Welcome to Montrose Academy
The faculty of Expressive and Performing Arts consists of the subjects of Art, Drama and Music. In S1, pupils will receive one period of Music and two periods of Art a week. In S2, pupils have one period of Music, one period of Drama and two periods of Art. In S3, pupils can only choose one of the Expressive and Performing Arts and will receive three periods a week. Pupils in the senior phase can choose Music and Art or Drama and Art if they so wish and will study each subject for five periods a week. They are offered every SQA level at each subject. Especially in the Junior phase, we try to link the subjects together, e.g. the mask project.
Broad General Education Music (S1-S3)
All pupils from S1-3 will study two instruments of their own choice in class. The classroom instruments available to them are Keyboard, Piano, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Drumkit and Voice. However, if a pupil already receives tuition in another instrument, they can opt to play that during class-time.
The pupils will learn to perform solo and group pieces in class. The group pieces will give them an idea of what it is like to play in a band.
As they go along, the pupils will learn to understand the notation for their particular instrument, e.g. guitar TAB, staff notation. They will also learn concepts which arise in the pieces of music they are playing.
Pupils will also compose their own music, incorporating any concepts which they have learned. They will also use technology, e.g. Sibelius, Garageband, to record/notate their pieces.
There will also be Listening tasks assigned, covering a diverse range of music, e.g.rock, blues, baroque, in which pupils will identify concepts they have been taught. They will also receive homework tasks related to this. In S3, it is our aim to cover all the National 3 Listening Concepts.
Throughout the year, pupils are encouraged to play to each other and evaluate each others’ performances. They are also given the chance to take part in school concerts and shows. They are also offered the opportunity to receive instrumental tuition at school. The pupils will feel that they will become more skilled on their instruments and will improve at working out the music notation by themselves. This will give them more confidence when they perform to their class-mates and parents.
Senior Phase (S4-S6)
In the senior phase, pupils will have the opportunity to gain Nat 4, Nat 5, New Higher and New Advanced Higher qualifications in music.
These courses consist of three units which are internally marked. These are Understanding Music, Composition and Performing on two instruments. There is also an Added Value Unit for Nat 5 – Advanced Higher which is marked by SQA. This unit consists of a performing exam in front of an external examiner and a Listening paper under controlled conditions. The Added Value unit for Nat 4 is a performance on two instruments which is recorded and internally assessed. The standards for both instruments in Nat 4, Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher are Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 respectively. Pupils who receive tuition on one instrument but do not wish to do a full SQA Music course are offered the chance to do a stand-alone unit at the appropriate level.
After doing a Music course at school, there are several options open to pupils.
Some of these are:-
NC/HNC/HND in Rock music offered by Perth College, Aberdeen College and Dundee College.
Performing or Teaching Degrees offered by Aberdeen University.
Performing Courses offered by The Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow and music colleges in London and Manchester.
Musical Theatre courses in Edinburgh and London.
These courses can lead to jobs and careers ranging from working in a Music shop or becoming a music secretary to playing in a professional orchestra or singing in a professional opera/theatre company.
Music Bands and Groups
There are several bands and groups available for pupils to perform in. These are :-
The Baroque Ensemble – open to the most advanced string players
The Montrose Academy Symphony Orchestra – open to everyone receiving tuition on strings, brass, woodwind and percussion.
The Wind Band – open to everyone receiving tuition on brass, woodwind and percussion.
The Guitar Club – open to everyone receiving tuition on the guitar.
The Junior Rock Band – open to everyone (S1-3) interested in performing in a rock band.
The Senior Rock Band – open to everyone (S4-6) interested in performing in a rock band
The School Choir – open to everyone who wants to sing.
These groups, along with various soloists and singers take part in school concerts, such as the annual Christmas Concert and Mama Shows. They also perform in various venues outside of school. Examples of these are the Links Hotel, the Park Hotel, Glaxo Smith Kline, Mofest, the Angus Rockfest, Arbroath Music Festival and Celtic Connections in Glasgow.