Next review: July 2016
Music gives soul to the universe
Wings to the mind
Flight to the imagination
And life to everything. Plato
Music is a fully embedded in the life of St George’s. Playing an instrument and singing develops key developmental skills and gives life to the imagination. An imagination that is at once both emotional and rational. It stimulates complex thinking, which requires high levels of precision. It demands commitment and imaginative decision making. Music is a powerful medium for communication between people of different ages, cultural and social backgrounds.
The art of music is the aesthetic organisation of sound using the elements of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre and texture, within a variety of structures.
There is robust evidence to show that musical skills are transferable, promoting a high level of intellectual and physical attainment and evoking profound emotional response.
Successful participation in music develops pupils’ self – esteem, confidence and learning skills. It is an effective medium for self-expression, engenders enjoyment and enhances cooperative working and promotes a sense of community.
Singing is a key part of the life of St. George’s, it is one of the most positive forms of human activity, supporting physical, mental and social health.
- To nurture pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding in performing, composing, listening and appraising across the whole school.
- To develop pupils’ understanding of how music can take a variety of forms and that music can reflect other times and places.
- To develop pupils’ independence, self – esteem, motivation and empathy with others and the ability to work with them.
- To encourage and build on the musical horizons of each child.
Curriculum Coverage and Progression:
Music is taught by specialist teachers across the school. Children in EYFS and KS1 follow The Early Years Programme:
Outcomes of The Early Years programme:
- Fun and enjoyment through music
- Access to a variety of musical experiences both listening and participatory
- First-hand experince of group music making including games, singing and rhythm work
- Development of cognitive and motor skills through physical activity
- Development of the whole child, namely: literacy, language, social and emotional development.
- Support and learning outside of school with ‘home materials’ resources for parents to utilise
- Experience of using simple instruments and props for enhancing musical activities and stories
- A preparation for transfer to more formal instrumental playing in the MusicPlus programme
Children in KS2 follow the MusicPlus programme:
Outcomes of MusicPlus:
- Fun and enjoyment through music
- Spark an interest in playing or experiencing music
- Access to a variety of musical experiences
- Ensuring children learn instruments that are conducive to progression and they can continue to play
- First – hand experience of performance, singing, composing, improvising, and ensemble playing
- A basic level of competency and technical progress on the chosen instrument
- Confidence and self-steem
- A familiarity with a broadened range of music
- An enthusiasm to continue musical activities beyond MusicPlus into secondary school.
Principles of Teaching and Learning:
Emphasis is placed on practical involvement by all pupils in composing, performing, listening and appraising through whole class, small group, paired and individual activity. Teaching styles are selected to suit the chosen activity and the learning needs of the pupils. According to the task set, the teacher will:
- Encourage, inspire, direct, let go
- Observe, help, counsel, advise, instruct
- Prepare, lead, appraise
- Participate in and share musical experiences
- Manage individual, paired, small group and whole class activity
- Control and enhance learning environments
- Make best use of all available resources
- Develop strengths and nurture gifts
The learning process for children will be active and co-operative, involving them in:
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- Refining and rehearsing
- Responding with feeling
- Making music with commitment, sensitivity and accuracy
- Directing and following musical direction.
The study of music engages pupils in a variety of planned activities matched to their age, stage, ability and any additional educational needs. Through differentiation, teachers allow for the different pace at which individuals progress within the activities of composing, performing, listening and appraising and will recognise pupils’ preferred learning styles. The aim is to give all pupils the maximum opportunity for success and to reach their potential in the key areas of learning. In order to achieve this it is essential to be aware of and build on individuals’ previous experiences and achievements in music within and beyond the school. Pupils are given additional opportunities to develop their skills through, orchestra, choir and individual instrumental tuition within school and wider opportunities through outreach projects, working with professional orchestras. Pupils are encouraged to audition for Kent Junior Singers and various other ensembles / orchestras. Alongside the Music Subject Leader, a team of excellent instrumental staff also provide support and advice.
Breadth and Balance:
We recognise the need to manage the wide range of skills and concepts to be taught. Music is studied from a variety of perspectives. We endeavour to keep a balance in creative, interpretative aural, social, cultural and aesthetic teaching skills, concepts and perspectives throughout the school. Content will be selected to ensure pupils receive a breadth of experience that enables a balanced range of skills to be developed and concepts understood. Repertoire will include music in a variety of styles from different times, places and cultures and by well known composers and performers, past and present. We actively encourage and promote live music in school. Children are given many opportunities to perform and regularly taking part in church services held at St. George’s Church. Musicians from the community are invited to play regularly and often join the children for their performances.
Pupils will be engaged in a range of listening activities starting from a variety of stimuli. They will take part in aural-response work, vocal and instrumental improvising, leading to group, paired or individual composing activities. Emphasis will be placed upon children speculating on and drawing conclusions from what they hear. Children also have the opportunity to broaden their musical experiences attending concerts and other musical activities outside the school.
