Music

Intent

Music is a universal language which embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.

We believe that 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. Through music, we want our pupils to become mentally and emotionally happy and resilient citizens ready for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Our objective is for all pupils to acquire skills and gain experience in a wide range of musical dimensions, as well as developing an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music. We encourage respect for the role that music may play and the way in which it may be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring that pupils understand the value and importance of music to their own and others’ lives, and also its impact in the wider community. We aim to provide opportunities for our pupils to use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences to involve themselves in music in a variety of different contexts both now and in the future.

Implementation

Here at Raddlebarn Primary School music plays an important part in school life and we are committed to making music an enjoyable learning experience which is accessible to all. Pupils are given opportunities to listen, sing and use their voices, play an instrument and perform both individually and in ensemble contexts. They are taught to evaluate, analyse and compose music across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions and genres.

All classes have a scheduled weekly lesson. Lessons are planned in line with the statements laid out in the National Curriculum and, from Year 1 through to Year 6, lessons are supported by Charanga, which is a published scheme with a wealth of resources. The curriculum is carefully planned and structured, building upon previous learning, thus ensuring the progression of skills across the school, but also seeking to challenge.

The emphasis is on practical experiences through listening, singing, playing, improvising, composing and performing. Pupils learn about the elements and language of music so that they can understand and discuss how it is made and played. They also learn how to compose, focussing on the different dimensions of music. This, in turn, feeds into their understanding when listening, playing and analysing music. This is embedded in classroom activities, as well as the weekly singing assemblies, class performances, the learning of instruments and performances in school ensembles, orchestra and other school performances. The curriculum for our younger children follows the Early Years Framework and Development Matters in the EYFS guidance, which aims for pupils in Foundation stage to develop an understanding and have experience of Expressive Art and Design.

In addition to the curriculum offer, at Raddlebarn we actively seek to enhance learning opportunities. Pupils are encouraged to take up instrumental lessons. These are taught by specialist teachers from Birmingham Music Service. There is a wide choice of instrument teaching from violin, viola, cello, double bass, woodwind and brass, as well as guitar. We are fortunate to have a strings ensemble, which rehearses weekly and regularly performs in concerts both within school and in the community. Opportunities are also available to take part in workshops and concerts at local venues, playing alongside other primary schools in Birmingham.

We have a KS1 and a KS2 choir which meet to practise once a week. They represent the school at various community events. For example, they have performed at local care homes, at school fund-raising events and at our annual carol concert in the local church. We have developed links with local secondary schools who can offer musical performances and workshops for various year groups throughout the school year. All pupils have opportunities to showcase their talents at the end of the school year in our annual “Raddlebarn Rocks” event.

Impact

Progress in music is demonstrated by regularly reviewing the teaching and learning which is taking place in school. Our school reflection books and photographic evidence demonstrate the broad, well-balanced nature of the music curriculum, as well as enjoyment. Further evidence is also acquired through lesson observations, learning walks and pupil voice where children can show what they know and discuss their work confidently.

Our pupils have shared with us that they know why they are doing things, not just how. They understand and appreciate the value of music in the context of their personal wellbeing. By engaging pupils in musical experiences, we can offer them opportunities to develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other areas, as well as developing life skills such as listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, self-confidence and a sensitivity towards others.

Pupils become more reflective and learn how to express their own views and feelings. Music also promotes an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to pupils individually as well as ethnicities from across the world, thus enabling children to better understand the world we live in.

Key Concepts

The key concepts that are studied and revisited in music in each year group are:

Concept Explanation
Melody Melody is formed from a succession of single notes; it is combined with rhythm to make a tune. Melody can be created using steps and leaps. The collection of notes from which a melody is formed is called a scale.
Harmony Harmony is the sound made by two or more notes simultaneously. These combinations are sometimes called chords. Harmony can sound pleasing to the ear or clashing, depending on the notes used. We use harmony when we play chords on instruments.
Pitch Pitch is the sound of a single note in relation to other notes. Words which can describe the pitch include: high, low, treble, bass, sharp or flat.
Tempo Tempo is the speed of a piece of music. The tempo can change during a piece. The tempo describes the pulse or beat of the music. Sometimes we use Italian words to describe the tempo such as lento, which means slow, or allegro, which means lively.
Dynamics Dynamics are used to describe the volume of one or more notes in a piece of music. The dynamics can change gradually or suddenly. Symbols known as dynamic markings, based on Italian descriptions, are often used such as f  for forte  which means ‘strong’ or ‘loud’.
Structure Structure is the overall framework of a piece of music. The structure of a song will usually have an introduction, some verses and a chorus.
Texture The texture of a piece of music describes how the different sounds are being woven together. A thick texture uses several ideas at once. A thinner texture will have fewer parts. For example a whole class singing ‘Frere Jacques’ is a thin texture. A few children singing the same song as a four-part round, starting at different times, will create a thicker structure.
Timbre Timbre is the unique sound quality which helps us to distinguish between different instruments and voices. The different ways an instrument is played can change its timbre.
Rhythm Rhythm is the organisation of long and short sounds around a pulse or beat. Some rhythms coincide with the beat; others use syncopation, in which most of the sounds fit between the main beats.
Composing Composing occurs when you select and organise sounds to make music. Good compositions have an intention which is successfully communicated to the audience.
Performing Performing is the act of making music for an audience at a particular time and place. Most performances need to be practised.
Notation Notation is the method used to record, on paper or on screen, music that is heard or performed. A musician needs to read and write notation to share ideas. There are several different types of standard notation.

 

Supporting Documents:

Music Long Term Plan

Music-Progression-Grid