Music is at the heart of what it means to be human – it is a creative part of life which is central to history and culture and is key in broadening our view of the world. Our music education aim is to ensure children enjoy, appreciate, understand, and create music throughout their life. Music is all around us; music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world, bringing with it sheer joy. We believe Music brings creativity, collaboration, celebration and challenge. Our intent is to use Music to bring the school community together through the shared vision of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, all through the love of listening with friends and fellow pupils, as well as through performances.
We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. By offering a rich and varied musical framework that nurtures fundamental musical techniques alongside building musical knowledge, we offer a clear pathway towards strong musical understanding. We aim to develop aural skills, appraising, singing, improvisation, memorisation, composition and performance throughout school, thus laying essential music foundations for secondary school and beyond.
Our intent is for all children to listen to a broad range of music; thus, we expose our children to a wide range of musical genres, artists current and classical. We encourage pupils to be open minded in their listening as well as being knowledgeable about the breadth of musical genres and composers in the world, thus expanding critical cultural capital.
At Mount Pleasant, we mainly follow Charanga online schemes of work, and supplement this through explicit teaching of a musical instrument (hand-chimes for Year 2 and Violins for Years 3,4,5). The school invests heavily in Music through contracting services of professional musicians from Kirklees Musica Service.
We have considered Ofsted research (Research review series: music - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) as well as the Model Music Curriculum (Model Music Curriculum (publishing.service.gov.uk), when planning our Music curriculum. Research has identified that music has many benefits, such as concentration, phonemic awareness, literacy, memory and academic achievement. Our music curriculum sets out pathways for progression that enable pupils to develop their musical knowledge. Progress in music requires pupils to develop musically through, technical (playing an instrument and singing), constructive (how musical components come together), and expressive (aspects of music, quality, meaning and creativity).
Across all subjects within our curriculum, we firmly believe that for children to make progress in their learning, they must acquire new knowledge (a change in long-term memory). In Music, this is enabled through the acquisition of tacit (knowledge gained through experience), procedural (knowledge exercised in the performance of a task) and declarative knowledge (facts or information stored in the memory). Hence, our curriculum content is relatively repetitive, allowing plenty of opportunities for children to return to and consolidate their short-term learning. The repetition of key curriculum content with a gradual introduction of new ideas, methods and concepts helps to embed the core musical ideas of pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and notation. Each half term these ideas are taught through a different genre of music so that as they move up the school, children’s knowledge of a wide range of musical styles increases, including western classical music, popular music and traditional music from around the world.
We firmly believe that every child should be given the opportunity to play a musical instrument. To ensure this is successful, we have a progressive model where children first learn to play hand chimes in year 2, and then have a term of violin music teaching for 3 years. This allows children to learn, practice and apply their knowledge for significant periods of time each year, resulting in progression and competency.
In addition to weekly Music lessons, the children are introduced to a wide range of composers carefully selected to expose children to a range of musical genres and composers, from classical composers, to modern, during the weekly assemblies. This promotion of music ensures that love of music is highly valued at the school.
Our passion, commitment and investment in Music is evident through our new school anthem ‘Think Big, Aim High’, working with Danny from Class Dynamix; a project the whole school community is immensely proud off. The project began during the spring lockdown, with online song-writing workshops with small groups of children. Once the song was written children had the opportunity to join a choir to record the song with a professional sound engineer, and finally children were filmed for the accompanying music video. It has been an important project for the school community, as great effort has been made to ensure that all children in school have been involved and encouraged to take ownership of the song. The finished video and recording is a valuable resource for the school in the future which demonstrates the school’s passion for music and creativity, as well as being a positive memory for all the children after they leave Mount Pleasant
Teachers monitor the progress of individual children. Charanga gives the opportunity to raise or lower the difficulty of the various musical activities through its ‘Bronze, Silver and Gold’ levels.
As a result of the high-quality music curriculum on offer, children will leave the school ready for the next stage of their musical education and will be able to :
- 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
- 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: pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, structure, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations
- Have a passion for singing and playing instruments together and an enthusiasm for exploring and discovering new music.
“I thought I could never do it (play an instrument) but at the end I did.”
“Whenever I get in an argument or when I’m not feeling, like, feeling down music is the only thing that makes me get up and just dance and sing the song.”
“(Violins) was fun, it was really fun learning new songs to play on the violin.”
“I used to hate rock music but when we listen to some type of rock music I think I like it more.”
“I got better at dancing with Danny. Think big aim high!”