“Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime”Zoltan Kodaly
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – as listener, creator or performer. Through morning music and live performances, children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive.
Throughout a pupil’s journey at Rainbow Forge, their musical skills and understanding are built year on year, from vocal exploration through movement and action songs from memory, and performing simple rhythm patterns on tuned and untuned percussion instruments in Early Years; progressing their skills and understanding in KS1 where they also experience whole class instrumental tuition on the glockenspiel, to further developing their skills and knowledge, applying this to recorder in lower KS2, where the children access music confidently, and have the ability to read and follow a simple musical or graphical score. In upper KS2 pupils continue to develop their skills and knowledge, extending their instrumental experiences by learning to play ukulele.
The child’s enjoyment of music is a key element, running alongside the ‘taught’ musical skills and objectives. At Rainbow Forge children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include visiting concerts such as the Hallé Orchestra and taking part in school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assembly, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience.
They will listen to a range of music from medieval to current era each morning, using the suggested listening from the Model Music Curriculum. They will listen to, and explore, music from different cultures and different countries. They will have the opportunity to experience live music in various performances and venues.
Music teaching at Rainbow Forge aims to create well-rounded musicians, who have a solid grounding in musicianship skills, can sing in tune and can perform with confidence and articulation. Within a pupil’s school journey, they will have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder, glockenspiel and ukulele. Pupils will also be able to access specialist instrumental lessons in flute or drums. They will perform a musical show and sing choral pieces each year from Y1 – Y6.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we relate the children’s creative development to the
objectives set out in the Early Years Curriculum which underpin the curriculum planning.
The children’s learning includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. The range of experiences encourages children to make connections between one area of learning and another, and so extends their understanding.
We provide a rich environment in which creativity is valued and encouraged. Children are engaged in a range of imaginative and enjoyable activities, and their responses involve the various senses. The children are given the opportunity to work individually and collaboratively with others.
Years 1 – 6
All children will have access to one music lesson a week, taught by our specialist music teacher. They will join together as a phase once a week for singing assembly, led by the music specialist. Music is taught through the Kodály approach, which is a child-centred philosophy that facilitates pupils to experience new learning unconsciously through singing games and musical activities, before making the new learning conscious.
Lessons are planned by the specialist music teacher, progressing each week by building on prior skills and knowledge. A programme of musical performances builds on performance skills throughout a pupil’s journey.
Medium term plans, long term plans and progression maps are used to help the teacher feel secure with their subject knowledge.
Assessments are carried out through self-assessment and teacher assessment at the end of each unit of work, and through video and audio recordings. This data helps the teacher to know how confident children are within the subject.
Zoltán Kodály believed that the first task for the teacher is to “teach music and singing in school in such a way that is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instil a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime.”
The philosophy behind Kodály’s concept is a quest to make music education universal, accessible and intuitive, where the child becomes the centre of education. It is an inclusive, play-based approach to teaching music built from creative music-making. All children learn to sing, move to music, play instruments and create music in a structured, skills-based curriculum which ensures that every child develops their inner hearing and musical literacy.
Weekly lessons scaffold pupils’ learning through small, interwoven steps of unconscious learning, leading to the presentation of the new element, and then practise of the element in new material. This 3 layered approach of prepare – present – practise is embedded in the sequence of learning throughout the curriculum.