Developing Young Musicians

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Our aim at Penponds is to ensure that all children access a high-quality music education which should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

We foster a life-long love of music by regularly working with community singing teachers and musicians as well as our own talented team to show pupils the enjoyment that can be found in music.

The Rainbow Academy Trust holds a Gala concert for all of the schools, where the arts are celebrated at The Regal Theatre, enabling the children the experience of performing in a professional space.

Music and performance is a key part of our curriculum. In EYFS and KS1 music is taught through the Charanga programme to ensure a secure bedrock and foundation of music knowledge and skills. We see this as the roots of the musical learning tree. A specialist music teacher from Cornwall Music Service teaches Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 children weekly and builds on from these firmly rooted foundations. In KS2 the tree continues to grow, fanning out in different directions, like the children’s musical creativity.

The music curriculum was reviewed following the publication of the Model Music Curriculum: Key Stages 1 to 2 Non-statutory guidance for the national curriculum in England to ensure best practice and musical teaching. This was written as a collaboration between the specialist music teacher and the music lead. We also use a Music Calendar, where a variety of music genres are shared weekly with the children, with each week focusing on one genre of music, Throughout the week,  children have the opportunity to listen to a different piece from that genre. See the calendar here

All children have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in whole class instrumental teaching in KS2. Children who learn other instruments are encouraged to play these and use their knowledge and skills within music lessons to further their learning, to challenge and to be good musical role models.

Performing and visual arts also play a significant part within our curriculum with a Christmas nativity for Key stage 1 and a summer musical production for KS2, often drawing upon our rich and varied regional culture and staff expertise.

We teach singing lessons, guitar and keyboard as well as our popular choir which perform at local concerts throughout the year including our annual MAT extravaganza in the spring term. Children can also learn instrumental and ensemble skills by having Rocksteady lessons, where they learn to play their instrument as part of a band.

Listening to recorded performances is complemented by opportunities to experience live music making in and out of school. These include performances by other school ensembles or year groups, visits from local musicians, such as Squashbox Theatre and our Music Education Hub partners. We aim to enrich children’s musical experiences by planning visits to live performances.

Importance of Music in our school

The teaching of music develops skills and attitudes which can support learning in other curriculum areas e.g. listening skills, concentration levels, perseverance, self-confidence, creativity, respect and sensitivity towards others. Children are given the opportunities to develop their musical abilities and knowledge through other curriculum areas. Music is a powerful vehicle to support other areas of the curriculum enabling knowledge and skills to cement in children’s long-term memory.

Through responding to and playing a wide range of music, the children are helped to understand how sounds are made, changed and organised. The children develop an understanding of musical processes including learning about and reading relevant musical symbols and notation. The children understand how music is influenced by history, time and place of origin.

The Music Lead is responsible for supporting colleagues in their teaching, keeping them informed of current developments in the subject, and by providing a strategic lead and direction for Music.

Our children are supported through our four school values – Curiosity, Creativity, Confidence and Caring- all embodied through our vision, ‘Aiming High and Achieving Our Best’ and our vision statement:

Penponds School will work with all stakeholders to create a happy, safe and stimulating environment where children become ‘Leaders of their own Learning’. By maintaining high expectations of the whole school community, our children will be equipped to become lifelong learners. We encourage curiosity about the world, strive to be creative in everything we do and build confidence in our children to enable them to grasp opportunities and tackle challenges with resilience and self-assurance.

“Music has a power of forming the character and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.” (Aristotle)

We are musicians

Agreed teaching principles for Music:

  • Planning is progressive in knowledge and skills
  • A wide variety of percussion and tuned instruments are taught
  • Learning is based on the work of musicians, different musical genres and periods of history
  • High quality modelling is key to the teaching process
  • Building knowledge will progress with repeated practice to build skill
  • Providing a safe space for creative exploration is essential
  • Time to evaluate and respond to their own and other’s work is a key self-assessment tool  

Teaching Approaches

  • Listening and appraising famous compositions and songs from a wide range of genres, cultures and time periods
  • Self and peer assessments during compositions
  • Warm-up games to improve rhythm, pulse and beat
  •  Flexible games to extend and consolidate knowledge as required
  •  Constant recall and recapping of technical and musical language
  •  Use Inter-related dimensions of music characters to support understanding for dynamics,  Pitch, Tempo, Duration, Rhythm, Timbre, Texture and Structure and revisit these in all lessons

To be a musician I need to:

  • Practise, practise, practise
  • Interpret the elements/inter-related dimensions of music used when singing or playing instruments
  • Carefully choose, order, combine and control sounds to an effect that I like.
  • Evaluate own and other’s music
  • Have motivation, determination and perseverance
  • Have confidence to perform before an audience