Alsager School

What is it like to be a Musician at Alsager School

What it is like to be a Musician at Alsager School

‘’Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything’’  (Plato)

We learn how music works through studying a wide variety of musical styles, genres and traditions. By putting sound before symbol we perform works by artists as diverse as Bob Marley to Bernstein, from Stravinsky to Anoushka Shankar, from Bach to the Beatles. All these styles can then be mixed together to compose in our own unique voice. Here at Alsager we encourage everyone to sing and play an instrument, join an extra-curricular club or activity, be creative and come up with fresh new sounds and beats.

I love teaching Music at Alsager School. There is no better feeling than seeing our students develop as musicians building on their knowledge and skills year on year. Whether performing a blues improvisation on the keyboard, singing in our award winning vocal group or writing a rock song for their GCSE coursework we know it is the quality of the musical outcome that counts, and we know you don’t get there without playing a few wrong notes. For this reason, we make sure that everyone is friendly and supportive of each other. Participation in any musical activity, be it playing sax in jazz band, creating piece on the Taiko Drums in year 8 or composing a club dance remix for your A level coursework, gives you a real sense of joy and achievement. Music enriches the school life here at Alsager, as well as the wider community through the many concerts, workshops as well as our annual school musical which involves all our local primary schools. We see music as a partnership between students, staff, our fantastic instrumental tutors, our local music hub, the Love Music Trust and of course the parents and carers who support us on a daily basis.

What does it mean to be a musician at Alsager School?

Every lesson is a practical one. I am only in year 7 and I have already played the cornet, keyboards, djembe drums and ukulele. Getting involved in extracurricular is also really good fun. I recently took part in Annie. It was great to be part of such a big whole school production. I made loads of new friends. I was a bit nervous when it came to the big night, but I am so glad I did it. My Mum said it was better than anything you would see on Broadway!  (Year 7 student)

What skills have you gained/developed in music?

I have learnt that working together as a team is important. We were playing in a band but couldn’t decide who should play what. Eventually, by allocating roles, letting everyone have a go at each part and not giving up we came to a decision as to what worked the best. Our performance of Price Tag was great!  (Year 7 student)

I have learnt to be resilient if I find something difficult. We were recently learning to play reggae music and I couldn’t play the bass guitar part. Instead of giving up I kept practising until I smashed it. (Year 8 student)

I decided to join the choir in the first few weeks and it was great. It has improved my confidence and now I am not afraid to try something new. Not only did we learn some great tunes, but I made some great friends, and then we performed at the MEN at the Young Voices concert with Tony Hadley! (Year 7 student)

How do we challenge you in Music?

There is always another level to strive for in music. Last term we started playing brass instruments. I found it difficult at first but eventually I started to really enjoy it. Miss Waterhouse said I should join the starter brass group which I did. I now hire my own instrument from the Love Music Trust, have joined the school orchestra and joined Lions Brass Band. (Year 7 student)

How do we make you enthusiastic about Music at Alsager School?

Music lessons are always fun and exciting. We are always learning something new. We also have brilliant resources in school. Guitars, drum kits, loads of instruments. (Year 10 student)

Over the last three weeks I have created a club dance remix as part of my composition coursework. Sampling, creating beats, composing harmonies. I can’t believe I have done it so fast but when you have such great facilities it’s like writing music in a professional recording studio. (Year 13 student)

What knowledge do you learn in Music and how does it help you?

Every time we study a piece of new piece of music we learn about the compositional techniques involved. I can then use these techniques to create my own piece. I am currently writing a piece for a jazz band based on the music of Esperanza Spalding. If you didn’t know she is a brilliant vocalist/bassist. Check her out!(Year 11 student)

What is your favourite thing about Music at Alsager school? 

When you go down to the music department you can hear jazz, rock, classical, choirs and orchestras. There is something for everyone. (Year 10 student)

Everyone is always so friendly. Students from year 7 through to year 13 are involved in loads of different clubs and activities. If ever I get stuck with a chord or rhythm someone will always help me. (Year 7 student)

We have just started creating dance tracks using music technology which is great. What is really good is that we can go and use the facilities anytime, at dinner time, break time or after school and practise. It is always open. (Year 8 student)