We want our children to see themselves as musicians from their first music lesson. Our music curriculum ensures that children are taught explicit musical skills including notation and instrumental playing discretely and regularly. Singing is ingrained in school life as is the vocabulary used to describe music. The musical experiences that we provide for the children are wide and varied and there is equality and opportunity for all. The approach we take to music means that the core areas of musical knowledge, listening, playing, singing, composing and performing, are routinely revisited which will ensure that previously taught components of musical knowledge are embedded.
In EYFS the Music curriculum is focused on musical vocabulary, fine and gross motor practise and developing an awareness of rhythm linked to images that builds on the knowledge they learn through phonics. Children regularly experiment with sound, use their bodies to respond to music and sing. Children practise regularly and are given the opportunity to perform in front of their peers. These schemas are built on in KS1 where children will continue to listen to and respond to music and build on their musical vocabulary whilst doing so. Children begin to move from simply experimenting with sound to improvising with rhythm on their instruments and simple composition through writing lyrics to a known tune. Singing skills are explored by beginning to introduce a wide range of songs from different genres and cultures and singing in parts as part of a round. Children regularly perform as a class ensemble in front of their peers and their parents.
As children move into KS2 they begin to play tuned instruments and use pitch and rhythm notation. Part singing is introduced and through instrumental and singing teaching children learn and discuss the interrelated dimensions of music (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure). Critical listening is developed through exposure to a wide range of music from different traditions and cultures. Children continue to compose through improvisation and song writing projects in music lessons. Children are given opportunities to perform regularly.
Each year group starts with singing which has the potential to feed into any Christmas productions and then moves onto using and playing musical instruments. Listening and performance are woven into every lesson but also bookend each unit. The universal musical components better known as the interrelated dimensions of music, pitch, duration (rhythm), dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure, are integrated into every lesson and constantly revisited to embed knowledge and transfer these concepts into the children’s long-term memory. The knowledge that children build up through the singing and instrumental units then help them to compose a piece using all of the component pieces of musical knowledge that they have been developing over the school year. As children move through the school, they deepen their knowledge and understanding of the interrelated dimensions of music. Assessment and performance is constant throughout every lesson as this is the nature of music but the children’s compositions at the end of each year of study give them an opportunity to explore and use the concepts that they have developed through the instrumental and singing units. The way that this curriculum has been structured means that a unit can be substituted with a term or two of high-quality instrumental music tuition in KS2 funded and provided by Bristol Plays Music.
Children are constantly exposed to high quality and culturally diverse musical recordings and performances through whole school events and assemblies. The resources that we have chosen to support this curriculum are drawn from a wide range of quality music resources, including Charanga, Singup and the BBC. We have also used ideas and resources from the Music Curriculum for Bristol where possible to ensure that we have kept a local link. The wider cultural and historical aspects of Music are explored using a cross curricular approach where appropriate with the humanities subjects.
Skills and knowledge promoted and constantly practised in music such as critical listening, fine and gross motor control and the discipline and resilience involved with learning a piece to perform are all transferable to other subjects and everyday life. We also use music as a tool for community engagement and communal joy too meaning that children leave us with a well-rounded knowledge and appreciation of the subject.
We want our whole community to feel that music is a part of everyone.