Music is an incredible tool and it allows us to feel many emotions. It has the ability to improve our mood or calm us down and is so important in the development of children.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all children: perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions. At Portfields Primary School, we have a dedicated music room to achieve these criteria.
During music lessons, children will be encouraged to create musical compositions and become familiar with musical theory, such as pitch, dynamics, tempo and musical notation. During lessons, children explore how music can be created and will be able to play several musical instruments, including: unpitched percussion (drums and rainsticks) and tuned percussion (xylophones, metallophones, boomwhackers etc.)
Children can also learn to play musical instruments facilitated by peripatetic teachers. These include keyboard, violin, guitar, cornet, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. Additionally, children can join the Rock Steady group sessions, where they can choose from the electric guitar, keyboard, drums or vocals and enjoy playing in a band with their friends – learning new and classic songs from all musical genres. Children are given opportunities to showcase their talent at a range of school events, such as the Christmas Fair and Summer Festival.
Singing Assembly takes place every week for both Key Stage 1 and 2. These sessions will focus on traditional primary school songs, such as ‘Cauliflowers Fluffy (Paintbox)’ and ‘Autumn Days’ and the children will be taught to develop their voice as an instrument.
Music at Portfields Primary School
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 the great composers and musicians
- Learn to sing and to 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, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
At Portfields Primary School, it is our intention to encourage a love and appreciation of music. It is important that all children develop an understanding of the core elements of music through singing, playing instruments, listening, experimenting and composing. We aim to expose the children to a variety of genres both past and present, enabling them to evaluate and express their own opinions, leading them toward their own musical voice. We are committed to creating opportunities with the school and wider community to share the children’s talent, enthusiasm and our love of the universal language of music.
Each week, all children at Portfields Primary School have a 30-minute music lesson with a specialist music teacher. In these lessons, over the course of the school year, every child will experience and have access to:
- Musical language – Such as note names, Italian terms, genres, instruments and so on.
- Theory – The technical side of music; beginning at rhythm and beat in Year one, all the way through to writing a musical composition with notations in Year 6.
- Genres - Experiencing different styles of music from various time periods and countries to truly broaden children’s musical exposure.
- Evaluate music – Using musical language to express an opinion of a piece of music.
- Experiment with music – Having the opportunity to investigate musical instruments and create music using unconventional items (such as their body or tin cans, for example).
- Compose – Create their own piece of music based on a specific style or genre, leading up to independent composition.
In addition to this, from Year 2 onwards, every child will spend a term learning how to play a musical instrument as part of their year group’s weekly music lesson. Not only is this a wonderful experience for the child, it also helps develop confidence and creativity.
Furthermore, this kind of musical experience continues outside of music lessons, as children in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity to learn a specific instrument (such as guitar or violin) with one of the peripatetic music teachers who visit the school. Children also have the chance to join the school choir and orchestra, creating opportunities for the children to engage with the community. We also have weekly Key Stage singing assemblies, giving every child time to sing and express themselves.
This musical exposure allows children to discover their own strengths and musical ambitions in order to progress by creating independent growth and promoting confidence, achievement, interaction, self-reflection and respect for others. Through the understanding of music from a cultural and historical perspective, the children are able to discover how they enjoy music, whether it be as a performer, composer, listener or a combination. They will understand music as a feeling - appreciating the plethora of emotions it evokes within us as people. These skills will also allow children to appreciate and understand music, however they choose to use it in later life, from developing skills, becoming a performer or just listening for pleasure.