“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music." Billy Joel
At Banstead Infant School, our vision for music is that all children should engage in a high-quality music education enabling them to develop a life-long love of music from a variety of genres. In doing so, we aim to increase children’s self-confidence, imagination, creativity and sense of achievement through participation in a wealth of music-making activities including singing, performing, composing, listening and appraising. Singing and performing together in class and during performances also helps to promote the importance of working with others towards a common goal and encourages an important sense of belonging and community. In addition, we recognise that music can also be beneficial in the development of cognitive skills across the curriculum and can support the development of language, literacy and communication. Music making helps to improve co-ordination and motor skills and helps to develop the child’s personal, emotional and social skills.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato
The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils are taught to:
· use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
· play tuned and untuned instruments musically
· listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
· experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have a weekly music lesson with their class teacher, largely led by the Surrey Arts Interactive resource – Charanga Music School Surrey Arts — Digital resources for music teachers. Engaging online learning for children (surreyartsinteractive.co.uk).
Every class has their own box of untuned percussion instruments as well as access to a range of other instruments in the Atrium. Children in Reception also have large, outdoor instruments which they can self-select, encouraging them to explore and create sounds during free play activities. In Year 2, the children are taught to play the recorder and showcase what they have learnt, alongside a range of other musical skills in their Leaver’s Celebration Assembly held in the summer term. Regular opportunities are available for all children to sing in unison and perform to an audience, for example through Harvest assemblies, Christmas performances, end of term celebrations and performances for the local community e.g., Greenacre Care Home. In addition to their weekly music lesson, there are opportunities for external visitors to enhance the curriculum e.g., the Junk Orchestra and an African Drumming workshop.
Progression across year groups:
In EYFS, children experiment with different ways of using their voice, for example speaking, singing, whispering and chanting. They clap short rhythmic patterns and experiment with ways of making sounds on a range of percussion instruments. They listen to a variety of music and can begin to describe the sounds (e.g., loud, quiet, fast, slow, high low) and can express how the music makes them feel.
In Year 1, children begin to sing in tune, within a limited pitch range, and can make a range of sounds with their voice. They perform rhythm patterns and actions with a good sense of pulse and play tuned (chime bars) and untuned percussion instruments with care and control. They can distinguish between pulse and rhythm and are introduced to the notation for C, D, A & G, alongside the note value of a crotchet. They listen to a variety of musical genres and can describe them, commenting on features such as tempo, pitch, dynamics and the instruments they can hear.
In Year 2, children sing in tune, within a limited pitch range. They can clap and play rhythm patterns from known symbols (crotchets, quavers and minims and their associated rests) and can follow simple performance directions for dynamics and tempo. Awareness of pitch and rhythm is further explored using tuned instruments such as recorders and chime bars they learn the notation for C, D, A, B & G. They can listen to a variety of musical genres with increased concentration and respond appropriately by making statements and observations about music they hear.
- Children are engaged in a wide range of musical activities. They sing and play instruments with enthusiasm and are proud of their achievements.
- Children have the opportunity to listen to a wide range of musical genres.
- Musical skills are taught in a progressive way, enabling children to know more and remember more. Children start their next year of learning with the necessary skills and knowledge to build upon.
- They are able to apply their musical skills in increasingly complex ways to a range of exciting curriculum linked tasks.
- Children have the opportunity to share their skills and perform to an audience both in school and to the wider community.
- Children develop a lifelong love of music and can take the skills learnt to the next stage of their musical
If you were to walk into a Music lesson at Banstead Infant School, you would see:
- Children actively learning and exploring with access to a range of resources.
- Classes and groups of children singing and playing instruments with enthusiasm.
- Children who are confident to perform, talk about and demonstrate their skills with pride, using appropriate musical vocabulary.
- Collaboration and teamwork as children work towards a shared musical goal.