At Snapethorpe we believe Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity, we are aware of the huge impact that music can have on a child’s life and that a high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, from increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement, improving mental health and even helping to maintain concentration in other curriculum subjects.
As well as teaching music as a stand-alone subject once a week, we try to integrate it into many other areas of school life as possible. For example, calming music is often playing in classroom and assemblies as the children walk in, to prepare them for the day ahead. Music is also used in the background of some extended writing lessons in order to help the children focus. Finally, music is of course key in other areas of the curriculum, such as history and geography to give the children an idea of the sounds of the past and places they have never visited. Children in key stage 2 also have the opportunity to join the school choir where rehearsals happen every Thursday after school. The choir is invited on a yearly basis to perform at the Christingle held at our local church St George’s as well as other concerts within school which parents are invited to. This year, the choir will also be performing with the other choirs from the pyramid schools at Cathedral Academy for a grand music performance, which will become a yearly event.
As well as the choir, we offer the opportunity for some small group instrumental tuition in guitar and strings (cello and violin) around 16 children across Key Stage 2. Specialist teachers deliver these sessions once a week and instruments are loaned to children throughout the duration of their lessons. In addition, year 3 take part in wider opportunities, having a specialist music teacher take their music sessions each week. Within these sessions, year 3 have the opportunity to learn a range of different instruments and skills, leading to an end of year concert performed in front of the entirety of Key Stage 2.
Music is taught through a scheme called Charanga. We have chosen to follow this scheme in order to ensure that music teaching is both consistent and in-depth across school, from Reception up to Year 6. 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 scheme is broken down into half-termly units, each consisting of opportunities for improvisation, composition and performance using either instruments or voice.
At the beginning of a unit, children will be given the opportunity to listen to and appraise some music in a particular style; they will talk in-depth about what they liked about the music, what instruments they could hear and how a piece may be similar or different to another of the same style. Later in the unit, they will sing or play pieces that they have improvised or composed over several weeks.
Within their focus on a certain genre, children will learn, rehearse and revise different note types whilst being encouraged to use relevant musical terminology relating to the pieces there are playing or the instruments they are using. We feel that this exposure and practice will prepare them for music in high school.