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Music Subject Leader: Mrs Clay
Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression, and it can play an important part in personal development. Music reflects the culture and society we live in, and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. Besides being a creative and enjoyable activity, music can also be a highly academic and demanding subject. It plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. At Merton Bank Primary School we provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills, to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms, and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.
The objectives of teaching music in our school are to enable children to:
- develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all pupils.
- foster pupils' sensitivity to, and their understanding and enjoyment of, music through an active involvement in listening, composing and performing.
- provide for the expression and development of individual skills and for sharing experience and cooperating with others; singing, playing, composing and listening can give individual and collective satisfaction.
- develop an awareness of musical traditions and developments in a variety of cultures and societies.
- develop the capacity to express ideas, thoughts and feelings through music
- provide the opportunity to experience a feeling of fulfilment which derives from striving for the highest possible artistic and technical standard.
Teaching and learning
At Merton Bank Primary School we make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Singing lies at the heart of good music teaching and we regularly sing together in class or in shared assemblies and music activities. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. Singing together is a rich, uplifting and enjoyable experience and helps to develop cohesion across our school community. We teach children to listen to and appreciate different forms of music. Through our Musician of the Month, children experience music from a wide range of genres and cultural influences. As children get older, we expect them to maintain their concentration for longer, and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. We often teach these together. We also teach children to make music together, to understand musical notation, and to compose pieces. We use a range of percussion instruments in whole class teaching and also have a full class set of recorders and glockenspiels for use in class lessons.
We recognise that in all classes children have a wide range of musical ability, and so we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We also offer mixed aged lunchtime and after school music clubs across all key stages.
Additional music teaching
As part of the Wider Opportunities initiate, children in Year 4 have weekly class instrumental music lessons from a St Helens Music Service teacher. We also host peripatetic music lessons in guitar and ukulele delivered by music tutors from the private tuition company Class Sounds and keyboard lessons delivered by tutors from Music Squad. Children take part in WOW workshop[s throughout the year let by music specialists and also composition workshops led by music students from a local sixth-form college.
Showing our Talents
Children are given a wide variety of opportunities to perform and share their developing musical skills and talents. Through our music lessons, music assemblies, seasonal celebrations and talent shows, the children have many opportunities to perform as soloists and in small and larger ensembles.
The children in Year 4 enjoy weekly whole class instrumental lessons on ukulele from St Helens Music Service tutors. The children learn how to play notes and chord, how to read standard notation, how to rehears and perform to an audience and are able to play familiar songs. They cover a range of songs across the year, allowing them to experience different types of music genre, tempos and moods.
There is also the opportunity for pupils to further their skills and interest by signing up to ukulele, guitar and keyboard lessons from external providers Class Sounds and Music Squad.
These lessons take place during and after school and are dealt with directly by Class Sounds or Music Squad. If you would like more information then please speak to the school office.
We have a range of musical instruments that the children get to explore during their time at Merton Bank, we want children to experience a wide range of instruments, genres and musicians through our music curriculum. We believe it is important for pupils to gain an understanding of how music has changed and developed over time, to experiment with different sounds and instruments as well as to have an introduction to formal musical notation and playing pieces of music using familiar instruments.
Winstanley Sixth Form College student-led Workshop
We often have visitors come into school to enhance our wider music curriculum learning and enrichment. Each Spring Term, we are privileged to have specialist B-Tec Music Students from Winstanley Sixth-Form College come in to lead music workshops in each class from Nursery to Year 6, focussing on composition and performance and supporting out non-specialist class teachers with their on-going professional development in music teaching.
Musician of the Month
BBC Ten Pieces
We have a focus musician of the month that we explore with the children by listening to their music and finding out about their lives and the impact that they have had on others through their music and often their wider impact through their other influences. These often have links to wider curriculum links and particular events happening through the year which helps to make meaningful, interesting links between our music curriculum and other areas of school life.
Click on the link to find out more information.
Click on the link to find information on the BBC Ten Pieces project