Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talents and musicianship, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. It is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It transcends different cultures, abilities and generations. Listening to and making music fulfils an instinctive human need for self-expression and creativity. It stimulates responses both emotional and at intellectual levels. Music is a lifelong source of pleasure and is education for life.
Aims of the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum for Music aims to ensure that all pupils:
Music at Our Lady of Hartley
Here at Our Lady of Hartley we aim to teach exciting and interactive music lessons by bringing together great music from all musical periods and using modern teaching methods to ensure the success of our pupils. We currently follow the Charanga music scheme, which supports all aspects of the music curriculum. Where possible, units have been added and adapted to link with Mantle or Science topic work, in order to really engage the children with the whole curriculum and enrich their learning.
Children in years 4 and 5 also enjoy whole-class instrumental (ukulele) or vocal tuition through DASCo. They develop their performance skills throughout the year by performing for a range of audiences and at concert halls including the Longfield Academy and The Orchard Theatre.
We have a fantastic school choir for children in KS2 which practises every week with Mrs Clarke. The highlight of the year is their participation in the Young Voices Concert with thousands of local school children at the O2.
Singing assembly is held each week for all children where we learn a wide range of vocal skills. During every assembly, children are able to learn about our ‘Composer of the Month’. As the year goes by they will explore different musical styles from other cultures, and put these into historical context.
Peripatetic instrumental teachers visit the school on a weekly basis, and the children are given the opportunity to watch live performances from musicians who visit the school, for example a Steel Pan workshop.
Throughout their time at Our Lady of Hartley, children are given opportunities to perform with their peers. Years 1 and 2 perform in a KS1 Nativity, years 3 & 4 perform in a LKS2 Nativity. Children in Year 6 stage a musical production before they leave the school in the summer.
Music Lessons at Our Lady of Hartley
The concept of loops (known as riffs in music) can be reinforced through both subjects to cement children’s understanding
There are numerous links between English & music including: using character voices to understand timbre, reflecting a narrative in the structure of a composition and also by exploring and writing lyrics, using varied vocabulary and drawing from their poetry skills.
Geography or History
Listening to music from a different point in history or from a different culture helps children gain a richer understanding of a place or time different to the one they live in.
We often link what we think and hear with some kind of image. It can be helpful therefore to create pictures to represent sounds, reflecting the different musical elements such as pitch and dynamics through artistic ones such as colour or shape.
Linking music to dance is an excellent way for the children to feel the music. Dance requires an understanding of pulse and rhythm, which is also a critical skill in music education.
To get a good understanding of rhythm, children need to be secure in their counting. There are also numerous patterns in music that have their basis in numerical sequences.
Please feel free to watch some of our end of unit performances.
Even during lockdown we were able to continue our music lessons. Here is a a selection of Year 1 children playing the opening to Exile by Taylor Swift.
Each month the children of Our Lady of Hartley listen to music that enhances their knowledge of composers. The music is played in classes and during assemblies. Children are taught a little bit about the genre, the composer and the performers.
Style of music
Known for stylistic diversity -
Blends different styles (pop,
classical and jazz).
Jazz and swing
Dance related works and concert pieces
Classical and pop music