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Music

Reception

In Reception, music is taught through the EYFS curriculum with a focus on learning and performing songs, with melody, pulse and rhythm being the key musical elements taught. Children are often given an opportunity to use un-tuned percussion and experiment with layering rhythm and melody.

KS1

In KS1 children are taught music discretely on a weekly basis. In addition, every opportunity to utilise music in cross-curricular teaching is grasped. For example, in Year 1 children learn Double Trouble maths songs, foreign language songs, music linked to dance and movement and songs relevant to learning journeys.

In Year 2, the children begin to experiment with harmony through the use of rounds in singing. There is a strong focus on pulse, rhythm and pitch. The children also learn about CamilleSaint-Saëns and Sergei Prokofiev during their exploration of the Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf. These pieces serve to develop the children’s knowledge of different orchestral instruments.

KS2

The childrenlearn about different composers and musical genre ranging from opera to rap in KS2. Here, again, we endorse a cross-curricular approach, for example in Year 3, world music is used as a foil for teaching pulse and rhythm and Egyptian music is explored as part of a learning journey.

In Year 4, the learning journey about the Passion of Christ culminates in a full-length performance of the Stations of the Cross with music at the heart of the performance. All the children perform music through solo, ensemble and/or choral singing as well as instrumental performances. All musical elements including harmony, dynamics, timbre, texture, rhythm and pulse are explored, and children are encouraged to perform their own compositions in addition to existing Easter music ranging from Baroque to American Spiritual. Children learn about composers such as Pergolesi, Vivaldi and Bach during their preparation for the Passion performance.

During Year 4 children also enjoy several opportunities for choral performances in large venues, for example the Surrey Arts initiative in Dorking halls and the NDSP choir at The Beacon Secondary School.

Music features strongly during the sound unit in science where the children experiment with changing pitch in woodwind, stringed and tuned percussion instruments. In this learning journey, children enjoy talks and presentations by professional musicians where they learn about a range of different instruments, including percussion, woodwind and the history and inner workings of the piano.

In Year 5, music is explored as an example of performance poetry, and children are introduced to modern singer-songwriters. Opera is introduced via the child-friendly Magic Flute by W. A. Mozart, and the life of this composer is studied through the film “Amadeus”. This is linked to learning in English via biography and playscript writing.

Children in Year 6 learn about Rap, its history and evolution and its use in performance poetry. They learn the rudiments of beatboxing, the use of beatboxing in instrumental performances (e.g. flute) and consolidate their understanding of pulse and rhythm through beatboxing improvisation and ensemble performances.

Music notation is taught and those children who have not had individual music tuition to date are taught to play melodies on tuned percussion instruments. This leads to solo, ensemble and whole-class instrumental performances of taught pieces as well as own compositions. 

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