Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. It connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. At Medstead, we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage everyone to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children.
Music is essentially a practical subject, which should be inclusively enjoyed by all, not only through the subject of music alone but also where possible, weaved seamlessly throughout the curriculum. Our curriculum is planned to teach a full coverage of skills from Year R to Year 6, where children actively build on their skillset from the previous year.
The four key areas of study are:
From an early age, children have an awareness of rhythm and pitch as well as an understanding of how to create sounds using the environment around them and here in Year R, the Foundation Stage, children are regularly given the opportunity to explore music through play. Music in the Foundation Stage is taught as an essential part of learning during the year. As part of the National Curriculum, we match the musical aspects of our children’s learning to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals, which strengthen the curriculum planning in Year R. Music has been shown to contribute greatly to a child’s personal and social development. For example, counting songs encourage a child’s mathematical ability, whilst songs from other cultures help children to achieve learning goals through their knowledge and understanding of the world.
In KS1, children at Medstead learn to explore a diverse range of music rich within its learning opportunities, varying in both a stylistic and chronologic context. They learn to sing simple songs and chants from memory as well as taking cues from visual direction such as understanding when music is softer or louder. Children are given the opportunity to listen to and comment on well-known compositions and stories from anything current to pieces of music from as far back as the 18th Century. They also learn how to write and perform their own compositions using tuned and untuned percussion, based on a given piece of music using their own symbol choices.
In KS2, children continue to build on skills attained in KS1 and learn how to sing and perform with increasing confidence, expression and control. They learn about timbre, dimension, pitch and structure. They begin to discover how to use ‘stick and dot’ notation to create their own compositions with a given metre (such as in 4/4 time) and have an understanding of compositional vocabulary such as crotchets, quavers, minims and staves. They begin to have a greater appreciation of music from different cultures and use this to have a better understanding of diversity of music. Children will also increase their aural awareness of both live and recorded pieces of music and will be able to discuss how pieces differ from other similar examples. In addition to this, children use ICT software to programme compositions, so they can record, playback and appraise them, using music vocabulary to suggest improvements to their own learning and that of others.
Opportunities to collaborate musically as part of KS1 and Early Years and KS2 are celebrated through performances such as at Christmas, where children learn the skills of cooperative performance, giving them all an understanding of the pivotal role they all play in these productions. As the children move up through the school, further music opportunities are offered to them. In Year 3, the children have the opportunity to take part in the ‘Listen2Me’ programme through Hampshire Music Service, where they learn how to create pieces of music through African drumming in the autumn term, expand singing techniques in the spring term and learn how to play the clarinet in the summer term. Year 5 enjoy taking part in ‘Orchestra unwrapped’ a specially devised hour long concert, where they learn alongside the Philharmonia Orchestra, and have the opportunity to experience live music in an engaging and exciting way, both listening and performing. In Year 6, the children perform as part of an 8,000 strong singing ensemble with the Young Voices choir at the 02 in London. In July, Year 6 work together to create and perform an end of year leavers’ performance to celebrate with parents and school pupils.
Our aims at Medstead
- To encourage awareness, enjoyment and appreciation of music in all its forms.
- To develop imagination and creativity.
- To experience success working together and build positive attitudes in music.
- For children to initiate where music can be successfully incorporated in their learning across the curriculum.
- To express ideas, thoughts and feelings through music.
At Medstead we also have visiting peripatetic teachers who currently offer music lessons for guitar, keyboard, violin, flute and clarinet and saxophone. Other instruments are offered.