This is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for the teaching and learning of Music at Christ Church CE (VC) Primary School
As stated in the National Plan for Music Education (published in June 2022);
‘Down the generations, music has enriched our national identity, our community and our economy. Music education is essential to safeguarding and extending the musical life of our country for generations to come.
Excellent music education opens opportunities, but it is not simply a means to an end: it is also an end in itself. It gives children and young people an opportunity to express themselves, to explore their creativity, to work hard at something, persevere and shine. These experiences and achievements stay with them and shape their lives.
That is why music is an essential part of a broad and ambitious curriculum for all pupils.’
Music educator Zoltan Kodály wrote that ‘Music is for everyone’; this philosophy underpins our ethos for music at Christ Church School.
Our intention is to support the children in developing musicianship in a holistic way, through high quality, varied and exciting practical musical experiences. We intend to provide opportunities for the children to:
- Enjoy singing and playing instruments with confidence, expression and flair, as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble. Perform increasingly complex music, working by ear and from notation and developing their skills in part-work.
- Explore the inter-related dimensions of music, demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of how musicians have used these in examples from a wide range of styles, cultures and traditions, enabling them to use them with increasing skill in their own work.
- Improvise and compose music that demonstrates their own creativity and artistry, as well as an understanding of how the building blocks of music can be used and manipulated in order to create a desired outcome.
We aim to ensure that the many benefits of a rounded Music education are exploited, enabling children to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, resilience, and respect for self, peers and other cultures and traditions. We are committed to ensuring that Music is used to support wellbeing and self-expression and to encouraging the children to find Music that excites, moves and inspires them.
Above all, we aim to ensure that all children believe, as we do whole-heartedly, that they have the potential to be musicians and that we are equipping them with the skills, experiences and understanding that they need in order to develop a love of, and be active participants in Music making and appreciation.
Our bespoke Music curriculum focuses on developing the children’s musicianship skills by using the Kodály methodology as the ground work for practical activities and developing the children’s understanding of music.
Music in FS focuses on developing children’s unconscious experiences of beat, pitch and rhythm, experiencing them through actions and movement, and drawing on the guidance in ‘Musical Development Matters’ by Nicola Burke.
As the children progress through KS1 and 2, the children are gradually introduced to each new musical concept subconsciously first, through singing and games, before the concept is ‘made conscious’ in a visual way and then practiced thoroughly. The practice phase progresses through reading, writing and creative activities that enable the children to become fluent in using the new pitch or rhythm through fun and engaging practical activities.
Singing is used in every lesson, with instrumental work built in alongside. 1st Access provision on the recorder and ukulele is woven into our curriculum in a way that works hand in hand with the children’s developing musicianship skills. As they become increasingly proficient, children will explore layers in music through part-work such as ostinatos, canon and harmony, facilitating opportunities for them to further develop their listening skills and musical understanding, as well as their concentration and memory.
Children listen to and perform music from a broad range of styles and traditions, and are given the skills to explore, improvise and compose using the concepts that they have learnt within their musicianship training as well as the stylistic features of music that they hear.
Throughout their time at Christ Church, children will follow a progressive Music curriculum that enables them to build on their prior learning and experiences at all stages, whilst equipping them with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to continue on their musical journey. The children will have the opportunity to learn instruments through 1st Access tuition, and to pursue this further through small group or individual tuition with a visiting instrumental teacher if they wish. They should be confident performers, who enjoy singing and playing instruments together. They will have created music that demonstrates their understanding of the musical concepts, elements, and styles that they have studied whilst showcasing their own individual creativity. They will be able to talk about the music that they hear, showing an appreciation and respect for different styles and traditions, while being able to express and justify their own preferences. They will have a good understanding of the ways in which Music can be notated. Above all, they will demonstrate excitement and enjoyment of music that will be evident in all musical activities that take place across the school.
The subject leader will monitor the impact of the Music curriculum through;
- Ongoing formative assessment and feedback.
- Constant reviews of planning in response to the needs of the children.
- Recordings of children’s work to monitor progress and to have examples of expected outcomes that can be shared.
- Pupil, staff and parent voice activities.
- Evaluation of children’s engagement in performance opportunities and extra-curricular activities.
Our Music Clubs
The school runs its own orchestra and choirs which participate in competitions and support the school and community at a range of local events. Our music clubs include:
- Christ Church Singers
- CC Jam
Private music lessons can be provided for brass instruments (including the saxophone) as well as cello, guitar, piano, percussion, and wind instruments. Details of these teachers can be found on the instrumental notice board in school or by clicking on this link. If you would like to arrange lessons, please contact the relevant teacher directly. It is expected that all who receive instrumental tuition in school will participate in a group that is appropriate for their instrument and ability.
See Available Music Tutors
Concerts form an important part of the school calendar. For instance, Spring and Christmas concerts are held at the Wiltshire Music Centre each year. If children wish to take part in these events they must attend rehearsals on a regular basis.
As for our choirs, these groups perform at the Carol service and Spring/Christmas concerts. They also appear in assemblies while supporting school productions and our ‘Musicians in the Making’ concert. Again, children who wish to perform must be prepared to attend rehearsals on a regular basis.