Music is a powerful and unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children; it transcends different cultures, abilities and generations. It is a vehicle for personal expression and it plays an important part in personal development which can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Listening to, and making music, fulfils an instinctive human need for self-expression and creativity. It stimulates responses both on emotional and intellectual levels.
The teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they inhabit. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It also plays an important part in helping children to feel part of a community. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
Through an engaging and enjoyable curriculum, our aim is for all children to:
- Be motivated to enjoy and succeed in music;
- Explore how sounds are made by our voices and a variety of instruments;
- Learn to sing pleasantly in tune and know a wide repertoire of songs;
- Have experience of instrumental playing and develop a variety of skills;
- Develop social skills through co-operation with others in the shared experience of music making;
- Enjoy and appreciate a wide variety of music, from different genres, cultures and traditions;
- Develop imagination and creativity;
- Develop musical skills and concepts through listening, appraising, performing and composing.
Music is taught by teachers to whole classes, with opportunities for pupils to work in small or large groups, in pairs or individually. Teachers use a variety of teaching and learning styles in music lessons including modelling, demonstrating and exploration. Children have the opportunity to use/listen to a wide range of instruments in lessons, through both recorded and live performances.
Music is taught through the ‘Charanga Music School’ scheme of work in EYFS and CUSP in KS1 which supports all of the requirements of the National Curriculum and gives children access to a wide range of musical concepts and experiences. It is ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The Scheme supports all the requirements of the new National Curriculum and is in line with published OFSTED guidance. The learning within this scheme is based on: Listening and Appraising; Musical Activities - creating and exploring; and Singing and Performing.
We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. We believe singing lies at the heart of a good music education, therefore our teaching and extra-curricular activities focus on developing pupils’ ability to sing in tune, developing their expression and ability to listen to others. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. During our weekly singing assemblies, Key Stage 1 (KS1) pupils learn a wide repertoire of music and begin to appreciate creating a sound as a choir. We also provide KS1 children with the opportunity to join a choir (an afterschool club), which further enables pupils to refine their singing technique and to join in with others in the shared experience of music making.
Music in the foundation stage permeates all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. It is largely spontaneous to meet the children’s needs and interests. Children are encouraged to explore, create, listen and respond to a variety of sounds indoors and outdoors. They will be introduced to a variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments, explore simple rhythm and how sounds can be changed. They participate in action songs, nursery rhymes and singing games to develop their musical skills.
Music contributes to a child's personal and social development, counting songs foster a child's mathematical ability, and songs from different cultures increase a child's knowledge and understanding of the world.
Teachers in EYFS also use the ‘Charanga Music School’ scheme to support teaching and learning.
Key Stage 1
Teachers in KS1 use the CUSP scheme as a basis for all planning and teaching. Teachers are encouraged to develop the plans provided in the scheme to meet the needs of the pupils in their class and to also take inspiration from the children’s interests and topics – making cross-curricular links where possible.
During KS1, children build upon their experiences in EYFS and develop their skills of performing, composing, listening and appraising. They develop an understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music: pitch, pulse, timbre, tempo, texture and dynamics, and teachers use vocabulary progression to ensure pupils are using the correct terminology to describe the music being learned, played or listened to. Children learn to sing more songs from memory, sometimes adding their own accompaniments. They use tuned and untuned instruments to explore how sounds and silence can create different effects. They learn how to control sounds made with their voices and instruments. Pupils also enjoy further opportunities to perform to their peers, families and small audiences.
Mental Health and Well being
Music provides motivation to be physically active and improves children's general physical ability. Listening to, singing and making music impacts our emotions and those of children – it's something many of us can feel almost immediately in ourselves when we are exposed to music. Research suggests that music can stimulate the body's natural feel good chemicals (eg. endorphins, oxytocin), it can help energise our mood and even help us work through problems and provide an outlet for us to take control of our feelings.
Physical Wellbeing: Encourages physical activity; reduces muscle tension; stimulates feel-good hormones; boosts immunity
Emotional Wellbeng: Calming effect; reduces negative emotions; lyrics can function as positive affirmations; uplifts the spirit
Social Wellbeing: Facilitates team work; increases self esteem; builds confidence; can embed social skills
- Children are engaged in a wide range of musical activities. They sing and play instruments with enthusiasm and are proud of their achievements.
- Musical skills are taught in a progressive way, enabling children to know more and remember more. Children start their next year of learning with the necessary skills and knowledge to build upon.
- They are able to apply their musical skills in increasingly complex ways to a range of exciting curriculum linked tasks.
- Children have the opportunity to share their skills and perform to an audience both in school and to the wider community.
- Children develop a lifelong love of music and can take the skills learnt to the next stage of their musical journey.