Welcome to our Music Page
The National Curriculum 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 great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and 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.
At Halfway Houses Primary School, we believe that music is a vital component of the curriculum as it stimulates complex thinking which requires high levels of precision. It demands commitment and imaginative decision making. It is a powerful medium for communication between people of different ages, cultures and social backgrounds. The art of music is the aesthetic organisation of sound using the elements of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre and texture, within a variety of structures. There is evidence to show that musical skills are transferable, promoting high level intellectual and physical attainment and evoking profound emotional response. Successful participation in music develops pupils’ self-esteem, well-being, confidence and learning skills. It is an effective medium for self-expression, engenders enjoyment, enhances co-operative working and promotes a sense of community.
At Halfway Houses Primary we aim:
- To develop pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding in performing, composing, listening and appraising.
- To develop abilities to visualise musical ideas, phrases and structures and to communicate them.
- To enhance pupils’ listening skills, awareness of musical structures and ability to understand and use technical vocabulary.
- To develop pupils’ understanding of how music can take a variety of forms and that music can reflect other times, places and cultures.
- To develop an understanding of a variety of musical forms and styles through performing and listening to choral and instrumental music
- To develop an informed appreciation of the context in which music was composed, performed and heard.
- To develop pupils’ independence, self-esteem, motivation, empathy with others and the ability to work with them.
- To encourage pupils to express independent opinions and conceive ideas using listening skills, knowledge and understanding.
- To develop pupils’ interest, enjoyment, motivation, co-ordination skills and self-esteem through performing, creating, listening and talking about music.
- To learn how to understand and communicate musical information as composer, performer and listener.
- To develop an awareness of the importance of integrating composing, performing and listening.
We provide an integrated approach to teaching. Emphasis is placed on practical involvement by all pupils in composing, performing, listening and appraising through whole class, small group, paired and individual activity. Teaching styles are selected to suit the chosen activity and the learning needs of the pupils. According to the task set, teachers:
- Encourage, inspire, direct;
- Observe, help, counsel, advise, instruct;
- Prepare, lead, appraise;
- Participate in and share musical experiences;
- Manage individual, paired, small group and whole class activity;
- Control and enhance learning environments;
- Make best use of all available resources;
- Develop strengths and nurture those gifted.
The learning process for children will be active and co-operative, involving them in:
- Decision making;
- Problem solving;
- Refining and rehearsing;
- Responding with feeling;
- Making music with commitment, sensitivity and accuracy;
- Directing and following musical direction.
The EYFS teach music within the area of Expressive Arts and Design, embedding it throughout the curriculum. Children in Year 1 to Year 6 are taught for at least 30 minutes per week by the school’s specialist teacher.
The study of music engages pupils in a variety of planned activities matched to their age, stage, ability and any special needs. Through differentiation teachers allow for the different pace at which individuals progress within the activities of composing, performing, listening and appraising and will recognise pupils’ preferred learning styles. The aim is to give all pupils the maximum opportunity for success and to reach their potential in the key areas of learning. In order to achieve this, it is essential to be aware of and build on individuals’ previous experiences and achievements in music within and beyond the school.
Breadth and balance:
We recognise the need to manage the wide range of skills and concepts to be taught. Music is studied from a variety of perspectives. We endeavour to keep a balance in creative, interpretative, aural, social, cultural and aesthetic teaching skills, concepts and perspectives throughout each key stage. Content will be selected to ensure pupils receive a breadth of experience that enables a balanced range of skills to be developed and that concepts are understood. Repertoire will include music in a variety of styles from different times, places and cultures, and by well-known and lesser-known composers and performers, past and present, including live music performances. The school embraces the opportunity given to the children under the key stage 2 Instrumental and Vocal tuition programme to further widen musical opportunities.
Pupils will be engaged in a range of listening activities starting from a variety of stimuli. Imitating and aural-response work, including vocal and instrumental improvising will lead to group, paired and individual composing activities and will be the predominant teaching and learning style. Emphasis will be placed upon children speculating on and drawing conclusions from what they hear. Excellence in music may be celebrated in performance including both small scale performances of a class, groups, individuals, or large scale performances which give each child the opportunity to participate.
Musical activity can start from singing games, songs of historical and cultural interest, music to celebrate a festival, collective performance, recorded or live performances or composing for a school or local event. A range and variety of musical activity and experience can be inherently relevant if appropriate teaching and learning approaches are adopted as outlined above.
