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Music

"Where words fail, music speaks"

Hans Christian Anderson

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. 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. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

WE CAN provide teaching that develops knowledge and skills so children can learn and progress effectively

In the EYFS, music is taught under the Expressive Arts and Design area of learning.

In Year 1-6 Music is taught in blocked units. In Music lessons, key musical skills (Listening, Singing, Rehearsing, Composing and Performing) are used as the foundation to teach and deliver the National Curriculum objectives. By referring to these skills, Music is taught and delivered to children with consistency allowing children to build a familiarity and confidence in the subject.

Music units are varied and encompass a broad range of music styles and genres. Children are exposed to music from a wide variety of time periods and cultures during their time at Grendon. This enables children to gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of music, including genres they are less familiar with.

In the Early Years children are encouraged to sing regularly. They explore sound and rhythm.

In KS1, children are encouraged to listen to and respond to music. They will learn to talk about how the music makes them feel and describe what the music is like. Children will have opportunities to play tuned and un-tuned instruments and explore different ways to make sounds. Singing is built in to all lessons.

In LKS2, children will further develop their listening skills. Children will learn to name instruments by their sound and use more technical music vocabulary to describe music. Children will be introduced to musical notation allowing them to be able to read and recognise notes. Children will play a variety of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments to compose their own music.

In UKS2, children will build an extensive musical vocabulary in order to describe music that they hear. They will be able to comment on the musical tempo and dynamics using correct musical vocabulary. Children will continue to be taught to read and play musical notation and further develop compositional skills.

Singing features throughout music lessons throughout KS2.

Children in Year 2 take part in an African Drumming Workshop led by an expert.

Vertical links build from year to year. As part of their composing and rehearsing work, in Year 3 children are introduced to written music and begin to learn what musical notation looks like including vocabulary such as stave, treble clef and bar lines. In Year 4 notes C to G are introduced and by Year 6 children are finding out about sharp and flat signs. In singing, the EYFS and KS1 work on rhythms and basic phrases. By Year 6 children have built upon these skills and will begin to sing in parts. As children revisit performing in each unit, they gradually build their own confidence and improve their evaluative skills. As children move up through the school their listening skills are progressively improved using a scale of questioning with older children expected to add their justification for answers and use a fuller range of musical vocabulary.

Horizontal links enable children to link their music learning to other subjects. For example, in Year 5 children learn about space in Science and in music they investigate Gustav Holst’s The Planets. In Year 3 children cover festivals in RE and follow a music unit called Music for Occasions. In Year 1 children learn about animals in Science and investigate the Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens.

Diagonal links are made between Year 5 Music lessons on Film Music and Year 6’s Computing unit where children make a film. This unit makes use of cross curricular English work.

Class teachers can choose to set music homework as part of the annual planned cycle for Homework projects. This allows children to engage in musical learning at home with their families.

WE CAN offer enriching activities, event and experiences

Singing is an important part of whole school gatherings including weekly or celebration assemblies.

In KS2, can choose to learn a musical instrument (violin or woodwind) in addition to their class music lessons.

Our KS2 Choir rehearses weekly and performs regularly. Additional enriching music opportunities often feature in Whole School Days for example Sing Up Day in 2021.

WE CAN work together to remove barriers and ensure equality

The most able learners are encouraged to explain Music on a deeper level or to complete more challenging tasks. They are also encouraged to provide peer support or to lead composition within groups.

Scaffolding, support and appropriate differentiation is embedded into each lesson for children with Special Educational Needs. Children with sensory needs are provided with explorative opportunities with adult support.

Children who speak English as an additional language may receive pre-tutoring to embed the necessary language for lessons before they take place.

WE CAN build independent and resilient learners who are able to communicate confidently

Music units are structured towards a final outcome where children are encouraged to use what they have learnt independently.

When developing new skills, children are supported to persevere, build resilience and maintain a growth mindset. One of the key musical skills that is referenced in lessons is Rehearsing. This encourages children to be resilient and work hard at things they find tricky. Children are taught to understand that successful musicians are successful due to regular practising and rehearsing.

Music lessons present children with many opportunities for children to communicate their ideas through peer to peer discussion and developing performing skills.

WE CAN listen to and treat each other and all members of the community with respect, tolerance and concern

The wide variety of Music topics that feature across the units expose children to a diverse range of music styles and genres. During these topics children are taught to be respectful and appreciative towards different types of music. For example, in Year 3 children learn about Music for Occasions and learn how Music often plays an important part in religious festivals and celebrations.

WE CAN recognise ability, maximise potential and prepare children well for their future and life in modern Britain

Music is a hugely important part of modern British culture. The music we listen to and perform in lessons reflects the diversity of music in modern day Britain. Whilst children may not go onto musical careers in the future, music will likely feature heavily in their lives. Whether it is listening to it on the radio or going to a concert, the appreciation for music they gain at Grendon will be important in allowing them to experience the diversity of British music in full.

Our Music curriculum is designed to support children in the next stage of their education.

An interest in music at Primary school may lead children into careers such as teaching, therapy or broadcasting as well as the more obvious musician or rock star!

Online Learning

Listen to classical music

Learn about and play classical music with the BBC

Explore music lessons with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Incredibox - A music app for creating your own music with the help of a merry band of beatboxers. Part game, part tool, Incredibox is above all an audio and visual experience that introduces kids and adults to notions of rhythm and melody.