Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A music education will engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to a variety of musical canon.
The national curriculum for Music aims for all pupils to:
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the classical composers and musicians
- Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others
- Have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations
At Woodbridge Primary
We are committed to maintaining a strong tradition of quality musical education for every pupil. As every child already owns their own instrument, their voice, the basis of musical education at WPS is taught through singing. Children are encouraged to find their singing voice and to have the confidence to sing out with their class, in groups and on their own, right from the early years foundation stage.
We aim to fulfil the requirement of the National Curriculum in the following ways:
Timetabled music lessons for all year groups with a specialist music teacher where a balance is maintained between the different elements of appraising, composing and performing. In these lessons, different forms of musical notation are explored and children are taught to talk about the music they hear and perform using the appropriate vocabulary i.e. pitch, tempo, dynamics, and other elements.
Timetable music lessons are supplemented by class teachers including singing across the curriculum to help pupils in their learning of other topics.
Free instrument tuition: at some stage in their KS2 career, every child will then have a opportunity to learn an instrument for free in hour long class lessons each week for a year.this is organised by the Suffolk County Music Service. During that time, they will learn the rudiments of basic music theory and to play simple pieces on their instrument. The school provides opportunities for performance at Christmas and in the summer and sometimes through class assemblies. The class also participates in a day of music making with other schools taking part in the scheme which culminates in a concert open to all parents of children taking part.
Free recorder clubs are available at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Opportunities to perform throughout the year for all. These include:
- Christmas nativity plays for EYFS and KS1
- Christmas concert for KS2 in St John’s Church, Woodbridge. This includes a mixture of traditional and modern carols and songs, with different numbers of pupils including small group singing and solos. Orchestral instrumentalists accompany some of the carols and, where logistics allow, the class learning an instrument together have a chance to perform their Christmas music
- Class concerts in the Spring term are open to all children learning an instrument in or out of school to allow them to perform to their peers
- The Easter Assembly provides opportunities for the school to sing songs they have practised for the event and for any orchestral instrumentalists to join together to accompany one or more of these songs
- The Summer concert is open to parents and is for all children learning an instrument whether in or out of school plus any school singing groups. Children perform as soloists and in groups
- Class assemblies usually include a performance of a topic related song
- Christmas and Summer Fairs
- Group and class compositions are recorded/filmed and used as a teaching tool to allow children to evaluate theirs and others’ performances
Outside music lessons, opportunities to hear and appreciate music are available during assemblies, where children are encouraged to listen and comment on the music they hear as they come in and leave the hall.
In dance lessons, pupils learn set dances to traditional music and at other times are encouraged to respond more freely to different musical genres.
In singing assemblies, the whole school comes together to learn songs as a community. This is an opportunity to brush up on songs used in assemblies but also to learn songs to use to commemorate different events in the year, such as, in 2016, the Queen’s 90th birthday and the Olympics.
The purchase of tablets to be used in the classroom will allow children to explore some of the technology that can be used to create and play music.
To be successful in Music requires all of our 7Cs regularly. Here are just some of the ways we encourage the children to use their 7C skills:
Music is, itself, a form of communication and children are taught to consider what the music is communicating when listening and appraising and to perform it in such a way as to enhance what the music is trying to say. This might creatively include actions and dance moves when singing and certainly includes elements such as dynamics, tempo and attention to rhythms etc.
Whether performing music written by someone else or performing their own compositions, music encourages craftsmanship including skills of dexterity and control. Pupils are most creative when composing their own music but even when pupils perform a song or other composition written by someone else, they are creating the performance of that moment and hopefully a moment of pleasure for those listening to them; they are committed to doing the best they can.
When working towards a performance, children are also taught about being committed to practice as much as is necessary, sometimes in lesson time and sometimes in their own time. They are also encouraged to consider their commitment to the others in their group, always doing their best so as not to let others down.
Children gain confidence by being encouraged to perform at all ability levels and gaining a sense of achievement when they have succeeded. Every child has a singing voice and although some take longer to find it than others, it can only be found by being encouraged to sing out. Every effort is rewarded with positive encouragement.
When appraising music, children are taught to be curious about the different elements that make up the music from the basic understanding of how the sounds are made, to more complex ideas of structure and texture.
A lot of musical composition work has to be done within a group because of space and resource restraints. Children learn to communicate with each other about their ideas and to be considerate of the ideas of those in their group.