The National Curriculum 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 Mount Charles School 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 Mount Charles School 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. 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 in and out of school.
At Mount Charles School, we have adopted the Charanga Music School program of learning to deliver our music curriculum from EYFS to Year 6.
“The Charanga Musical School Scheme provides teachers with week-by-week lesson support for each year group in the school. It provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The Scheme supports all the requirements of the national curriculum.”
We at Mount Charles know that music as a subject is not learnt or taught in a linear way, instead it is experienced holistically over time. It is for this reason that Charanga take a repetitive approach to teaching music. The Charanga music curriculum ensures students regularly sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate music on a weekly basis. This is embedded in the weekly lessons as well as the weekly singing assemblies, regular performances (including concerts for parents and end of year and Christmas productions) and the learning of instruments. One of the music clubs that run all year is the KS2 choir. As a school, we consider the choir to be the beating heart of music at Mount Charles School. The children in the choir represent the school at local events in the community and work hard at perfecting their performance of a variety of songs.
Through the use of Charanga, students learn how to play an instrument, sing, compose and improvise on a variety of instruments, from tuned and untuned percussion to keyboards. In doing so they understand the different principle of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. The elements of music are embedded in the Charanga scheme and are therefore taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. This in turn, feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. In the Early Years, children compose and perform using body percussion and vocal sounds, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
During their time at Mount Charles School, every child will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with a specialist peripatetic music teacher free of charge. The First Access program consists of 12 music lessons and the children each have access to their own instrument (usually recorder, violin or trombone) for those sessions. By then end of the 12 sessions, children will perform to the school and/or parents in a small concert. After the initial 12 sessions, children have the opportunity to carry on learning that instrument either in school through a peripatetic teacher or an after school music club run by a member of staff, usually the music lead in the school.
Throughout each year at Mount Charles School, children become more confident as musicians because they have had multiple opportunities to develop their musical skills and knowledge. Because of the repetitive teaching and learning approach, children are able to see and work on the areas they might like to improve upon.
“Charanga Music School enables children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills.”
Because of the integral nature of music and the learner, children can experience and develop other fundamental life skills such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection.
Music develops an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from around 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, feel a pulse and have had opportunities to play various instruments. They have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.