enjoy opportunities to perform at their events and encourage our students to attend instrumental courses and ensembles across the county. Many of our students are members of our local music groups e.g. Lions Youth Brass, Foden’s Youth Band, Crewe Co-op wind band, Love Music Trust Percussion Ensemble and Love Music Trust Big Band. We currently also have a number of our pupils attending the Junior RNCM and the Hallé Youth Orchestra.
The department offers specialist tuition in all orchestral instruments in addition to voice, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums and percussion. Our peripatetic tutors have a great record in progressing students and helping them to realise their full potential.
Above all, we strive to provide an engaging and creative musical classroom which is supported and extended by excellent extra-currricular performance opportunities. (See below for current extra-curricular timetable)