'Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best of the musical cannon.'(The National Curriculum)
Music is more than a subject - it surrounds us, fuels our emotions, is engrained in every culture and is necessary to human existence and navigating life. Skills that can be learnt and fostered within the music curriculum are diverse and can be used everywhere; listening skills, collaboration, concentration, self-control, time management, problem-solving, patience, adaptability, to name just a few.
At St Margaret Clitherow School we encourage every child to develop appropriate skills through which they can express ideas, thoughts, enjoyment and feelings through music making. At present, we employ a specialist music teacher for one day per week. He teaches classes from Nursery to Year 6. We make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. Also, we teach the children how to work with others to compose music and perform for an audience.
At St Margaret’s, all our children participate fully in making music. This involves exploring and inventing, playing an instrument, using voices and listening to others. We offer both string and woodwind instrument tuition. Each term every child has the opportunity to be involved in a musical presentation, which gives them the valuable experience of performing for friends, family and the local community.
Children also take part in a weekly Hymn Practice session.
We organise music lessons for the children who are interested in learning a new instruments. The children are taught by BSM tutors who come to the school twice a week. We currently, have children who are learning to play the guitar and keyboard. We are hoping to extend to woodwind instruments in the future.
All children to access the key elements of music each year on a spiral curriculum:
- play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
- listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
- use and understand staff and other musical notations
- appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
- develop an understanding of the history of music and significant figures through history
In The Classroom
Three common themes form the basis of our music curriculum. These are;
- Performing – Controlling sounds through singing and playing
- Composing – Creating and developing musical ideas
- Appraising – Recording and reviewing
Children are also taught to listen and to apply their musical knowledge and understanding through these three strands. As they travel through the school, children are taught how to develop as musicians in each of these areas. In doing so, they engage with music from a variety of genres, cultures and eras. Enthusiasm is high and is crucial for effective learning to take place. Class projects are continually reshaped to allow children as much input as possible into the music they perform and make.
We adopt as practical an approach as possible to music, using singing, movement and instruments to instil a working knowledge of dynamics, tempo, timbre, pitch and duration.
Different technologies are used to allow pupils to record, make and manipulate music.
Whole Class Musical Instrument Lessons:
We believe that all children should try and learn a musical instrument to understand the challenges involved, rewards available and to open up new opportunities both while with us at St Margaret Clitherow Primary School and beyond.
Nursery, Reception - Musical Movement; Tuned Percussion; Singing
Year 1 – Musical Movement; Tuned Percussion; Singing
Year 2 - Singing; Recorder; Tuned Percussion
Year 3 - Singing; Recorder
Year 4 – Recorder; Tamboo Bamboo; Ukulele
Year 5 – Ukulele; Composition; African Drumming
Year 6 - Beat Box and Rap; Samba; Showcase
The children's learning is underpinned using Kodaly and Solfege technique.
In addition to musical aspects of class assemblies we aim to offer other special musical experiences to each year group. Within school these include singing in church, whole class instrumental tuition, the Christmas play and Summer music Concert, Choir and participating in Brent Makes Music Showcase.
There are specialist groups such as Choir who meet weekly and perform in assemblies and at some PTA events and Sunday Masses.
Music lessons are available during school time for those children who wish to progress with an instrument on an individual or group basis. These are provided by Brent Music Service Tutors.
Each week we have Hymn Practice where the children learn new Christian songs and practise some they already know. This helps us to use music as worship in church services and assemblies as well as it being a curriculum subject.
We are keen to extend the musical education for the children in our school in order to develop the range of instrumentalists within our school. We would like to have our musical ensemble growing in to an orchestra, potentially with links established with other local schools. We would also to increase the number of children taking on extra lessons and learning a new instrument as well as looking into the possibility of introducing new instruments for the children to learn.
If you would like to find out more about the tuition provided by the BMS (Brent Music Service) please click on the link below.