Musical activity can start singing games, songs of historical and cultural interest, music to celebrate a festival, collective performance, recorded or live performances or composing for a school or local event. A range and variety of musical activity and experience can be inherently relevant if appropriate teaching and learning approaches are adopted as outlined above.
Music makes a major contribution to the skills of
- Perception through aural discrimination
- Memory development and analysing music
- Numeracy skills through pattern and time relationships
- Non-verbal communication skills through the medium of sound
- Interpersonal skills through group and partner tasks
- Decision making and problem solving skills through performing and composing
- Physical and practical skills through manipulation of the voice and instruments
- Creative and imaginative skills through expressing musical ideas and feelings
- Independent learning through individual performing and composing.
Music is a feature of our multi-faceted culture. It has the capacity to create an awareness of the positive and negative environmental impact of sound and can assist health education by enhancing quality of life through a sense of well-being.
Experiences in one curriculum area can stimulate and enrich work in another. Subject divisions define and clarify but they can be restrictive when related to the organisation of learning. Consequently, curriculum planning for music is linked to other areas of the curriculum where appropriate but includes independent subject based progression of skills and experiences. Thus in devising a scheme of work for music, natural links with other areas of the curriculum are exploited wherever possible and key skills and concepts are emphasised as appropriate.
All pupils regardless of race, gender, ability or social origins have an entitlement to experience, enjoy and express themselves in music through the school’s curricular and extra-curricular provision. In order to realise this, teachers will guide individuals towards musical activities and experiences in which they can succeed. They will provide appropriate resources to meet pupils’ needs and a range of relevant tasks to enable them to achieve through what they can do rather than fail.
Health & Safety:
Pupils will be taught the correct and safe way to carry and use instruments and electrical equipment such as audio equipment and keyboards and to avoid injury to themselves and others. Electrical safety will be assured wherever mains electricity is used, notably with computers, electronic keyboards and audio equipment. Trailing wires represent a hazard and teachers will ensure that electronic equipment is used only adjacent to main power points. Annual electrical tests will be undertaken in line with school policy. In some environments high sound levels of amplified music can be a hazard to hearing. Teachers will monitor and control the use of amplifiers and in small rooms, large percussion instruments. Recorders are always disinfected appropriately.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting:
Opportunities for assessment are identified in both medium and short term plans. Assessment is ongoing. Clear targets are set at the beginning of each activity, children are encouraged to self assess using the ‘I Can Statements’ and a ‘traffic light’ system.
Evidence for recording and reporting is gained from teaching observations and questioning pupil’s self assessment and ‘end results’ such as scores and recordings of performances. These are put in portfolios where appropriate. The latter will indicate progress made in skill development, attitudes and understanding of musical concepts and knowledge. Records also outline what pupils can do. These will include achievement in musical activities outside school and participation in extra-curricular activities, instrumental lessons and public performances.
The annual reports give information about each individual child’s progress and areas for development. Assessment is seen as integral to teaching and learning. Information about pupils’ attainment will feed directly into the planning process in order to provide appropriately challenging work.
The staff, parents and carers are informed of pupils’ progress both informally and formally. The annual reports give information about each individual child’s progress and provide areas for development. Pupils perform in assemblies / concerts regularly demonstrating progress achieved.
Management and Administration:
The Music Subject Leader is responsible for co-ordinating the teaching of music to EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Specialist support is available from Music Subject Leader who drafts policy documents, long term plans, action plans and monitors provision. Consultation is central to the development of music within and beyond the curriculum.
Administration relating to the music curriculum, extra-curricular activities, instrumental lessons, public performances, visits to musical events and visits by musicians is the responsibility of the Music Subject Leader. Visiting music teachers are highly valued and considered part of the music team at St. George’s.
Budget allocation for music resources is set by the Headteacher following the annual review of music and in light of the resultant music action plan and the school development plan.
INSTRUMENTS – an excellent range of pitched and un-pitched percussion instruments, ukuleles, recorders, ocarinas, an upright piano and an electronic keyboard.
MUSIC BOOKS – song books, hymn books, a full range of resources to suit all ages and abilities.
Ipods and CDs – a selection of different kinds of music, including historical, multi-cultural, classical and popular. Educational and children’s own recorded music.
IT SOFTWARE – IWB music history and orchestral instruments, Audacity, and Music Toolkit.
VISUAL AIDS – stop / go sign for classroom control, charts showing the stave with middle C to top G and the treble clef, note values and key signatures. Note value and expression flash cards, sound pictures, rhythm charts, musical element charts and graphic scores.
Monitoring and Review:
Music is monitored regularly; formal and informal observations, discussion with children, monitoring of learning environments and a portfolio of levelled attainment samples kept in portfolios. The effectiveness of the music curriculum is evaluated in discussion with the Headteacher, Key Stage Leaders and the Music Subject Leader. Evidence derived from monitoring and assessments undertaken informs the evaluation process. Resources, teaching and learning needs are identified and priorities for in-service training and support are established. Information from this evaluation forms the basis for a Music Action Plan which will be fed into the School Development Plan.
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