At Gusford Primary School, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the way that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom music lessons, as well as in weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. In Year 4 all children learn an instrument (currently violin, trumpet or clarinet) through weekly lessons, delivered by tutors from the County Music Service. Our classroom teachers use the music programme, Charanga, to deliver inclusive lessons for all children to access the musical curriculum in a fun and engaging way, further promoting a love of learning. These lessons are planned in sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding. The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language and vocabulary of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom children learn how to play pitched instruments (glockenspiels or recorders) and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listeners, creators or performers. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. At Gusford Primary School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having visitors in to school (eg. Ipswich School music group), visiting concerts and school productions. In addition to this, all children in KS2 are welcome to join the school choir, which rehearses weekly, throughout the school year. This brings further opportunities to take part in concerts and performances both inside and outside the school community. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class, assemblies and concerts, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience.
Music links well with other subject areas and can be explored geographically and historically. It can be linked with English, in terms of expression or suspense, or Maths in terms of division and fractions. It can form the backdrop to dance in PE lessons, or link with Science topics, such as Space and Mini-beasts. The list is endless and teachers are asked to use music creatively in their classrooms.