Subject Leader: Miss Hewitt
Peripatetic Music Teacher: Mr Hall
Subject Support Coach: Mrs Schonau
Link Governor: Mr Such
Our Vision –
Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in the personal development of individuals and groups of people. Music reflects culture and society, and so the teaching and learning of music enable children to better understand the world they live in. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It also plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community.
This vision of music is what our curriculum at Hillside is built around. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
The objectives of teaching music in our school are to enable children to:
- know and understand how sounds are made and then organised into musical structures;
- know how music is made through a variety of instruments;
- know how music is composed and written down;
- know how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written;
- develop the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appraising music.
The Subject Leader
I am Miss Hewitt, leader of Music at Hillside Primary School. My role involves leading the implementation of the Music curriculum and working collaboratively with Mr Hall to ensure the pupils of Hillside are enjoying a broad, progressive and enjoyable curriculum throughout their music lessons, promoting a love of music and giving the children the opportunity to express themselves.
As part of my role as Music lead monitoring is implemented each term through the means of pupil voice, observing music lessons in action and viewing the final outcomes of the terms work. From this I am able to identify areas of strength and areas for development within the subject, this informs future planning and teaching to ensure that our music curriculum is the best it can be for our pupils.
In addition, for my own subject professional development, I attend CPD offerings as they arise and meet with Mr Hall regularly throughout the academic year to share any of the latest curriculum updates, intiatives or external music opportunities that may be of interest to our children at Hillside.
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.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
We teach music in nursery and reception as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year and we also teach music in dedicated lessons that are aimed at giving our foundation stage children a taste of the interrelated skills that they will explore as they progress through the school. As the Nursery and Reception classes are part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, we relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the Development Matters guidance which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five.
At Hillside we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit, the progression planned into the scheme of work means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.
Singing lies at the heart of good music teaching. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music. As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer, and to listen to more extended pieces of music.
Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach children to make music together, to understand musical notation, and to compose pieces. Our music lessons aim towards teaching the children to be able to perform, compose and appraise as part of an ensemble.
Music and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development
Music supports spiritual development by encouraging through the experience and emotion of responding to performing, listening and composing music. We encourage our pupils to express their feelings verbally and in written form to improve their levels of articulacy. Where pupils are sensitive about expressing their feelings we nurture the confidence to do this by creating a supportive environment.
Music supports moral development by encouraging pupils to engage in critical discussions of musical performances and dramas/presentations from other children and also visiting professionals. Where there is a specific cultural or social reference that is explicit in the work examined we encourage pupils to reflect upon this. Where pupils present their own work we ensure fair and objective assessment and evaluation of their work.
Music supports social development with children collaborating routinely in group tasks where they take responsibility for their own learning outcomes and progress. We encourage the skills of independence, resilience and time management. Where they engage in group tasks we build a sense of unity which leads to them addressing their individual abilities and strengths and learning to build upon these collaboratively.
Music supports cultural development by encouraging a respect and deep appreciation for cultures around the world that have contributed to the development of our current popular musical styles. This philosophy also underpins our selection of music for performance events whether they are informal or formal occasions. We encourage children to create their own music and to incorporate different musical influences in their own composition. We use a wide variety of instruments from around the world to enrich the cultural experiences of our children.
Music possesses several unique and extremely valuable educational characteristics that are particularly important in today’s schools, which face increasing pressure to provide students with an education equal to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Music positively impacts reading, language, math and logic skills and is universal in application, leading to excellent learning opportunities across the curriculum. Additionally, we must instil in students the ability to navigate our increasingly multicultural, complex and integrated world. Music, as the universal language, clearly has the capacity to reach across cultural boundaries like no other activity.
Another area that must be considered, a core aspect of an education worthy to meet the demands of the twenty-first century, is creativity. The ability to think outside the box to address increasingly complex issues and challenges and to make new and different connections that lead to exciting discoveries and knowledge will be one of, if not the most important characteristic that students must possess to be successful in a globalised world. Music is our most effective educational tool to encourage and develop creativity.
The contribution of music teaching in other curriculum areas:
- English– Music encourages children to listen carefully for specific purposes and to articulate responses. Singing songs develops children’s language skills by focusing attention to rhythm, rhyme, diction and meaning. By working with others in a musical setting, children develop their ability to communicate ideas effectively.
- Mathematics– by studying the structure of music, children are observing patterns and processes. Rhythm in music has a mathematical basis, and counting and recording beats in a piece of music reveals mathematical structures.
- Information, Communication and Technology– older pupils can use programmes such as ‘Recorder’ and ‘Videostar’ to compose music, and make music videos.
- Personal, Social, Health and Economics– by making music in groups, children learn to work effectively with others and they learn the importance of good working relationships. Making and performing music builds self confidence and often allows pupils who are not academically gifted to shine. Working together on a performance can be one of the most memorable things a child does in his or her time at school. Also, music gives children a vehicle for exploring feelings in a unique and safe way.
We believe that music enriches the lives of people, and so we wish to involve as many children as possible in musical activities. We have Singing Stars for Y1-Y3 where children learn to sing and perform through a variety of songs and games and the Singing Stars take part in two large inter-school concerts each year that take place at a professional theatre. The school choir, which we encourage all children from Y3-Y6 to join, also takes part in inter-school concerts and sings at all Church and school celebration events.
The school has a dedicated Rock Band whose members change each year. The Rock Band meets every week and takes part in the Choir and Singing Star concerts as well as three inter-school Rock/Pop themed Concerts.
We provide opportunities throughout the year for budding musicians to perform for the school community. This includes solo and ensemble performances as part of assemblies and concerts. This recognises their achievements and celebrates their success.
“I like it because we get chance to practise, perform and then improve before we perform again” (Year 6 Pupil)
“Music makes me feel happy, it makes me feel good” (Year 3 Pupil)
“I feel I am progressing, I am getting better at playing instruments and I’m becoming more confident when we perform in groups” (Year 5 Pupil)
“I enjoy singing songs and learning new words” (Year 1 Pupil)
Assessment for Learning
Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of different ways. We assess children’s work in music by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and gives oral or written feedback as necessary to inform future progress. Older pupils are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own work. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the National Curriculum, and records these judgements. We also record our musical work by photo and video and this is used to show the children their skills and to inform future teaching and learning.
Music and Growth Mindset
Our music lessons strive to ensure children have a growth mindset. With many of the activities in lessons been practical children have plenty of time to practise and perform their skills and are able to see their own development. In line with the whole school ethos of developing a growth mindset children consistently keep on trying with the skills they are trying to achieve, supporting each other and reinforcing the ‘can do’ attitude.
Music and Careers
Within our music curriculum, careers are drawn upon when talking about the skills been taught. Through music lessons, children’s knowledge of artists/musicians promote discussions about individual career pathways and choices and different careers available in the music industry are identified.