“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato
Our children live in a world that is surrounded by music. It inspires emotions like no other source and at St Michael’s we wish to inspire the next generation of musicians though exposure to a range of musical experiences.
At St Michael’s we believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. We teach music every week so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning.
The objectives of teaching music in our school are:
- 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.
As a school, we want to:
- To develop a curriculum which promotes progress and understanding for each child.
- To develop musical knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines.
- To develop a curriculum which allows children to develop through the love of music
- To develop cultural capital to give our students the vital background, knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our communities.
- To give children experiences in a range of topics
- To provide links with our local and wider community to make learning relevant and purposeful
Our music curriculum design is based on principles derived from evidence through cognitive science:
- Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are further promoted in music.
Skills and Techniques
- Melody and notation
- Active listening
- Composing and improvising.
These techniques are repeated over the years so that the children can build upon and refine their skills in each area.
The Early Year Foundation Stage children have daily access to a range of play based songs and rhymes as well as provisions that allow them to explore music in their own way. Children even at EYFS will be exposed to vocabulary that will continue up the school such as pulse and rhythm.
Throughout KS1 and KS2 children will have the opportunity to make links with other topics and special events. Signing for example is current through a wide range of our events as a school.
Cultural capital is ‘the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the beest that has been thought and said and helping to endender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’ Ofsted 2019.
In addition to our music lessons, children are given the opportunity to attend choir club around Christmas time as well as the chance to learn an instrument through the Durham Music Service.
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build semantic and procedural knowledge; Children will have a sound understanding of how music is used in the world around them. The children will have experience of listening to a wide range of musical genres. The children will also develop appraisal skills to discuss genres critically. They will be confident when performing to a range of audiences.