Cross-curricular skills and links:
Music makes a major contribution to the skills of:
- Perception through aural discrimination;
- Memory development and analysing music;
- Numeracy skills through pattern and time relationships;
- Non-verbal communication skills through the medium of sound;
- Interpersonal skills through group and partner tasks;
- Decision making and problem solving skills through performing and composing;
- Physical and practical skills through manipulation of the voice and instruments;
- Creative and imaginative skills through expressing musical ideas and feelings;
- Independent learning through individual performing and composing.
Music is a feature of our multi-faceted culture. It has the capacity to create an awareness of the positive and negative environmental impact of sound and can assist health education by enhancing quality of life through a sense of well-being.
Experiences in one curriculum area can stimulate and enrich work in another. Subject divisions define and clarify but they can be restrictive when related to the organisation of learning. Consequently, curriculum planning for music is linked to other areas of the curriculum where appropriate but includes independent subject based progression of skills and experiences. Thus, in devising a scheme of work for music, natural links with other areas of the curriculum are exploited wherever possible and key skills and concepts are emphasised as appropriate.
Health and Safety:
Pupils will be taught the correct and safe way to carry and use instruments and electrical equipment such as portable CD players and keyboards to avoid injury to themselves or others. Pupils should be allocated their own labelled Wider Opportunities instrument. If any blown spare instrument is used e.g. recorder, it should be disinfected between each use. Electrical safety will be assured wherever mains electricity is used, notably with computers, electronic keyboards and audio equipment. Trailing wires present a hazard and teachers will ensure that electronic equipment is used only adjacent to main power points. Annual electrical tests will be undertaken in line with school policy.
Resources are either centrally stored in the music room. All staff have access to them to support their teaching. They are responsible to the co-ordinator for their correct and orderly return. An audit of resources is kept in the subject leader file and is updated on a regular basis.
Use of Information Technology:
ICT is used in music for recording purposes and access to web resources such as ‘Sing Up’ and ‘Charanga’. CD players and an ipod with speaker are used for children to listen to music. This information technology assists in:
- Using and investigating sounds and structures;
- Refining and enhancing performances and compositions (self-assessment);
- Extending knowledge and awareness of notes and conventions;
- Giving wider access to musical experiences;
- Learning skills to use new technology themselves;
- Teacher assessment e.g. group work, posture, co-ordination, tone, embouchure;
- Evidence of progression.
At Halfway Houses Primary School the Music Lead will:
- Act as a consultant to colleagues on resources, curriculum changes, classroom teaching ideas;
- Keep up to date with developments in music education and disseminate information to colleagues as appropriate;
- Monitor and evaluate pupils’ work, teacher’s planning and classroom teaching.
- Take responsibility for purchase and organisation of central resources for music;
- Organise performances by classes and groups to the rest of the school or parents in consultation with the Head Teacher;
- Participate and help to lead music days at neighbouring schools in the music cluster;
- Ensure whole school singing takes place in assembly on a regular basis;
- Communicate effectively with other peripatetic instrumental teachers and the music services they represent.
- Pass on any relevant information on those pupils having instrumental continuer lessons to the secondary schools during the transition of year 6 pupils.
- Maintain and continually update a catalogue of recordings from music days, concerts and lessons.
In lessons teachers assess progress towards the learning objectives they have set pupils and shared with them, and use their judgements to adjust future work. Summative assessments are used to guide progress of individual pupils in music, mostly carried out informally by teachers in the course of their teaching, or through use of video and audio recordings. These are recorded in the class’s Curriculum Subject Assessment Book.
The Songwriting Charity
Halfway Houses Primary School have worked in partnership with Nathan Timothy (The Songwriting Charity) for over 9 years.
During that time our children have composed and recorded many songs on various themes such as Anti-Bullying, Peace, Y6 Leavers, Aspirations and the Olympics.
The children absolutely love their creative time with Nathan and we are proud to be linked to The Songwriting Charity.
Please click the links below to access all of the original songs.
How can I help my child with their music learning at home?
Here are some questions that you could ask
Do you enjoy music?
What do you enjoy/dislike about music?
What are you learning about in music at the moment?
What do you find challenging?
Do you have a favourite song or band? Shall we listen to them together?
What instruments have you enjoyed playing?
Do you have a favourite song that you sing at school?
Can you teach me something you have learned in music?
Can you tell me about music from another country?
Can you sing a song in another language? Teach it to me.