The aims and intention of Music.

The National Curriculum (2013) for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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.

It is our intent at Valley End Infant School that all children have the chance to enjoy, listen to, explore and appreciate a wide range of music, including music from a variety of cultures and times.

Children will find different ways of making sounds with their voices and instruments, learning and developing skills which they then use to improvise and to create their own musical compositions.

The children are encouraged to play a broad selection of percussion instruments, both following notation and writing their own graphic notation.  Older children learn how to correctly play a tuned instrument.

Our music lessons are active and creative; the children evaluate their own work and come up with improvements, as well as learning how to critically evaluate the work of others.

The implementation of Music and how it is taught.

For pupils in Key Stage 1 (KS1), the National Curriculum states that pupils should be 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.

When young people make music together, they work toward a common goal that has the potential to change lives profoundly for the better.

‘The Importance of Music’ 2011

To implement the music curriculum across the school, at Valley End we offer a wide range of resources and making music together is a key feature in this. Children in KS1 receive weekly music lessons for 30minutes from a music specialist. The curriculum is loosely based on Music Express, with additional resources from Surrey Music Hub included as appropriate.

Our music curriculum is enriched in the following ways:

  • Listen and appraise
  • Musical games
  • Singing
  • Playing instruments
  • Improvising
  • Composing
  • Performing

Children enjoy opportunities to perform to parents yearly in the Christmas productions. Alongside this, they perform regularly to each other during lessons, working together as an ensemble as well as by themselves.

Children in Year 1 perform to their parents in an outside concert at the end of the Summer term.  Children in Year 2 perform alongside their peers from other schools in the Chobham Schools Prom, and the Surrey Heath Music Festival. In school, they perform to their Grandparents, and then again in the Leaver’s Concert.

The children access a range of music workshops throughout the year, from older children from local Secondary schools to professional musicians.

All children take part in a weekly singing assembly, learning skills such as singing in tune, remembering lyrics, and singing as part of a group. The school has a music garden, available for use during curriculum time, as well as drums and wall bars for use in the playground at all times.

During the Summer Term of Year 1, children are all issued with their own personal recorder that they are able to keep after their time at Valley End. It is hoped that by doing this, the children have further opportunities to practise and enjoy making music with tuned instruments. Recorder lessons are taught weekly throughout year 2.

Each music lesson involves listening critically to a piece of music, with genres ranging from baroque and classical, to pop, theme songs and soundtracks. Children are encouraged to think about how the music makes them feel, as well as what they can hear being played.

Music features highly in the Early Years, with songs and rhymes being used in daily classroom routines. The children have opportunity to explore and create music using percussion instruments.

We use these musical terms as building blocks throughout the Key Stage to develop musical skills and understanding.

Pitch – higher / lower

Duration – longer / shorter, steady pulse/ beat, rhythm

Dynamics – louder / quieter / silence

Tempo – faster / slower

Timbre – different types of sound i.e. the quality of the sound – mellow, thin, scratchy

Texture – different ways sounds are combined – tune on top and something on bottom, 2 tunes

Structure – different ways sounds are organised

The impact of Music and how it prepares children for their next stage of education.

Singing makes us feel better about ourselves, enhances our self-esteem and sense of well-being, it allows us to work collaboratively within groups in a non-competitive, highly supportive environment.

Howard Goodall, National Ambassador for Singing 2007-11

It would be our expectation that children would achieve age related expectations in music at the end of their cohort year, and that they would retain the knowledge they have learnt and build on it. Throughout the music curriculum, pupils are developing a map of musical knowledge, skills and understanding that they will continue to add to once they leave Valley End.

From the early years, pupils build a repertoire of songs and move rhythmically, developing a foundation from which they will build their understanding into KS1.

In KS1, the music curriculum focuses on the pupils developing the basic musical principles of rhythm and melody.  Pupils play along with the pulse of the music whilst others thrive more from singing along with the songs during assemblies and class music making.

Above all, it is hoped that through the rich wealth of opportunities given to them, all children will be given a chance to shine and enjoy music in its varying formats, and that their self-esteem and confidence will grow as a result of their music curriculum at Valley End Infant School.