Key Stage 3 seems to me to be where the study of music gets a bit interesting and theoretical. KS3 is where students are required to know how music works rather than what it is. Scales and Chords come into play in a way that maybe is not the case in KS2 and learners with significant holes in their theoretical knowledge can find that (no matter how much they love music) they struggle to get a "joined up" knowledge of how notes are ordered into scales, chords and keys.This can lead to frustration and the feeling that the study of music theory is not for them (often despite the fact that they have chosen to study music at an advanced level).
This type of student (typically those whose primary interest is in "popular" music?) can often "muddle through" lessons where theory plays a significant role and their final grade (upon we as teachers are all too often judged) can suffer as a result
At key stage three music students are required to dig further into stylistic analysis and music history etc but underpinning all of this is the requirement that they develop (and are able to express) a functional understanding of scales, chords and keys. Developing confidence in this area will inevitably lead to a greater understanding of all other areas (generic and stylistic analysis etc) of the subject
There follows (an admittedly cynical) analysis of the stage...
Key Stage 3 Music can be regarded in one of two ways. Either it is the stage where more able and interested students are obliged to "tread water" working alongside less enthusiastic students before exam options are chosen and the "real work" begins or it is the stage during which a large number of learners (who even though they love and enjoy music) become convinced that further study of the subject is not for them?
One of the problems that we face as music educators at key stage 3 is that our student groups are made up of two basic models of learner. The first (sub) group consists of students who will traditionally move on to study music at a higher level following on from ks3. When they enter the stage they have practical abilities on traditional instruments. They learned to function on these instruments at a younger age and were introduced to musical notation from the get go. Because they are "primed" in this way they tend to be undaunted by the principles of music theory and have little difficulty in coping with more advanced theoretical concepts, seeing them as merely an addition to the knowledge that they already have.
The second (and largest?) sub group of students are made up of those young people who probably love music but who do not understand how it works. Many of these learners already play instruments (typically guitars and drums or they may sing?) at an intermediate (or even a technically advanced) level but they regard music theory as being a bunch of horribly complicated "rules"
Lets aim high?
How about this for a target?
In order for a student to properly understand how music theory works it is important that the basics are attended to.To help your students to aquire this "joined up" knowledge base you can download 300 professionally prepared handouts that can be printed over and over again for less than the price of a single textbook!
Printable Music Theory Worksheets
The material has been devised so as to introduce principles and then test and reinforce understanding of those principles. The music worksheets and handouts provide a simple, flexible and powerful resource to music educators and help with the development of a functional and workable understanding of the principles that govern music theory.
The worksheets are not specific to a particular style of music or exam syllabus (as the reality is that Bach used the same twelve notes as Charlie Parker?)
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