Charanga has always been proud to play its part in helping to engage KS3 students with music. This year, we’ve had whole year groups producing beats, recording raps and honing their music creation skills at home using VIP Studio Sessions – even before the pandemic.

By championing popular music styles on a cloud-based platform, which can be used outside classrooms and schools, teachers have been able to inspire and attract students who wouldn’t have normally considered themselves as potential GCSE music candidates.

We’ve been particularly excited to hear about an increasing number of young women getting into music and music technology through VIP too. Great news!

We talked to Cristin Casey – Director of Performing Arts at the BMAT group of primary and secondary schools in Harlow, Essex – about her experience of using VIP. She tells us that having students learn to produce music in styles they know and love, helps to unlock their musical potential.

In this clip, she also talks about one of her students Jake – a VIP user who’s already making strides in the music industry.

Increasing GCSE Uptake

We asked Cristin about her approach to teaching music production in the classroom. She recommends focusing on styles of music first, which she researches, before creating her own beats using the VIP platform and its tutorials.

She then invites her students to follow our first tutorial on the whiteboard together; showing them how the process works, before they embark on their own self-directed learning using VIP to create different styles of music based on their own tastes.

Since embedding music technology and production into her curriculum, GCSE music candidate numbers in her school have increased from 20–30 to over 60, since the first set of VIP users reached Year 9. It’s a trend that we are starting to hear about in other schools and regions across the country.

Jamie Berry has seen similar results at Priesthorpe Academy in Leeds:

‘When I started at Priesthorpe seven years ago, our uptake for music at KS4 was disappointingly low. There were often years when we didn’t have enough students to run a music qualification. We then introduced VIP into our curriculum four years ago with a Grime unit, and the results were great. The move had a direct impact on the uptake of music technology at KS4 (now over 75 students). Last year, the unit was strategically placed before students picked their options. Again, this had a positive effect on GCSE music uptake.’

 

Cristin Casey, here she talks about how VIP can be used for composition, and even performance, at GCSE level:

We are inviting new schools and community organisations to explore VIP free for 30 days –  with up to 30 student accounts. If you like what you see, we will update your account so nothing young people create will be lost. Enjoy!

Please get in touch if you have any questions: vip@charanga.com