Music is an integrated part of learning at Janet Duke. It is not always an implicit subject, but can be accessed through assemblies, use of music in PE lessons and as an aide memoir, such as times tables songs. In Early Years, music is key in children exploring their world. Children have access to instruments and items to use as instruments in their indoor and outdoor spaces. Children in Key Stage one and two have six focused music lessons per term, either as a block or as part of two smaller units. They generally follow the Charanga scheme of work and ensure children have access to learn about the interrelated dimensions of music appropriate to their age group. Cross curricular links can be made, so the scheme can be adapted (eg. Cultural music linked to China in year 2 or the Windrush generation in year 6). Children have access to instruments for two of their units of music and focus on singing for one.
The learning of music is broken down into four key steps. First is listen and appreciate, in which children experience and discuss music from a range of genres. This comes as part of assemblies and as the first step of a music lesson. Children will experience rock, classical, hip-hop and gospel to name a few. Next, children learn about a song, by learning the lyrics or playing a tune on an instrument, using simple notation in key stage two. Then, children have the opportunity to improvise, using instruments to express themselves before finally composing a piece of music based on the genre. Throughout all of this, children learn about the interrelated dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure.
We have a choir club in each key stage who practice weekly in preparation for performances in the community, including the Basildon Music Festivals. Children throughout the school perform as part of events including the Christmas concerts. We also have a tutor who supports small groups of students to play together as part of a band.
During the times of COVID, teaching music has definitely not been the same! We have adapted to learning about music without singing and have been lucky enough to invest in glockenspiels for each year group so they can practice in school and be cleaned and stored in between uses. In the run up to Christmas, it was great to hear the children playing some festive tunes!
Since the national lockdown, teaching music has once again been a challenge, but the children have still been creating music using the tools on Purple Mash. I have heard some great compositions from across the year groups. A great place to look is the Noticeboards on Purple Mash to see what the children have been up to. There has also been a focus on listening and appreciating music from a range of genres and cultures. Here are some images of the work (although they sound much better!)