At Barming Primary School we understand that 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 the personal development of people. 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 also plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. 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.
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. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people.
In Early Years, we teach music as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. Both classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and relate the musical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). These underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. Music contributes to a child’s personal and social development. Counting songs foster a child’s mathematical ability, and songs from different cultures increase a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
In Key Stage 1, children focus on the skills of listening, performing and evaluating music. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. They will learn how to add a simple melodic or rhythmical accompaniment to music that they have learned. We teach them to listen to and appreciate different forms of music, by introducing music from a range of cultures and historical areas. In Year 2, children learn to play the 4-note ocarina, and begin to understand how to play as a group and follow picture notation for each note.
As children get older, moving into Key Stage 2, 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. In Year 3, the children learn to play the recorder, and begin to understand how to read music on the traditional musical stave. They develop this further in Year 4, when they are given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument for multiple terms, as part of the Music Plus provision.
All class lessons are delivered by the class teacher or PPA teacher with the exception of Year 4 Music Plus lessons, which are taught by an peripatetic music teacher. Staff are encouraged to share ideas and resources, and to work collaboratively on aspects of music as and when the need arises.
Children are offered the opportunity to extend their musical understanding by studying a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. We currently work closely with Cult Status who provide guitar, keyboard and drum tuition, as well as private music teachers to teach some instrumental lessons (Violin, trumpet, cornet, clarinet, flute). Parents who want their children to participate in the scheme must purchase or hire the instrument and pay the additional music lesson fees on a termly basis. (Bursaries are available in certain circumstances through SoundHub, (formally Kent Music) and parents should approach the school office if they wish to take advantage of this.) These lessons are normally taught to small groups of children or in some cases, individually. This is in addition to the normal music teaching of the school, and usually takes place during normal lessons, from which children are withdrawn for the duration of the instrumental lesson.
We just love MUSIC here at Barming Primary School and so should you.
Here are the reasons why:
1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Children who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.
2. A mastery of memorisation: Even when performing with sheet music, child musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorisation can serve children well in education and beyond.
3. Increased coordination: Children who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.
4. A sense of achievement: Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Children who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.
5. Better SAT scores: Children who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SATs. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on maths for children in music appreciation courses.
6. Fine-tuned auditory skills: Musicians can better detect meaningful, information-bearing elements in sounds, like the emotional meaning in a baby’s cry. Children who practice music can have better auditory attention, and pick out predictable patterns from surrounding noise.
7. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity: Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.
8. Music can be relaxing: Children can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping us relax.
9. Musical instruments can teach discipline: Children who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practice and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.
10. Children can learn teamwork: Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.
12. Responsible risk-taking: Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches children how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential.
13. Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, children playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence.