iPad Orchestra is a scheme of work for Year 9 pupils which focusses on developing performance skills. It is a popular activity run by the Music Department, where pupils learn on an individual basis, tackling differentiated instrumental parts to well-known pop/rock songs. Instructional videos created by staff are provided to allow pupils to practise their parts both in the classroom and independently. Once pupils are able to play their part, they then form bands within their classes, developing their ensemble skills.
The activity allows pupils to rehearse and refine their performances at their own pace, understanding how their part fits with others. It is an inclusive initiative, as the technology makes performance accessible even if the pupils have no formal musical instrument training.
In this video, the whole year group learned one of the ostinati from Pachelbel’s Canon in D. At the concert, each pupil performed as part of a smaller ensemble, depending on which song they had learned, and performed Canon in D with the rest of the year group. The pupils had a great time and got a sense of achievement as they came together with their whole year group to put on a performance.