“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
At St Joseph’s, we want music to be enjoyable and inspiring. We want our children to remember their music lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the musical opportunities they are presented with! Our music curriculum aims to provide all pupils with an enjoyable, high quality music education which engages and inspires children to find a love of music and to encourage them to carry on with their passion for music beyond their time at primary school. We see a music curriculum that increases self-confidence, curiosity, creativity and imagination and provides opportunities for self-expression and a sense of personal achievement. We want children to participate in a wide range of activities to develop their talents in all aspects of music including rhythm work, instrumental skills, composition, creativity, singing and appreciation. We want music to be embedded into school life to give the opportunity for children to become real musicians and be given opportunities to perform and share their musical skills. We want to inspire the minds of tomorrow to be creative and proactive musicians and to make musical choices based upon their feelings, understanding and experiences of this subject.
At St Joseph’s, we have carefully crafted our curriculum to allow children the scope to develop all aspects of their musical development, whether this be more formal playing of instruments and reading standard notation or more fluid creative musical activities. The music curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group developed to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. We use a combination of creative, sometimes topic based musical activities, the Sing Up scheme of work, BBC’s Ten Pieces, music technology programs and whole class instrumental teaching to teach the National Curriculum and work towards the aspirations of the Model Music Curriculum. Singing is historically a fundamental part of the music curriculum at St Joseph’s and we have designed and implemented a detailed singing programme to ensure that singing remains so with regular opportunities to perform.
Throughout the music curriculum, children are actively involved in using and developing their singing voices, using body percussion and whole body actions, and learning to handle and play classroom instruments effectively to create and express their own and others’ music to compose and perform.
St Joseph’s is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum through a rich musical education and to this end every class in EYFS, Key Stages 1 and 2 are taught music on a weekly basis by a specialist teacher. We recognise that singing plays an important role in music education and beyond and therefore it is taught weekly to all year groups.
Musical opportunities in school are wide and varied to enhance and build on the children’s musical understanding. These include weekly class music lessons, whole class ukulele/violin/recorder/glockenspiel lessons (as a part of our Wider Opportunities sessions), weekly singing practice, visiting musicians, Christmas performances, Young Voices, Carol Services, singing in the local church and at St George’s Cathedral , participation in local music festivals, seasonal concerts and other opportunities when they present themselves.
At St Joseph’s our children are encouraged to develop a passion for music and follow these up through extra-curricular opportunities including Choir and instrumental lessons provided by peripatetic teachers.
Through a varied curriculum children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection.
Because children display ability in music in as many ways as there are ways to be involved in music, assessment follows a variety of different methods. The teacher will informally assess throughout any creation or rehearsal process, giving oral feedback, and instant methods of ways to improve. Pupils are also assessed individually when performing, as ensemble playing is evidence of achievement.
The teacher uses this assessment information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in music are progressive and build year on year. Summative assessment information is collected 3 times a year and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in music. Monitoring in music includes: lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice. Pupil voice is used to provide feedback and the children’s ideas are used to support and implement any changes to planning that are needed.
The concept of loops (known as riffs in music) can be reinforced through both subjects to cement children’s understanding
There are numerous links between English & music including: using character voices to understand timbre, reflecting a narrative in the structure of a composition and also by exploring and writing lyrics, using varied vocabulary and drawing from their poetry skills.
Geography or History
Listening to music from a different point in history or from a different culture helps children gain a richer understanding of a place or time different to the one they live in.
We often link what we think and hear with some kind of image. It can be helpful therefore to create pictures to represent sounds, reflecting the different musical elements such as pitch and dynamics through artistic ones such as colour or shape.
Linking music to dance is an excellent way for the children to feel the music. Dance requires an understanding of pulse and rhythm, which is also a critical skill in music education.
To get a good understanding of rhythm, children need to be secure in their counting. There are also numerous patterns in music that have their basis in numerical sequences.