MUSIC Subject Rationale
From the Early Years to Year 6, the music curriculum at Braintcroft E-ACT Primary Academy school is integral to pupils’ holistic development as learners. It not only enables pupils to explore their true potential as performers, composers, improvisers and listeners, whatever their musical abilities. The music curriculum also aims to engage, inspire and empower all pupils, develop their love of music as a shared experience and increase their self-confidence, creativity, sense of achievement and empowerment which they can carry through into all curriculum areas.
In the Early Years, as pupils develop verbal communication, they are taught and encouraged to use their voice to speak, sing and chant in their weekly music lessons. As they develop their co-ordination, they perform physical actions to familiar and traditional nursery rhymes and songs. They explore and experiment with creating sounds using a range of percussion instruments and are taught how to develop control, playing skills and techniques. They begin to sequence sounds to create a beat or rhythm and express how music makes them feel through movement, dance, vocalisations and in their instrument-playing.
Early years pupils are taught how to understand and describe sounds using vocabulary related to the music elements; loud, soft, high, low, fast, slow, long and short. These music elements of dynamics, pitch, tempo and duration are key to all areas of music learning – performance, composition and appraising music. They are constantly revisited and built upon throughout their schooling, with concepts of texture, timbre and structure more deeply explored in key stage 2.
At Key Stage 1 pupils further develop their musicality, control and expression using their voice and in their playing of tuned and percussion instruments. They learn to sing collections of songs from “BBC Teach” based around a theme to develop singing and their accuracy and recall of melodic and rhythmic patterns. Themes include “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Sun, Sea and Song”. At Key Stage 1, pupils are also taught how to listen with growing concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality music, including classical music. They develop their knowledge of instruments and instrument families of the orchestra.
At the start of the Autumn term, all year 3 pupils have the exciting opportunity to learn to play the ukulele via the “Tune-in” programme of whole-class teaching delivered by a peripatetic music teacher from the Brent Music Service. At the end of the term, they perform to a wider school audience to showcase pieces learnt and skills acquired. From learning the ukulele, pupils can explore progression onto the guitar, through Brent Music Service tuition and through Braintcroft guitar club. Learning a musical instrument can bring enormous benefits – a great sense of achievement, self-confidence and deeper understanding and enjoyment in music learning.
Throughout Key Stage 2, pupils develop their skills of reading and writing music notation on the stave. They listen to, evaluate, sing and play music from around the world and from different historical periods including Samba music in year 5, African American Spirituals in Year 6 and classical music throughout the key stage, including the works of the great composers and musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart and Elgar. They explore more deeply and compose using the inter-related music elements: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, and structure.
Music enrichment opportunities at Braintcroft include a school choir at Key Stage 2 which takes place weekly after school hours, and a lunchtime guitar club.
Pupils at Braintcroft have the opportunity to perform to large audiences of their peers in assemblies, end of term shows and celebrations, notably at Christmas and in the summer term, and special productions and talent shows. These are an opportunity to present knowledge and skills learnt in music lessons, but also a chance for pupils to use their own creative flare in front of a live audience. The enduring sense of achievement from these performances, including the rehearsal period is highly beneficial for well-being.
LINKS TO NATIVITY VIDEOS:
KS2 + Staff: Braintcroft – Nativity 2020 – YouTube
KS1: Early years and year 1: Nativity – YouTube
Year 2: Year 2 – Nativity – YouTube