First Federation Trust
At Westcliff our music curriculum utilises the power of music as a form or self-expression and intends to inspire creativity, encouraging our children on their musical journeys as well as giving them opportunities to connect with others. We believe that music plays an integral role in helping children to feel part of a community and therefore provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music in class and to showcase their talents to an audience, developing their confidence. It allows all children to feel a sense of achievement, interact with an awareness of others and to self-reflect. We intend to foster pupils’ love of music by exposing them to diverse and exciting practical musical experiences and through listening and responding to wide-ranging genres, styles and traditions of music. By listening and responding to different musical styles, finding their voices as singers and fostering their creativity through performing and composing, all children can become confident, reflective musicians. We want them to become independent learners within this area, reflect upon their learning and develop resilience within the musical world.
‘Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world….. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school. Music can bring communities together.’ (Model Music Curriculum (MMC) – March 2021)
Through an engaging and fun music curriculum, we will equip them with the skills to:
· Read and write notation starting from graphic beginnings and developing to staff notation, increasing their knowledge and understanding of rhythmic and melodic notation.
· Use and understand musical language and include musical features in their own work.
· Compose and improvise refining their work through exploration and in response to critique.
· Confidently and creatively perform individually and as part of an ensemble having opportunities to showcase their talents to different audiences.
· Learn a range of musical instruments.
· Sing and use their voices individually and in a group.
· Listen to, review and evaluate a wide range of music genres, styles and diverse traditions in recorded and live music.
Opportunities exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example; attending performances/concerts by their peers, by professional musicians and participating themselves in school and community productions and events. Other opportunities might include visits to concerts, meeting musicians, professional musicians visiting schools to work with pupils, collaborative experiences with other schools.
Our music curriculum is based on suggestions from the ‘Model Music Curriculum’ document (March 2021) as well as some content from the Charanga scheme. It ensures children sing, perform, compose, listen and evaluate. This is embedded in classroom activities as well as weekly singing assemblies, the learning of instruments, various concerts and performances and extra-curricular instrumental and singing clubs. In class, composing and performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is part of the early curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument. Children do learn how to play various untuned and tuned percussion instruments and enjoy whole class ensemble
tuition (WCET) from year 2-6 learning to play the glockenspiel, recorder, guitar and keyboard. Through this, they understand the principles of creating notes, devising and reading their own musical scores as well as traditional staff notation. Through exploration, they learn how to improvise and compose, learning to refine and enhance the music they produce as they focus on different dimensions of music. This feeds their understanding when listening, playing or analysing music. The musical elements are taught in class lessons so that children are able to use the language of music to discuss it, understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.
Follow on individual and group music lessons are also available to children to continue to develop their skills by visiting peripatetic Guitar, Piano and Drum teachers. Music celebration assemblies, community concerts and events as well as in class performances provide regular opportunities to showcase our musicians’ talents.
The Golden Threads of Music
1. To inspire all children to become lifelong musicians by creating a playful start to their musical experiences through singing and musical games which continues through the school, providing opportunities to explore music using a wide range of quality instruments and resources which excite them.
2. To create awe inspiring recorded and live music experiences for pupils to watch and collaboratively perform in, creating cultured and reflective musicians.
3. At the start of each music unit of work we discover what pupils already know and what previous learning has been retained, providing the children with the ability to secure this learning and build on it. All lessons model the interwoven links between singing, performing, composing, listening and appraising.
4. Throughout music learning, emphasis is placed on music vocabulary to enable each child to confidently talk about music they have created, performed or heard using correct terminology. This links solidly with our oracy work across the rest of the curriculum.
5. To develop an understanding of the value and importance of music in the wider community and in different cultures, fostering a curiosity for music, whilst accepting the validity and importance of all types of music, having an unbiased respect for music’s role in people’s lives.
The impact of Music is initially assessed by the language that the children have acquired across the unit of work as well as and end of unit practical and sometimes theory-based assessments. The building of skills will be regularly assessed throughout the unit by the teacher and will be captured and celebrated on seesaw for parents to also share. Children’s use of vocabulary to discuss their learning during pupil voice discussions will clearly show learning already secured and by allowing pupils to have their voice heard will create exciting future music learning across the school. The music leader will also measure the impact of music teaching through lesson observations linked with CPD support for class teachers.
Those children with particular aptitude in music will be given the opportunity to extend their music education through learning an instrument in more depth, singing and instrumental clubs and meetings and trips for our class representing ‘music ambassadors.’ The impact can be monitored by observing peripatetic lessons and performance in assemblies and community concerts and again by pupil voice discussions and presentations.