“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” ―
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” ―
Maria Augusta von Trapp
Music is a subject which can alter lives and the course of lives for the better – both short and long term.
At Ivy Bank Primary School, we aim to engage, motivate 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.
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. 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. (The National Curriculum)
Music teaching at Ivy Bank Primary School aims to follow the requirements of the National Curriculum for Music; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of musical concepts, knowledge and skills. Music is a unique way of communicating, it is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in personal and cognitive development. Music at Ivy Bank aims to reflect the culture and society that we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. At Ivy Bank we recognise that music can be a highly academic and demanding subject but we also aim to make it a creative and enjoyable activity. Furthermore, music also plays an important part in helping children to feel part of a community and so we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop their skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
It is the intent of Ivy Bank for Music to be taught in all year groups for an hour per week which includes most year groups learning to play a musical instrument. Across the school, we also raise the profile of Music through our enrichment events such as choir, Young Voices, individual and group music lessons as well as the many performances we take part in. It is the intent that the knowledge and skills of this curriculum are progressive, thereby building on previous learning.
At Ivy Bank Primary School, we recognise that musical teaching and learning is not neat or linear and that children do not learn in straight lines. Repeating a musical skill doesn’t mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards, it enables pupils to reinforce musical understanding in order to improve the quality of their musicianship.
At Ivy Bank we recognise that achieving mastery in Music means gaining both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts whilst also learning something new. The medium term planning ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught are progressive from year group to year group.
Music is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum and the Music curriculum at Ivy Bank is in line with the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England requirements for KS1, KS2 and the Foundation stage curriculum. Music teaching at Ivy Bank will deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum through half termly topics and teachers plan lessons based on our knowledge organisers and the Charanga scheme of work, ensuring consistency and progression throughout the school.
At Ivy Bank teachers use the Charanga scheme of work as a supplement to their music lessons rather than following it as a prescribed model. Teachers tailor the units and use the ‘freestyle’ element of the package to provide thematic, cross curricular lessons that also follow children’s interests. Music lessons are broken down into half-termly units and flexibility is provided to enable teachers to link with other subjects and follow pupil’s current interests.
Each unit of work has an on-going musical learning focus and a unit specific focus to enable previous musical skills to be embedded. Music lessons usually follow a specific learning sequence:
- Listen and Appraise
- Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
- Singing and Voice
- Playing instruments
- Perform and Share
Our progression model also follows the same learning sequence to ensure all interrelated elements of music are covered and implemented.
Music teaching at Ivy Bank is practical and engaging. A variety of teaching approaches and activities are provided based on teacher judgement and pupil ability. Lessons typically involve a combination of the following: games, songs, challenges, listening to music and discussing music, playing a range of musical instruments, performing back, finding the pulse and composing music using notation sheets. Open ended tasks are provided that can have a variety of responses and teachers also differentiate activities using the Charanga Bronze, Silver and Gold challenges.
At Ivy Bank, music teaching is not only focused on performance but also providing our pupils with an understanding and appreciation for music. Through our music lessons children study a wide range of musical styles and genres from a range of musical periods. Some of the musical styles and genres we study are as follows: Mamma Mia, The Beatles, Jazz, Rap, Reggae, Motown, Michael Jackson, Hip Hop, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Each year group also study a different composer during each academic year in KS2.
Alongside our curriculum provision for Music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching. Pupils are offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Our peripatetic music teaching is organised by the Local Education Authority’s Music for Life or Mike Watson for Keyboard, where lessons are provided weekly for a small set fee paid by the child’s parent or carer.
Pupils also have the opportunity to join the school choir which is open to all children in KS2 on a weekly basis, with about 40 children attending each week. Pupils in the school choir meet after school and focus on teamwork, singing in unison, developing harmony, solo performances and having fun! The school choir also have the opportunity to perform in school performances, carol concerts, singing at a local care home and singing assemblies as well as the highlight of the year which is always going to Young Voices in Manchester.
Peripatetic teachers come in each week to work with children from Year 1 to Year 6 who are interested in learning a musical instrument including violin, recorders and clarinet. Music plays a part in our assemblies at Ivy Bank. 'Tune for Tuesday' - this is an opportunity for children to listen and respond to a range of music from different times, cultures and traditions from a variety of famous composers.