Music is all around us. We respond to it constantly as we interact with our environment, whether it is the sound of the wind and rain, trickling water, birds singing, a door slamming or even silence itself.
In Castlewellan Primary School we have a responsibility to develop this awareness to the world of sound and therefore music is an important part of the school curriculum. We need to give our children the opportunity to experiment with sounds and to create their own music.
“All children are potentially musical” (Programmes of Study – Northern Ireland Curriculum) and in our school we aim to develop each child’s musical ability.
We also aim to:
- Foster pupils’ enjoyment of music through their involvement in listening, composing and performing and providing a feeling of achievement and satisfaction;
- To help develop self-confidence and develop social skills and awareness through making music together;
- Develop the necessary skills and concepts through engaging in musical activity.
Learning Objectives for Key Stage 1
Pupils will explore and investigate the range of sounds available within the classroom. They will have opportunities to use the sounds they discover, and those they make using simple instruments in imaginative and creative ways. They will also have opportunities to play musical games, to sing and to use simple classroom instruments to accompany singing.
Pupils will listen carefully to, think and talk about, the kinds of sounds they create and hear within and beyond the classroom.
They will have opportunities to hear a variety of short pieces of music and to respond imaginatively and in ways which develop their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Pupils experiences of making and responding to music will, over the duration of the key stage, enable them to develop:
- Loud sounds, quiet sounds and silence (dynamics);
- Fast music and slow music (tempo/pace);
- Long sounds and short sounds (duration);
- High sounds and low sounds (pitch);
- The characteristics of the sounds they make and hear (timbre);
- Single sounds and combined sounds (texture);
- An awareness of: pulse and rhyme; repeated patterns in music; contrast.
Increasing control of the sounds they make when singing, playing and using sound imaginatively and creatively.
Learning Objectives for Key Stage 2
Pupils will have opportunities to explore an extended range of sounds in order to create their own music and will investigate ways of preserving what they have created. They will sing and play accompaniments to different types of songs and develop skills in playing a wider range of instruments. Pupils who begin to play an orchestral instrument will be encouraged to use their developing skills within the classroom.
Pupils will have opportunities to make choices and provide reasons for their preferences during music making activities. They will listen carefully to different kinds of music and describe and discuss what they hear happening in relation to the atmosphere and effects achieved. Pupils will also have opportunities to respond imaginatively and in other ways which are appropriate to the style and mood of the music.
1. Pupils experiences of making and responding to music will, over the duration of the key stage, enable them to develop an understanding of the elements of music, in relation to:
- Variations in volume, increasing/decreasing levels of sound and silence (dynamics);
- Variations in speed, including getting faster and slower (tempo/pace);
- Patterns of longer and shorter sounds (rhythm/pulse/metre);
- Patterns of higher and lower sounds (melodic shape);
- Qualities of the sounds they make and hear (timbre);
- Combinations of sound (texture);
- Repetition and contrast (ways of creating musical structures).
2. An increasing ability to combine and use the elements of music to express their own ideas and feelings and to create mood and atmosphere.
3. An awareness of the individual sound characteristics of common musical instruments and how composers and performers use them to create effects and atmosphere.
Learning Outcomes for Music
Key Stage 1
By the end of Key Stage 1 most of our pupils should understand:
- That sound can be used to create effect;
- That different qualities of sound create different effects and that the quality of a single sound can be changed;
- The effects created by changes in volume, tempo and pitch and ways of using sounds to create effects;
- That sounds can be represented in visual form;
- That feelings can be expressed through sounds;
- That sound can be singing, blowing, striking, shaking, scraping, objects;
- The ‘team’ aspect of performing when in a group and the need to follow instructions when singing or playing an instrument;
- That performances can convey sad/happy emotions;
- The need to listen carefully;
- That people can respond to music in different ways;
- That there are different kinds of music;
- That music can affect the way people feel.
Key Stage 2
By the end of Key Stage 2 most of our pupils should understand:
- That music should have a beginning, middle and an ending;
- The effects created by getting louder/quieter, faster/slower, longer/shorter and higher/lower;
- That rhyme consists of longer and shorter sounds built around a regular pulse;
- The effects created by repetition, contrast and surprise;
- That performing is about telling a story with music;
- The need for accuracy in performing what the composer/director intended;
- Ways of making a performance more expressive e.g. through use of dynamics, style of performing, musical sentences (phrasing) and facial expression;
- Melody and accompaniment and the idea of playing in a round;
- That people learn to perform music by listening rather than reading i.e. playing by ear;
- That there are different kinds of notation for different purposes;
- That through listening to music they can imagine their own stories;
- That different kinds of music affect the listener in different ways;
- That different aspects of an instrument affect the sound it makes e.g. size, material and method of playing;
- How sound is produced on common instruments e.g. violin, trumpet, guitar and piano.
Key Stage 1
By the end of Key Stage 1 our pupils should be able to:
- Play with sound and join in with rhymes and simple songs;
- Focus attention on sounds for short periods of time;
- Control starting and stopping and maintain short silences;
- Move to a steady pulse;
- Use simple instruments and control the volume when striking a drum, tambourine, cymbal, chime bar etc.
- Draw symbols and patterns to represent their sounds.
Key Stage 2
By the end of Key Stage 2 most of our pupils should be able to:
- Control breath and diction when singing simple songs;
- Control graduations of volume (louder/quieter) and tempo (faster/slower);
- Create and perform short melodic patterns on tuned instruments;
- Identify the sounds of common instruments e.g. piano, violin;
- Select and use appropriate instruments to create the effect they desire;
- Play with increasing skills on a wider range of instruments;
- Devise and interpret symbols which represent sounds.
Language and Music
In Castlewellan Primary School we recognise that language is the central means by which learning can be achieved. We believe music has a key role in the development of our pupils language skills.
Relationship between Music and Language in the Programmes of Study.
Key Stage 1
Pupils will have opportunities to:
- Listen carefully to, think and talk about the kinds of music they create and sounds they hear within the classroom;
- Hear a variety of short pieces of music and to respond in ways which develop their verbal and non-verbal communication skills;
- Sing a variety of songs and show a degree of control of words, expression and singing in tune;
- Think and talk about the features and effects of the music they create, perform and listen to.
Key Stage 2
- Make choices and provide reasons for their preferences during music making;
- Listen carefully to different kinds of music and discuss what they hear happening in the music;
- Sing a variety of songs with increasing control and confidence and develop awareness of singing in parts;
- Play both by ear and by notation;
- Listen to and discuss their songs and accompaniments;
- Discuss how the elements of music are used in pieces from different periods, styles and cultures.
The strategies chosen for each lesson should allow for differentiation. This on the whole should cater for children with special educational needs and those who are musically gifted. The gifted children will be encouraged to join the after school choir and hopefully that they may have the opportunity to receive instrumental tuition from the SEELB.
The teacher will continually be assessing informally each child’s ability and level of participation in practical activities. A comment on each child’s ability will be written on the school report at the end of each year.