What do we aim for in music?
Music is a universal and fully inclusive language that allows and enables everyone to express their creativity. At Leven Valley, we believe that music should engage and inspire children to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
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.
What do we teach in music?
We offer a wide range of opportunities for all children to engage with music from teaching in class to extra-curricular activities. We aim to give all our pupils a chance to find a love of music and to encourage them all to carry on with their interest in music beyond their time at primary school. We hope for every pupil to develop their knowledge and skills in all areas of music. These skills include listening to and appraising a range of quality music, singing and learning to play instruments:
- Teaching the skills of music using positivity, perseverance, responsibility and reflection.
- Encouraging pupils to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
- Playing tuned and un-tuned instruments musically
- Listening carefully to a range of high-quality live and recorded music from a variety of different traditions and from great composers
- Providing time to experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music
- Developing an understanding of musical composition
- Giving children the skills and vocabulary to evaluate music
- Playing and performing in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
- Encouraging pupils to improvise and compose music for a range of purposes
- Listening with attention to identify and describe certain aspects of a piece of music
- Developing an understanding of musical notations and how to follow someone else’s actions when performing as well as giving actions to others.
How is music taught at Leven Valley?
Music is taught by a specialist teacher across the school from Reception - Year 6. Each class has a weekly music lesson at least 1 hour, lessons are very practical including chances for every child to be included in singing, playing a range of instruments, listening to a wide range of musical styles and composing and performing their own music.
Music planning is taken from Charanga across the school to focus on different musical styles and skill areas. Throughout the year, all pupils will have the opportunity to develop the skills in the following areas; listening and appraising, singing, playing instruments, improvisation, composition and performing.
From Year 3 onwards the children learn to play the ukulele. They enjoy playing a wide range of songs and tunes together and are encouraged to challenge themselves to develop their skills further each week. The school own a class set of ukuleles, but some children have their own ukulele at home which they bring in for their weekly lessons. They are also offered opportunities to learn to play the recorder and to take part in our “Little Big Band” which meets at lunchtime during the winter months.
Opportunities to perform to a real, live audience are incorporated into events and performances throughout the year, from church services to school plays and special musical performances.