Music is a world within itself and a language we all understand. - Stevie Wonder
Music is highly valued in our school and every child enjoys our regular singing and rhythm sessions. Throughout school children love to sing, accompanied by our specialist teacher, in a range of musical styles. Every session begins with call and response clapping rhymes which as they develop become increasingly complex and demanding to perform. These two key pillars enable all children to enjoy, develop and engage with performance. The rhythm element is a core part of what pupils rehearse and recall to ensure they are attuned to each other and to their teacher in musical performance.
Our Music curriculum engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and allows them to grow and explore their talents as young inspiring musicians. Through the curriculum, children can build further on their self-confidence and creativity, leading to a strong sense of achievement through the art of music.
Pupils will gain opportunity to approach music critically, listening and appraising with refined discrimination, developing a wide and varied understanding of music, and accessing a progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and technical skills. By building an understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music, pupils will master a clear understanding of music from its creation through to its communication, with the chance to explore, experiment, improvise and compose.
We believe our Music curriculum supports and furthers our mission to uphold a true sense of community, with ample opportunity to create, perform, play and simply enjoy music together with peers, staff and family. This also allows children to develop a deeper awareness of others through performance and practised talent can be celebrated and shared as musical excellence.
For further detail, refer to the long-term plan.
Within school, the Music curriculum is taught through the use of our scheme of work supported and delivered by our music specialist teacher. Mrs Maynard comes from a secondary music background and sets high expectations which pupils respond and rise to. In Key Stage 1, staff are supported to deliver half-termly units that teach and build upon learned musical vocabulary and skills and provide time to rehearse techniques as soloists and ensembles. In addition to class music, each child joins in with EY/KS1 music assembly when key singing and rhythm skills are enjoyed and the spiritual, cultural social elements of music are richly appreciated.
Music sessions commence with singing and rhythm to warm up and atune skills, providing time to explore a wide range of music and for children to express their thoughts and feelings about pieces using music terminology. All pupils are taught to use their voices with expression. Teachers focus on accuracy, fluency and control through singing to cultivate confidence using a ‘main song’ within each unit that children revisit each session. New supporting songs are introduced each week and these pieces are all used to construct knowledge of the inter-related dimensions such as pitch, tempo, texture, timbre and structure. Progressive games are incorporated into every session as engaging and fun methods of embedding key concepts and practically experiencing elements of music such as rhythm and pulse. Pupils improvise and compose with their voices and instruments (maybe detail what instruments – classroom percussion/recorders?) , connecting this learning to transcription at an appropriate level. With Covid interrupting our usual singing we quickly adapted to include body percussion and highly complex performances were both musically and physically demanding giving children a keen insight into the sheer physicality of performance.
Children from Year 4-6 benefit from specialist class based music teaching from our Music teacher. We use a range of instruments both tuned and untuned across school and those children who additionally learn instruments are encouraged to bring them into the main class lesson when appropriate to join ensembles. We particularly love Samba lessons which may well take place outdoors.
We work with the Cambridge Music Hub to encourage pupils to learn musical instruments through programmes each year. Groups appropriate to the instrument are offered places and the PPG supports children who may not otherwise get opportunities to learn. Each year more pupils continue to play their instruments beyond the introductory programme through small groups or individually. This further engenders their love for music through technical skill development, such as using musical notation, frequent opportunity to perform and demand for careful listening to increase aural memory.
Enrichment and Performance
Our school choir loves to perform within the wider community and by taking part in music festivals like Young Voices. Throughout school performance is valued and each phase within school uses music as a key thread in their performances to parents and peers.
On years when we are not attending Young Voices we put on our Spring Concert for all those who would like to perform and that often includes a staff ensemble. It is always amazing to see children start their performing lives in a safe and encouraging space where each and every effort is welcomed.
Our end of Key Stage 2 performance is always highly anticipated and involves as many children as we possibly can. Every Key Stage 2 can take part. We perform high quality musicals which reflect our determination to give every child a chance to perform and the whole community rallies to the production of costumes stage sets and stage management. It is always a joy to see and hear those pupils who sing their socks off and have the opportunity to display their talents in this area of school life no matter what their starting points elsewhere.
The aim of our Music curriculum is for all pupils to demonstrate progression in the key areas: listening, performing (singing and playing), improvising, composing and transcribing. Children should be confident and courageous musicians who can speak with passion about a variety of musical styles and choices, embracing diversity and creativity.
As a result of the overall curriculum design, including mapping of key concepts, knowledge, skills and end points, as well as through the enhancement of the curriculum with specialist teachers, our calendar of events and frequent opportunity for performances, pupils make outstanding progress over time across the key stages, relative to their individual starting point. Children are expected to leave our school reaching at least age-related expectations for Music and with the ability to play a musical instrument to a degree of competency.
The impact of the Music curriculum is evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, lesson visits, audio recordings, written reflections and assessment analysis.