Music is all around us and within us. Music connects us all as one body as we walk in the footsteps of Christ. It is the language of peace, giving, love and harmony. In our school, music is at the heart of our community as it unites us through singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making feeds the soul of our school community, enriching each student's school experience and forming memories cherished by all.
Music develops imagination, sensitivity, creativity, community and enjoyment. Music is used to develop self-confidence. With singing at the heart of our music curriculum, every child is given a voice of expression. Through nurturing hymn practice, the children learn the values of love and respect for each other and our world. Alongside this, three further elements of composing, performing, and listening build musical techniques as well as memory, wellbeing, motor skills, analytical, communication and performance skills.
This term, we have introduced the Sing Up scheme of work to deliver the Music curriculum:
'Sing Up aims for every child to have access to high-quality, practical, and engaging musical experiences through our pupil and teacher resources.'
Singing: Most key skills are accessed from an early stage as children are encouraged to learn through singing in EYFS. These skills are then drawn out and developed across the key stages (pulse, rhythm, tempo, duration, dynamics, texture). Children are taught songs that are to be performed at assemblies. Hymn practice is a regular feature over the course of each term as we prepare for each mass and our Christmas performance at St Albans Cathedral. Careful attention is paid to diction and pitching. Singing is sometimes supported by notation and sometimes by written lyrics, so children can reflect upon the meaning and symbolism at the heart of each song or hymn. Children are encouraged to sing in simple parts from KS1 through to the end of KS2.
Performing: Children perform to one another as individuals, in small groups and sometimes as a whole class to an invited audience. Considering the audience is encouraged and time to reflect on performances is a key part of every music lesson. This work helps to encourage collaboration, listening and refining skills, confidence, resilience and leadership. Performances may include the use of a variety of notation. Rocksteady music club has been part of our school for the last four years and children are encouraged to join the club and perform at our annual Rocksteady concert with electric guitars, drums and keyboards.
Composing: Children work in pairs, small groups and as a whole class. They tackle different types of composition - using the work of a well-known composer as a starting point, creating a soundscape, realising simple scores, building pieces from fragments, improvising. Sometimes graphic notation or standard notation will be used.
Listening: Across the curriculum children will hear a wide range of music. Within music lessons there is an emphasis on listening to music from a variety of composers across different musical periods and genre, with the aim of celebrating diversity, improving the recognition of instruments in orchestra over time and enhancing cultural capital.
EYFS: Song and dance is part of the school day in Reception Class. Songs are used to establish routines such as lining up, coming to the carpet and sitting in a circle. Pupils are encouraged to use percussion instruments during their Child Initiated Learning (ChIL), often using music when retelling familiar stories. Music is taught during a weekly adult-led session, and pupils can explore and develop their new skills further during ChIL. Reception children also begin to learn a range of seasonal hymns from September onwards, enabling them to participate fully during collective worship.
A successful Music lesson will see the children enjoying and participating in singing, exploring playing instruments respectfully and with confidence. Children will be composing and performing together, sharing ideas, reflecting on own work using a gradually expanding musical vocabulary and becoming familiar with elements of notation. Children will respond to a wide range of listening and they will be able to recognise sounds of common instruments. Music will begin to positively affect children's wellbeing, their social and communication skills as well as memory and concentration.
In Music lessons, areas of difficulty will be identified and adaptations are made to enable children to be fully involved. We look to extend opportunities for children for whom we believe music is of special interest. Musical extra curricular activities are open to all.