Musicianship

Members of the Junior Department Percussion Ensemble in concert

Musicianship

Musicianship is a very important part of the curriculum and we expect all students will study for and take ABRSM exams in Theory or Practical Musicianship to at least Grade 6. These exams are arranged by us and take place in the Summer Term at JD. If you want to take your exam at a different point and your teacher agrees to this, you will need to organise the entry yourself.

You will also be expected to complete homework (which should take you around 30 minutes) each week for your musicianship classes. For full details about the JD musicianship curriculum please see the Musicianship Matters document below.

Musicianship classes

F – Foundation Level

One or two year course

This level of class lays the foundations of musical theory and practical musicianship.

I – Intermediate Level

One year course

The central focus of this level is ABRSM Grade 5 Theory and Practical Musicianship. Students will be expected to take one or other of these examinations in the Summer Term.

Tr – Transitions 

One year course

This class is broadly recommended for younger students who have gained ABRSM Grade 5 Theory or Practical Musicianship and is a bridge towards the more advanced work at Upper Level.

U – Upper Level 

One year course

The central focus of this level is ABRSM Grade 6 Theory and related practical musicianship skills. All aspects of the ABRSM Grade 6 and Advanced Practical Musicianship syllabuses will be covered. At the end of the academic year students will (after discussion/consultation with their teacher) elect to enter either a T6 or Advanced Practical Musicianship class the following year.

T6

One year course

This class is a continuation and consolidation of Upper Level work and students will be expected to take the ABRSM Grade 6 Theory Examination in the Summer Term. (NB progression to this class is compulsory for first study composition students).

A – Advanced Practical Musicianship

One year course

This class is a continuation and consolidation of Upper Level work and students will be expected to take either ABRSM Grade 6, 7 or 8 Practical Musicianship Examination in the Summer Term.

After passing either Grade 6 Theory or Advanced Practical Musicianship Exams, students will elect (after discussion/consultation with their teacher) to take one of the following classes:

T7 & T8

One year courses

T7 prepares students to take the ABRSM Grade 7 Theory Examination in the Summer Term, and may be followed the next year by T8 (preparation for taking the ABRSM Grade 8 Theory Examination in the Summer Term). Both T7 and T8 classes continue to develop complementary practical musicianship skills.

C – Composition Class 

One year course

A composition class gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge of theory and experience of practical musicianship to the practice of composition. You will be encouraged, under the guidance of your teacher, to experiment (in terms of how to develop your musical ideas and in finding new sound possibilities). Rehearsal skills, which may involve conducting, will be developed. Although the emphasis of this class is on creativity and discovery, continued aural training remains a fundamental component as well as musical analysis.

Imp – Improvisation Class

One year course

An improvisation class gives you the opportunity to develop improvisation skills and techniques in a variety of styles from Baroque embellishment to jazz and beyond (eg intuitive group improvisation) both on your principal study instrument (where this is not the piano) and at the keyboard. Although the emphasis of this class is on creativity and discovery, continued aural training remains a fundamental component.

S – Sixth Form Level

One or two year course

These classes are intended for students in sixth form (school years 12 and 13) not taking Composition, Improvisation or graded theory exam classes. Work covered includes consolidation of historical, analytical and theoretical studies, aural skills and general musicianship, and is particularly useful for those preparing for Conservatoire/University music study.

Handbook

Please download and read the following handbook carefully.