Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
The National Curriculum 2014
At Valley End Infant School all children have the chance to enjoy, listen to, explore and appreciate a wide range of music. This includes music from a variety of cultures and times. They 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. 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.
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
We offer a wide range of resources to support the Music curriculum, and children develop the skills needed to improvise and create their own musical compositions. Access to the school music garden is provided during curriculum time. The children enjoy participating in music and regularly have the opportunity to take part in performances, whether playing to each other during lessons or performing to a wider audience such as to parents. The children enjoy working together as an ensemble, as well as by themselves. The children access a range of music workshops throughout the year, from older children from local Secondary schools to professional musicians.
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
Singing is a hugely important aspect of music within the school. The children are encouraged to sing in assemblies, during play and in lessons across the curriculum as well as in specific music lessons. It is an important aspect of the Christmas Play and is an area which links to the wider school community. Children perform at the Surrey Heath Music Festival, the Chobham Schools Prom, for assemblies, the Grandparents annual concert and the Leavers Assembly. The Year 2 children also have the opportunity to join with a local choir at Christmas for an annual concert.
From the Summer of Year 1, the children take part in the Surrey Arts First Access Recorder Scheme. During a weekly class lesson on the recorder, the children are able to experiment with sounds, learn fingerings and follow notation, and to compose and improvise. The children are given the opportunity to perform within an ensemble. Friends of Valley End have kindly purchased recorders and recorder books for each child to enable them to practise at home.
We use these 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