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GRADE 8 MUSIC SYLLABUS
CLASS MUSIC SYLLABUS
Class Music is a two-year programme offered to the students in their first two years at this school, that is, in Grades 7 and 8. In grade 8, they have the option of doing the international Practical and/or Theory of Music Examinations, set by The Associated Board of The Royals Schools of Music, United Kingdom. They would do the examinations at the Grade 1 Music Level set by The Associated Board.
THEORY OF MUSIC (MUSIC LITERACY)
This course gives students the opportunity to acquire the basic knowledge of; the notation of music, musical terms and signs, rhythm patterns, intervals, scales, keys and chords, and the different categories of musical instruments.
Grade 7 Class
- A brief history of music notation > the invention of notation (neumes) in the Middle Ages
- The note values of semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, and semiquaver, and their equivalent rest signs. (Students must also use the terms >whole note>, >half note>, >eighth note> and .sixteenth note>). The other note values, e.g. the breve, thirty-second note, and the sixty-fourth note, are also introduced but are not used in the work at this level.
- Tied notes, single-dotted notes and rests. (Double-dotted notes and rests are introduced but are not used in the exercises at this level).
- Simple time-signatures of two, three and four crotchet counts in the bar. Bar-lines and the grouping of notes within the above time-signatures.
- The Treble (G) and Bass (F) clefs. Letter-names (Pitch-names) of the notes on the staves, including the note middle C on both treble and bass staves. The Alto and the Tenor C clefs are also introduced for general knowledge purposes but are not used in the work at this level. Sharp, flat and natural signs.
- Some of the frequently used terms and signs concerning the tempo, dynamics, performance directions and articulation marks.
- Simple analysis of a melody written on either the treble or bass staff.
Grade 8 Class
The two-year programme begun in Grade 7 continues in Grade 8.
- The composition of a two-bar rhythm as an answer to a given rhythm in simple time beginning on the first beat of the bar. Writing a rhythm pattern to match the words of a few lines of poetry.
- Compound time-signatures (dotted crotchet beats) are introduced.
- The construction of the major scale, including the position of the tones and semitones, and the tetrachords. Scales and key-signatures of the major keys of
C. G, D, and F in both clefs, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees, and intervals above the tonic (number only).
- The categories of musical instruments: chordophones, aerophones, idiophones,
membranophones, keyboard and electronic.
THE PRACTICAL COURSE
The instrument used by the students in the Grades 7 and 8 classes is the descant (soprano) recorder.
Grade 7 Class
1. The main features and the proper care of the instrument.
2. The finger positions for the notes on the treble staff, beginning with the more easily learned notes, B, A, and G. The playing of C major scale, and easy melodies in the keys of C major and G major.
3. Solo and ensemble playing. Ensembles also perform in school concerts.
4. Exercises that are done for music literacy are also played to encourage sight-reading skills.
Grade 8 Class
1. The scales and arpeggios of C, G, D, and F majors, and pieces written in those keys and the key of A minor, are played. Playing of unprepared pieces to encourage sight-reading skills.
2. Pieces set for the Grade 1 Level of The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music Examination are also learned.
3. Solo and ensemble playing.
Listening is very important in music education, and the students are given aural exercises.
Grades 7 and 8
- Students tap or conduct the pulse of music in duple, triple and quadruple times.
- Rhythm patterns, of the music to be played and the theory exercises, are tapped to gain a clearer understanding of the note-values and their relation to the main beats in the music.
- The different scales are sung as well as played on the recorder. Simple sight-singing and singing exercises are done so that students develop an awareness of the pitch of the notes and the key of the music, for example, different melodies are played and the students are to sing the tonic or key-note to end the melody. .
- The recognition of rhythmic and melodic changes in four-bar melodies written in simple time.
- The identification of features played in a short piece. The features would relate to the dynamics, gradation of tone, articulation and tempo.
- The recognition of different types of sounds and the timbre of the different musical instruments and voices.
Students are encouraged to continue their music education after the Grade 8 year.
They continue to do the higher grade level examinations, for Theory and Practical, set by The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music and Trinity Guildhall. A few students have even received the professional diplomas in performing and teaching set by the above music schools.
INSTRUMENTAL AND VOCAL ENSEMBLES
The school has a symphony orchestra, a concert band, a steel band, a guitar group, and
a choir (The Glee Club).These groups perform at school and civic functions. Students in the orchestra and the concert band receive individual and/or group tuition on the various string, wood-wind, brass and percussion instruments. Students take the graded solo and the intermediate ensemble exams set by the above mentioned music schools.
The students in the choir also take the graded solo examinations and the Choral Assessment Examination set by Trinity Guildhall.