Music is a constant accompaniment to our lives with access to digital music at the touch of our fingertips. Music can motivate and comfort us, inspire us in our thinking and reflect images and moods. It is our aim at St Mary’s to explore the journey of musical communication; from a fleeting idea in the mind of a composer, through the precise and accurate organisation of sounds and instruments, to a performance moment and appreciation by an audience. In doing this, children should develop a sense of place in musical history, know that music contributes to important occasions in their own lives and in other cultures around the world and have opportunities to develop their own composition, performance and listening skills. Music at St Mary’s is a joyful experience and it is our intention that children’s learning of music remains a skill for life.
Music lessons at St Mary’s 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. The vast majority of lessons are practical learning activities.
In Key stage 1, the children are taught to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They play tuned and untuned instruments musically, following a conductor’s instructions. They explore the inter-related dimensions of music and listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music. Composition tasks give them the opportunity to experiment with creating, selecting and combining sounds to imitate and communicate a particular creative idea.
Key stage 2 Pupils are taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence, accuracy, fluency and expression. Class instrumental performance pieces are learned on the recorder and ukulele, using both staff notation and tablature. For musical improvisation and composition tasks, children also have access to a wide variety of tuned and untuned percussion and are also encouraged to use their own instruments. The learning of musical history is introduced through the use of Classic FM’s “100 Pieces” collection for listening and the BBC Ten Pieces initiative which weaves together critical listening, cultural awareness and practical performance and compositions tasks, through which the children organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures and reproduce sounds from aural memory.
Our music provision develops children’s personal confidence in vocal and instrumental performing skills, underpinned by good aural ability and the knowledge and understanding of various music notations and traditions. Our school is full of singing and there is a high level of instrumental learning beyond the curriculum provision. As a Catholic Academy, we use music for listening and singing in our acts of worship spreading the gospel message.
We know our children have progressed in music when: