“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato
‘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.’ (Department of Education, National Curriculum)
At St Dennis Primary Academy our aim is to provide a music curriculum that will enable each and every child to reach their full potential in music, encourage children to develop an enjoyment and sense of positive wellbeing by a shared love of singing, composing and performing, and provide children with as many opportunities as possible to perform in front of an audience.
We aim to incorporate music into all areas of the curriculum as we understand the potential of music to make a
significant contribution to children’s development: increasing confidence and self-esteem, developing leadership, team working, concentration and problem-solving skills.
Our curriculum is centred around ‘Charanga’, a music-based scheme, ensuring the children are involved in activities which develop their skills of listening, singing, playing, analysing, evaluating and composing. They also have an opportunity to develop an understanding of musical terms and notation.
Each Charanga unit of work comprises the of strands of musical learning which correspond with the national curriculum for music:
1. Listening and Appraising
2. Musical Activities
a. Warm-up Games
b. Optional Flexible Games
d. Playing instruments
3. Performing Listen and Appraise
Musical Activities are all based around a song. Games embed the interrelated dimensions of music through repetition, singing is at the heart of all the musical learning, and playing instruments with the song to be learnt (tuned/un-tuned classroom percussion and an option to play any band instrument). A sound-before-symbol approach is used but scores are provided as an understanding of notation is introduced to the children. Improvising with the song, using voices and instruments, occurs in some of the units, as does composing with the song using instruments.
Performing and sharing happen throughout a unit and the idea is to work towards an end performance.
In our music teaching at St Dennis Primary Academy, we:
- ensure that children are introduced to a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres
- are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and take every opportunity to share our music-making with others in our locality
- aim to incorporate music into all areas of the curriculum as we understand its potential in contributing to the ‘whole’ child
- work collaboratively with music providers such as Cornwall Music Hub and other music tutors to share expertise
- provide opportunities for children to learn to play an instrument through First Access
- allow children to express their feelings and emotions through music
- plan for children’s good musical progression of knowledge and skills across the school using Chris Quigley Milestones and Charanga
- work collaboratively as whole class, in the choir, school band or class group to evaluate and improve performances
- use digital software to compose our own music and develop music technology skills
Opportunities to perform to own class, whole school or within our local environment ensure our children understand the significance and place of music within the wider world and that these excite and inspire children’s thirst for knowledge and participation in the subject and foster a deep sense of well-being. Music offers lifelong opportunities for the development of imagination, sensitivity, inventiveness, risk-taking and enjoyment. Musical activity, alone or with others, contributes to our children’s developing creativity and self-esteem.
Sharing the philosophy of Cornwall Music Hub, we will champion, celebrate and develop Cornwall’s rich music heritage and, through inclusive, dynamic and innovative learning, will inspire children and young people to achieve their musical potential.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Formative assessing of children’s understanding of topic (including vocabulary) before, during and after a unit is taught through a range of methods
- Summative assessment, through the use of assessment activities in Charanga
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
- Annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum
How does music link to British Values?
In our music lessons at St Dennis, children from a very young age, learn about the need to establish a clear set of rules when listening, performing and composing: working together as a team, taking turns with the instruments, listening when someone is playing and deciding on whose ideas are going to be used in a composition.
Children are encouraged to make choices about the music they like to listen to or choose to perform and are respected for their individual preferences.
Children are encouraged to appreciate the fact that music from all cultures and traditions around the world develops and contributes positively to British music. Children are taught songs that reflect our strong heritage in Britain as well as those which are important to our local traditions in Cornwall.
Music at Home
All children who are interested in music are encouraged to embrace this enthusiasm further by being involved in musical activities outside of school, examples of these include
Many children who learn to play in our St Dennis school band often join local youth Brass bands
Music Learning can continue at home using Charanga’s Yumu
Music Technology software