MUSIC 

Member of Staff Responsible: Mr C Travis 

Review Date: September 2020 

INTENT:  

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. 

Aims  

The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:  

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. 
  • Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. 
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

IMPLEMENTATION: 

Key stage 1  

Pupils should be taught to:  Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.  

  • Play tuned and untuned instruments musically.  
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.  
  • Experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.  

Key stage 2  

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.  

Pupils should be taught to:  

  • 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.  

Teaching 

Children receive music lessons one per week in a thirty minute session led by a teacher. The ‘Charanga’ Music scheme is followed rigorously. Children receive a broad and balanced Music curriculum as a result of scheme based long term and short term planning. In addition, each year group participates in a singing session each Thursday morning where a range of songs are practised and performed.  

Assessment 

Children’s musical progression is assessed by teachers on a termly basis through our school assessment tracker – Target Tracker. Data is reviewed by subject lead and acted on during management time. 

In addition to weekly Charanga Music session, Year 3 to Year 6 children receive specialist music and singing teaching. 

Below are the key physical singing skills, performance skills and key vocabulary that we intend children to learn during these sessions:  

Physical Singing Skills: 

Children are encouraged to develop the following; 

  • Posture – standing in a relaxed, balanced stance with arms by sides and feet hip width apart 
  • Breathing – breathing from ‘low down’ using the diaphragm and keeping the shoulders lowered. Children are encouraged to use breath control to sustain notes of longer duration. 
  • Diction – children are encouraged to annunciate the lyrics of each piece to ensure clear delivery. There is a focus on the initial and final sounds of words. 
  • Facial muscular warm ups – the importance of all of the associated muscles used in singing is always discussed – tongue, cheeks, jaw etc are all involved in clarity of sound production  
  • Using voices in different ways – whispering, humming, speaking and singing. 

Performance skills: 

Children are encouraged always to bear in mind that they are performing as a choir and as such it is a collaborative performance. All choir members play their part in the final sound.  

They are encouraged to think of an imaginary audience to help to focus their singing.  

Phrasing is important as is actually thinking about the meaning of lyrics. Children are encouraged to change the dynamics of their performance as appropriate for musical/ dramatic effect.  

The style/ genre of the song is also discussed e.g. The gospel medley (when the saints/ swing low/ I gonna sing), Happy (Pharrell Williams) both involved a more relaxed bluesy sound and the children were encouraged to use the type of voice that they use when singing pop songs, whereas many of the songs requested by school are of a religious nature and as such a more traditional ‘choir’ sound is encouraged (clear diction, less vibrato, following the phrasing as written by the composer). Children are encouraged to hear the difference between different styles of music. 

Children have the opportunity in every session to sing in unison and in parts. This can take the form of rounds, canons, harmony and ostinati.  

Musical Terminology: 

As the children become more adept with their practical skills, music theory terminology is introduced to underpin their learning. 

Dynamics – children are beginning to understand how volume (loudly/ softly and everything in between) can affect the performance of a song. The introduction of dynamic terminology helps to illustrate this in a quantifiable way i.e. imagine a generic scale of 1 to 10. Have children sing incredibly softly ‘about 1 or 2 on the scale’ and describe it as pianissimo (pp) move up the scale p, mp, mf, f, ff  . children will begin to understand how to achieve a loud, ‘projected’ vocal sound without shouting. 

Other terms frequently used: 

Tempo 

Pulse 

Rhythm 

Ostinato/ ostinati 

Harmony 

Lyrics 

Projection 

Diction  

Overarching the entire session is the desire to encourage enjoyment in the activity of singing. The use of silly songs, tongue twisters and songs with actions all help to emphasise that music sessions are like no other lessons that they will study through the week. It is something that everyone can do and enjoy in their own way. 

Solo performances are encouraged, especially by children who the teachers may indicate are not the usual children who volunteer for things in class. Singing and music can be subjects in which children who may not stand out in other subjects can flourish and achieve great things.