What are the aims of teaching music?
The National Curriculum for England describes the purpose of music as thus:
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should 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, to perform and to listen, all with discrimination, confidence and enjoyment.
How is the National Curriculum covered in music?
At Bramley St. Peter’s we are proud of our music curriculum. Every child from Year 1 to 6 receives a weekly music lesson from a specialist peripatetic teacher. As a whole school we have a singing practice every Wednesday. This is one of the highlights of the week for staff and children alike. In our school we believe that every child is a singer!
All children take part in a major performance each year: Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 at Christmas, Years 3 and 4 in the spring term, Year 5 in the spring term (Young Leader's Award) and Year 6 in the summer term. Pupils sing, act, play instruments, dance and create their own music.
In Years 5 and 6 all pupils learn to play the violin – there is no cost to parents for this. In addition, our oldest children learn to play the keyboard.
What skills are covered during lessons?
As part of these lessons, pupils have the opportunity to play tuned and untuned percussion instruments. They sing and play music from different cultures and in different styles.. Children are taught to listen with concentration and focus. They develop their understanding of pitch, rhythm and tempo. They are encouraged to compose and improvise, so that by Year 6 they can create their own songs and pieces of music. The teaching of notation begins with responding to symbols in Year One and the children progress to reading and performing music using the notes of the D major scale written in staff notation in Year Six. In Key Stage Two, pupils are introduced to the history of music and to the works of major composers.
How is progression achieved?
We have a long term plan that details the skill progression across the year groups. The children are assessed by the peripatetic music teacher and this information is shared with class teachers. Talented musicians are identified and given further opportunities to develop their skills.