Wildern Music department is a busy and dynamic feature at the heart of the school. Staffed by 3 highly experienced classroom music teachers and supported by a range of instrumental tutors who are experts in their field, they are passionate about taking Wildern’s young musicians on a creative, inspiring and rewarding journey. We believe in music as a great unifier, bringing children of different ages and backgrounds together as well as being a fundamental source of well-being and emotional growth.
The department is housed in the D@rt Centre and is well resourced with a suite of Apple Macs, recording studio, 2 large music classrooms, practice rooms and a variety of different instruments for children to play. It is always full of children practising in ensembles or forming their own bands.
We are lucky to be able to perform regularly in the Berry Theatre as part of our showcases, but also to collaborate with our local primary schools and community music groups. Performing regularly in this environment gives our students an invaluable experience, builds confidence and creates a culture of professionalism with children taking responsibility for their progress and making the most of their abilities.
In years 7 and 8, students can expect to study a range of topics including African Music, Songwriting, Music and Art, Dance Music and Musicals in a practical and creative way. Students will explore quality vocal work and play various instruments during this time, further igniting a passion for the music making process. As well as working in this way, students spend every other lesson in the Apple Mac Suite using industry standard software, allowing them to create musical compositions for many instruments and styles whilst exposing them to professional methods of music production.
In year 9, students may opt for one of two pathways in music:
● AQA GCSE Music course: for those students who are interested in listening to a range of different styles of music, performing on a musical instrument/ singing and who also wish to explore composing their own music.
● Level 2 Btec in Music (Technology): For students who wish to explore the inner workings/ business side of the music industry and Music Technology
We are proud to say that the music department has a strong success rate at GCSE Music and Music technology with 100% A*-C results in the last year. Many students taking GCSE Music also study and pass ABRSM Grade 5 theory as an optional extra which contributes to an even greater understanding of the subject. We are delighted that many of our GCSE and BTEC music students go on to study music at further and higher education establishments.
Music opportunities beyond the classroom
There are many opportunities for children to perform at Wildern School and a wide range of extracurricular activities to get involved in.
There is an extensive program of concert throughout the year.
● Christmas and Summer concerts showcase performances by our ensembles who meet regularly as part of the wide and varied extracurricular program.
● In our regular Sound Bites concert we encourage students to play the last piece they have been working on to family and friends in an informal setting
● The battle of the bands competition showcases the extensive variety of bands that regularly rehearse in the department including taking part in workshops with local sixth form colleges.
● Students regularly perform for members in the community such as the Eastleigh Arts and Youth Trusts, as part of the D@rt community concerts and at various institutions in the local area.
● Wildern Music Festival is a chance for musicians who enter to perform a solo or as part of a group. This ties in with the House Championship at school
Performing in the annual school production on stage or playing as part of the pit band helps to raise the standard of our musicians as they tackle professional level music.
We believe it is hugely beneficial for students to work with professional musicians gaining an insight into the industry. Students have taken part in a range of workshops from African Drumming to vocal workshops with Dominic Peckham. We also regularly attend concerts by professional ensembles such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to explore how professional musicians work. Visits to Turner Sims Concert Hall, the Mayflower and most recently mass choir performances at the Royal Albert Hall have enabled students to explore their creativity further.
There is always an exciting project happening within Music where we are working to collaborate with other Arts subjects and institutions. The latest project we were involved in was an Arts Council Funded Project called the ‘Beehive’. For this we collaborated with our feeder primary schools and our year 7 students acted as Arts ambassadors. Other projects have included working with Southampton University Music Department on a music composition project called ‘Sound Waves’ with students composing and performing at Turner Sims Concert Hall. We also regularly celebrate BBC Music Day across the school with performances from both students and staff!
Wildern Busking sites are areas in the school in which students can perform at lunchtime and break providing music for their peers to watch and enjoy. An outside piano is situated in one of these sites. We will regularly have over 200 students watching performances by their peers at break and lunchtime providing a relaxed and supportive atmosphere