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Our Music Curriculum

The Music Curriculum

‘Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.’

 - Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist

 

‘Without music, life would be a mistake’

- Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and cultural critic

 

Inspire - The Music Curriculum at Spinney Hill

Music is a universal language which brings people together and connects them. First and foremost, music is simply fun; whether singing, listening or performing individually or together, we know that music can stimulate creativity, improve wellbeing and build confidence and resilience. At its best, music can help us to make sense of our own lives and the world around us, whilst offering an insight into different cultures and the experiences of other people. Our music curriculum has been designed to foster children’s love and appreciation of all forms of music and build both their social and cultural capital through doing so. Through our carefully designed curriculum milestones, based on the Model Music Curriculum and the new Statutory Framework for Early Years, we provide high quality music lessons and experiences. These nurture children’s ability to actively listen to, enjoy and critique a wide variety of music alongside developing the building blocks that enable children to create their own through improvisation, composition, singing and playing instruments. Our broad and balanced music curriculum exposes children to both contemporary, classical and traditional musical genres and opens their eyes to musical styles and musicians from a range of cultures, backgrounds and time periods. This we know stimulates children’s curiosity and imagination, whilst the opportunity to learn and play instruments opens new doorways and sparks aspiration and ambition. Within lessons, a focus on musical terminology, vocabulary and discussion enables children to talk about and appraise music and performance and think critically about what they have heard and give informed and reasoned ideas and opinions. Through composing and performing, children develop both perseverance and resilience as they work collaboratively to create music for a specific purpose or effect before self-evaluating and finally appraising and critiquing the performances of others.

 

Support and Grow - How we teach music

At Spinney Hill Primary School music is taught discretely following the National Curriculum and taking inspiration from the ‘Model Music Curriculum’ in KS1 and KS2. Where firm and tangible links are evident with the broader curriculum, these are made. In the EYFS, music opportunities are informed by Statutory Framework for Early Years.  We develop children’s musical skills across the key areas of appreciating music, composing, singing and performing through carefully sequenced lessons planned using our curriculum milestones and the Charanga Musical School scheme. Each unit of work is carefully sequenced, builds on prior learning through repetition and revision and ensures progression in the development of key knowledge and skills. As children progress through the units, children deepen their learning in the key areas as they revisit and expand their understanding of the ‘dimensions’ of music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation.

Across the school year, all year groups cover 6 units of work with each unit comprising of 6 lessons. All lessons follow a given sequence and are supported by engaging and exciting whiteboard guidance and activities.

  • Lessons begin with an enquiry question which sets the scene for the element or elements of music to be explored, developed, applied or integrated.
  • Subject specific vocabulary and terminology is revised and new terms introduced.    
  • Prior learning is revisited to ensure new learning develops on secure foundations and connections with other areas of music made.
  • The lesson then follows the structure of 1. Listen and Appraise, 2. Musical Activities and 3. Perform or Share. All musical activities are based around the a key song which is the focus for learning and focus on one of the following:

A. Games which embed the interrelated dimensions of music through repetition

B. Singing which is at the heart of all the musical learning

C. Playing instruments with the song to be learnt

D. Improvising with the song using voices and instruments

E. Composing with the song using instruments

 

As children work through the sequence of listening and appraising, exploring pulse and rhythm, singing, playing instruments, composing and improvising and performing, they are taught to make and compose music individually and together on tuned and un-tuned instruments including boomwhakers, xylophones, electronic keyboards and a wide variety of percussive instruments.

 

We know that music is an essential part of a child’s education and every child has the opportunity to participate in a wide range of musical activities during their school career.

  • All Year 2 children take part in ukulele lessons. Each class of children have lessons for a term and master the basics of playing a stringed instrument, including strumming patterns, playing a selection of known chords from symbols and learning simple songs.
  • All Year 5 children take part in guitar lessons throughout the year and develop their knowledge and skills to read and play rhythms using crotchets and quavers, play and sing songs using a core knowledge of basic chords and follow basic musical notation.
  • Singing features prominently in all school assemblies from the EYFS to Y6. As part of the Leaver’s Production in Y6, children have the opportunity to work with a professional pianist in order to refine and perfect their singing skills.
  • Participation in a variety of singing events, including Leicester’s Young Voices by a cross-phases KS2 choir and whole school ‘singing days’ led by expert tutors from the Leicestershire Music Hub.

 

Achieve - How we ensure children are ready for the next stage in their learning

Over their time at Spinney Hill, we aim to inspire children to take up a musical instrument, to want to continue their learning at secondary school and to appreciate the role than different forms of music can plays in their lives. This could be this simply having an appreciation for and interest in different genres and musicals styles, to children using music as a ‘go-to’ form of support for their own wellbeing and mental health throughout their lives.

 

The impact of our music curriculum is carefully measured in a variety of different ways. Learning walks, work sampling and monitoring of learning environments are carried out by the music curriculum lead to identify how ready children are for the next stage in their learning and areas in need of development. Pupil interviews and discussion are key to assessing how well pupils are retaining prior-learning and making connections with what they are currently learning. In addition to this, each child’s progress is monitored by class teachers who assess them against our milestones. Teachers also create ‘impact’ pages on teams to provide a snap-shot of learning to reflect both what has been covered and to illustrate what children are capable of achieving.

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