Music Education at the ESS
Music education at the ESS supports students' musical development by confronting them with a wide range of musical influences that are intended to lead to an increasingly qualified and conscious interaction with music. This takes place by composing, listening and performing. This process develops creative abilities which positively influence other learning areas.
Music education is a practically oriented subject in which students benefit most when they themselves become musicians.
Aside from the subject of music education, ESS also provides its students with the opportunity to make music in the school choir or school band.
The curriculum of the secondary years S1 to S3 is based on the fact that musical learning should include making music, composing music, as well as listening to and commenting on music. Within the two periods every week, students are to develop a secure foundation of musical knowledge and abilities.
From the fourth secondary school year (S4) to the seventh secondary school year (S7), music instruction is offered as an elective subject.
The 2-period instruction of classes S4 and S5 is theme-related, and builds on the abilities and knowledge that students acquired in the preceding years. Musical learning also takes place by making music, composing music, as well as listening to and commenting on music.
Within the two years, students are to engage with five of the themes shown below. At the end, there is a final project in the second half year of the fifth year. The contents, design and organisation of the project are to be individually discussed with every student to take the different tendencies into account.
The theme selection is comprised as follows:
- Movie music
- Current music styles and youth cultures
- Dance music
- Music for special events
- Musical theatre
- European folklore
- Music and voice
- Program music in the 19th century
- Composing in the past 100 years
Theory, conscious listening to and analysis of music from various cultures, epochs and styles round out this wide-ranging and continuous exploration, and provide a stable basis for the back option of music.
In the sixth and seventh school years, students may choose between two and four periods of instruction.
The two-period course is aimed at students who are interested in music, regardless of what musical experiences they have already gained (school, private instruction, conservatory, pop/rock and classical). They should be able to read and write notes.
The main learning goals include:
- Knowledge and understanding of musical styles, genres and traditions
- Appropriate knowledge and understanding of music theory
- Score analysis, hearing expertise
- Musical performance (instrumental and vocal) and composition
- The ability to use musical knowledge in a critical, discriminating manner
This course is not tested in the school-leaving examination.
The four-period course is aimed at students who are interested in music, regardless of what musical experiences they have already gained (school, private instruction, conservatory, pop/rock and classical). They should be able to read and write notes and reasonably capable of playing an instrument (at least one to two years of playing the instrument are desirable). Students who did not select music in the fourth and fifth school years must talk to the music teacher before they can select this course. Those who have already attended the music course should also discuss their choice with the music teacher.
The main learning goals include:
- An overview of musical styles in the history of western classical music (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, classical, Romance)
- An overview of musical styles of the 20th / 21st century (including pop / rock / jazz)
- Consideration and analysis of musical works, identification of composition techniques, technical aspects of reading a score
- Analysis of the four specified themes of different origins (western classical music, non-western music, traditional music, popular music)
- Musical performances
- Music composition (using music technology and other means)
- Creation of a comprehensive portfolio with compositions, performances, analyses and other elements that document the student's musical development