The National Curriculum (2014) for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
- Be taught to sing, create and compose music
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At Norwood the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective at Norwood is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts. At Norwood, we have created sound planning that incorporates all aspects of music, from appreciation to writing our own compositions. As a school, we are constantly developing our understanding of different musicians and artists.
The Music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments, and the joining of one of our many musical ensembles. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In doing so, understand the different principles of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
As part of the Music curriculum, children in Year 3 learn African drumming on Djembe drums, Year 4 learn how to play woodwind and brass instruments and some children in Years 5 and 6 form part of the 'Norwood Band'. In the Summer term, Year 2 will also begin to start African drumming and take part in rhythmic workshops.
In addition to this, Norwood offers some excellent extra-curricular music based after school clubs, giving children the chance to show their love of music and singing.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows students to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music also helps to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose - either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
By the end of a pupil’s time in Norwood, we want our children in Music to:
- Listen to and repeat (by singing and playing an instrument) a sound with increasing accuracy, demonstrating aural memory.
- Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voice and musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
- Improvise and compose music using a wider range of different musical elements (e.g. pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, texture, form).
- Use and understand stave and other musical notations.
- Know different musical elements (e.g. pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, texture, form), identifying them and commenting on their effect.
- Have an awareness of the history of music and music from different cultures and traditions.
- Know and can comment on the work of at least three great composers and musicians.