“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche

‘Fit for Life’ through Music

Music is one of life’s pleasures – nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. Not only an enjoyable subject, Music is a subject that can enrich students’ lives and education. Music builds intellectual curiosity: artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination. Music helps develop language and reasoning as well as coordination and motor skills. Student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform; the skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond. Students learn to improve their work: Music promotes craftsmanship. Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal; students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement. Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential. With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence; sensitivity and compassion.

Skills and Knowledge

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high- quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. At Key Stage 3, the Music curriculum explores a wide range of genres through the act of performing, composing and improvising, as well as developing critical listening skills. In Year 7 we study traditional notation through practical and engaging activities. We investigate music from films to musicals and from African songs to the music of the 1950’s. In Year 8, we build upon the skills established in year 7 and start to play the keyboard; learning a variety of styles, from classical to folk songs, and medieval to Bhangra. In Year 9, we follow the path of popular music starting from the 12-bar blues to Reggae and from Rock to Protest songs.

At Key Stage 4, we look at the world of music technology and its influence on popular music such as EDM and Hip-hop. We also look at how different types and methods of sound creation have an important role in the production of movies, tv adverts, video games and theatre.

Communication and Community 

John Spence prides itself in the involvement with the community. We regularly showcase our student’s skills in concerts and shows. We are delighted and proud that the North Tyneside Music Hub is based at John Spence School and runs a variety of clubs and an Academy programme on our site.