Judgemeadow’s Music Department is forward-thinking, energetic and committed to embracing and nurturing the academic and performance abilities of any pupil who is interested in music, whether they are a musical specialist or an enthusiast.
Judgemeadow Community College has a very long tradition of musical excellence, and has always sought to provide the widest possible range of musical experiences for all students. We offer tuition on most instruments, and voice.
Our highly experienced peripatetic teachers are able to teach up to diploma level. There are ensembles to suit every student, from the Orchestra to more advanced pupils participating in our highly acclaimed Jazz Group and Choir. All those taking lessons are required to participate in at least one ensemble activity as part of their musical experience. Judgemeadow also strongly encourages rock music and music technology, and offers specific electric guitar tuition and a Music Technology group. The school has several rock bands from beginner to advanced level.
The music curriculum at Judgemeadow seeks to build students’ key musical skills, incorporating the three strands of modern music education; performing, composing, listening and appraising. Class work makes use of the department’s two music rooms, which provide 26 PC workstations per room. Each workstation has a midi keyboard and the PCs are equipped with Sibelius 5, Reason and Cubase software for both notation and music technology work. students achieve high standards in composition at KS4, and works by the college students can feature in the school’s concerts as well as scoring highly in public examination.
All students in Year 7, 8 and 9 follow a broad and exciting curriculum. Students study the basics of music theory and notation, together with world music including Bhangra, Reggae, The Blues and African music, as well as dance, pop and classical music from the last 500 years. Students get the chance to make full use of our professional software packages for notation and music technology. Performance is of course integral to our KS3 course, and all students use keyboards, Djembe drums, guitars and drum kits in the course of their studies.
Music at GCSE follows the Edexcel specification. The qualification is examined through instrumental or vocal performance (30%), two coursework compositions (30%) and a course of listening and appraising based on four areas of study.
With Music Technology, the Edexcel specification is followed which develops skills in arranging, recording and sequencing.
Students benefit from the teaching of staff who maintain active professional performing careers. Lessons in singing and all major orchestral instruments, as well as saxophone, keyboard, drums, classical guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar and jazz piano are offered within school. Associated Board music exams are held each term, for which there is an exceptionally high success rate.
Judgemeadow students perform in several concerts each year, ranging from major performances in school, to informal concerts at lunchtime or assemblies that introduce pupils to the experience of performing in public for the first time. A number of students go on to study music at A level, and many of our past students have gone on to study music at major universities and music colleges.
Students can be entered for performance exams with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in consultation with their instrumental/vocal teacher. The college is an examination centre for the ABRSM. This means that students are able to take their graded practical exams during a week towards the end of each term.The department recognises that music exams are not the most appropriate target for all young musicians, and informal or formal performance opportunities are therefore integral to the school's concert programme with a view to providing appropriate goals for every student.
At Judgemeadow there are various performance opportunities for pupils who play Brass, Strings, Woodwind and Percussion instruments.
The Jazz Group is one of the department’s principal ensembles, with a full line-up of wind and brass and a rhythm section, and including female and male vocalists. The group plays jazz in a wide range of styles to a very high standard. The Jazz Group has undertaken many performances, including Music for Youth at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
The Orchestra is a full sized ensemble comprising strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. It is made up of pupils who are grade 3 and above. Their repertoire is taken from works from the baroque period to the romantic period, while also performing scores taken from film and TV.
Our choir recently joined with City of Leicester College and St Paul’s School to perform a concert at The Curve.
Instrumental lessons and performance opportunities
We continue to offer a rainbow of exceptional opportunities both in the classroom and after school for our students to learn, perform, achieve and excel.
Five of our instrumentalists took performance exams at the end of the last term, with very good results: 1 pass and four merits. Our instrumental lesson timetable continues to be as busy as ever.
Judgemeadow College provides more instrumental lessons for our pupils than any other city school.
After the restructuring of Leicestershire Arts in Education – now renamed Leicester-Shire Music Service – the Music Department is now solely responsible for the provision of instrumental lessons at school. From the outset, I have been determined to engage specialist teachers for each instrument, and to maintain a continuity of service.
Extracurricular groups continue this academic year, working towards performances at our three concerts. Jazz Group continues to meet at 7.30 am on a Monday, and Music Technology group on a Monday afternoon, with orchestra on Tuesday afternoon. We are looking into the viability of forming a staff-student choir.
Again, this offers our students far more opportunities than most city and county schools.