At Derwentwater, we aim to provide an enjoyable and challenging music curriculum.
This music curriculum gives all pupils the opportunity to sing, play, create and perform, both individually and collaboratively.
Lessons are inclusive and developmentally appropriate for different age groups and specific needs of the children while still allowing opportunities for pupils to stretch and challenge themselves.
What is our ambition for music?
The music curriculum is designed to build a musical foundation and build on skills and knowledge throughout the years. Pupils will become confident in their ability to create, compose, perform and listen.
Children will leave KS1 with a good understanding of a variety of rhythms and pitches and basic knowledge of stick notation, using crotchets, quavers and rests. They have learnt and practised key glockenspiel skills through taught exercises and composition activities. Pupils have also been exposed to music from around the world through the folk music-based curriculum.
As pupils progress through KS2, they become more confident in their singing and musical skills on a variety of tuned and untuned percussion instruments. Pupils have a more in-depth understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music and can describe music using key terms (pitch, pulse, rhythm, tempo, dynamics). They have an increased awareness of different genres of music and music from other countries and can improvise and create music in different styles and metres, including compound time.
Pupils can read and transcribe stave notation using simple and compound time, complex rhythms, including dotted rhythms, and a full diatonic scale.
Children will move onto KS3 with a passion for learning and share their love of music.
How do we achieve this ambition?
To ensure our music provision at Derwentwater is high standard, our music curriculum lessons are delivered by music specialists from Sing Education. The music curriculum is made up of half-termly units, with step-by-step progression, always building on prior knowledge and skills, giving children the opportunity to consolidate, deepen and progress their rich musical skill set. Derwentwater teachers have access to CPD from subject experts and regularly observe and take part in class music sessions.
Sing Education teachers use the Kodaly method of teaching to ensure subject matter is presented logically and building on the children’s previous experience with music. This helps pupils to consolidate earlier learning and link new concepts to previous knowledge.
5 Principles of the Kodály Method
- Learning by singing: According to Kodály, the human voice is the fundamental instrument, and it should be central to musical training. Pupils should gain musical literacy through sung solfège (also known as solfa), using a moveable-do system.
- Hand signs: Solfège and sight-singing can be supplemented by hand signs, as developed by the English pedagogue John Curwen, who was an influence on Kodály.
- Rhythmic proficiency: The sight-reading of rhythmic patterns (including whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and various tuplets) must be taught alongside tonal solfège.
- Collaboration: Kodály believed that creativity and collaboration are essential to a musical education and can be brought out in group music lessons. Music pupils should collaborate with one another in exercises ranging from clapping to choral singing to instrumental accompaniment.
- Cultural connections: Music instructors should emphasize folk music (even pop songs) in a student's mother tongue to create a visceral connection to music.
Source: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/kodaly-method-guide#5-principles-of-the-kodly-method â€‹
Children regularly have the opportunity to perform and record a piece of repertoire they have studied at the end of each half term, with the chance to describe and discuss what they have been learning and exploring in music lessons.
The school has a dedicated space for music and our specialist music teacher creates a positive learning environment through positive classroom management and singing led child focused lessons.
Children receive access to high quality, weekly music teaching and resources and instruments to reinforce the ambitions of the curriculum.
Music is made an integral part of school life through clubs, such as choir, individual instrumental and group tuition.
Through the EYFS curriculum, children have the opportunity to develop their confidence and express themselves through song. They learn a variety of nursery rhymes and songs and have opportunities to perform and develop their rhythm and enjoyment of music.
In KS1 weekly curricular music lessons allow pupils to learn about pitch, pulse and rhythm. The singing led curriculum helps children to discover and develop their singing voice and ensemble skills on a range of instruments, through opportunities to create and perform their own compositions to the class. The Year 1 and 2 curriculum exposes children to a diverse variety of music from around the world, such as Australian and English folk songs.
KS2 music lessons build a strong musical foundation for all pupils. Children develop their appreciation for music and the key role it plays in shaping cultures all over the world.
A good understanding of musical theory and notation are developed through exploring new genres of music (classical, pop, musical theatre, jazz and blues) Children are exposed to music by classical composers, as well as learning about more familiar music from film and television.
KS2 school choir and the end of year performances give children opportunities to share their singing skills with the wider school community and beyond.