Subject leader: Miss Murray
At Northlands, we aim to provide all children with the opportunity to analyse, create and develop proficiency in music. This not only includes listening to and analysing a range of influential artists but also playing instruments and having the chance to experiment with different sounds. Our class music lessons are bolstered by opportunities to take part in instrument tuition (through Warwickshire Music Hub and RockSteady) or indeed to join a band (Playtastic and Rocksteady). In addition, we hope to share with the children the fact that music can become a career, especially since members of Northlands have done just this!
At Northlands we use Charanga because of its well structured, interactive units and our children seem to really enjoy them! They are progressive and provide an excellent framework for children to build upon previous learning. That is not to say that we stifle teacher's freedom of choice and creativity: each Year Group is taught the recorder by a professional musican from Wawickshire Music Hub. We are aware that some teachers will want to share their own musical expertise and we allow this within the structure of the Northlands Way but we also expect to see lessons which follow a familiar structure so that previous skills can be built upon. Weekly listening and appraisal opportunities also allow for our children to further embed vocabulary and knowledge by encouraging them to discuss a wide variety of musical styles, bands, artists and composers.
At Northlands, we are aware that no two lessons are ever the same but in general, we seek to ensure that our pedagogical approach to Music includes some key factors. Music lessons are taught weekly with discrete lessons (Charanga Music School), as well as half a term learning how to play the recorder and an additional weekly 15-minute Listening and Appraisal session, where children respond to musical genres from a variety of different cultures, countries and historical periods.
Music lessons are musical. Children participate in real music-making activities that would be recognisable as such outside of the classroom. They listen to, perform and compose real music from a range of genres, cultures and styles. This is supported by Charanga Music School Children are supported in a variety of different ways and encouraged to discuss and share their own musical experiences.
Music is the dominant language of the lesson. Verbal instruction is concise, and pupils spend the majority of the session making music. Wherever possible, pupils demonstrate understanding through music-making rather than through verbal or written response.
Our extracurricular Music clubs offer pupils the oppertunity partake in Music as part of a group, as well as performing in concerts:
- Playtastic offers children, of all abilities, the oppertunity to play as part of a band on an intrument of their choice
- Choir join together to sing for enjoyment, as well as working towards concerts such as Manchester Carols, Young Voices and Warwickshire Choir Festival
- Rocksteady gives children the oppertunity to learn and play an electric instrument as part of band, to perform in termly concerts and work towards acheiving grades
Regular monitoring suggests that music is taught very well, is evidently progressive and skills are being built up through the children's time at Northlands. For example, vocabulary gets more complex and reviews of music more analytical. Pupils gain the skills required to talk about music confidently and to apply their skills to instruments by the end of their time here.