Our Values in Music
- Singing - We learn to sing together as a whole-school community, a year group or class. This activity connects us.
- Performing - We enjoy performing together, on instruments or singing.
- Exploring - Listening to different genres of music sparks lots of collaborative discussions.
- Exploring - We work together to explore and create using our voices, bodies, tuned and un-tuned instruments.
- Composing - We work together to create musical sound effects, explore rhythms and improvise musical phrases.
- The world around us - By discovering music traditions from around the world, we develop respect for different cultures and communities.
- Respect for others - When collaborating with or listening to the work of others, we learn the importance of respecting the work, efforts, talents and opinions of our peers and other musicians.
- Respect for equipment - Regularly using instruments teaches us the importance of looking after and respecting them. We learn how to handle instruments appropriately.
- Respect for musicians - By listening to a range of genres and exploring ‘live’ music opportunities, we develop respect for musicians who create, entertain and connect with us.
- Listening - By increasing the awareness of different musical genres and traditions our experiences are enriched.
- Performing - By introducing us to tuned instruments and reading of notation, a new world of musical possibilities is opened up to us.
- Inclusion and equality - Music has a rare and unique ability to bring people together and allows all of us, including children with SEN, not only to participate, but to shine.
- Live performances - Watching musicians perform live inspires us and shows us that we could work in a creative job when we are older.
- Have a go - We all enjoy having a go with a ‘can do’ attitude.
- Wellbeing - Music brings us together as a community and improves our mental health.
- Celebrate - Identifying progress and celebrating the achievements of our children.
- Fun - Music lessons are hands-on, practical and fun!
As Musicians we want children to
Intent – Our curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
Music is a universal language. From nursery rhymes, film scores to tribal drumming, music has the ability to create calm, tension and joy. At Market Drayton Junior School, we recognise that music touches every part of our daily lives and as such we give the teaching and learning of music the prominence that it deserves. We want our pupils to aspire to be the next Mozart, John Williams or Adele!
Our music curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils whilst equipping them with the knowledge to explore, create and perform their own works of music. We want children to continually enhance their own musical knowledge and skills, alongside larger group and whole class collaborations. As pupils progress, they should gain a deeper understanding of how music reflects and shapes history and the current world in which the children live in. We believe every child at our school should have the choice to become the next world renowned composer, performer or musicologist.
Implementation – How do we deliver
the music curriculum?
Music is taught as a discrete subject, but also across the curriculum. Areas of learning such as times tables in maths, vocabulary in languages and movement in dance can all incorporate different elements of music. Music assemblies allow the children opportunities to develop their singing skills and gain a deeper understanding of how ensembles work. These assemblies also include musical theory to coincide with classroom music lessons.
Performances such as the Christmas production, assemblies and end of year shows demonstrate that music is important to the life of the school. Through our singing and listening, we cover a wide range of musical genres which the children will revisit throughout their time in school.
Our music curriculum design is based on Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum. This covers the national curriculum, with space for a local curriculum offer and helps to structure the curriculum across the primary phase.
Underpinned by the vision and values, our music curriculum sets out a clear breadth of what will be covered:
African Drumming & Samba
Heroes and Villains
Your Country Needs You
Music Mix is a daily activity where children listen to a wide range of musical artists and genres. Each week, a new musical theme is introduced across the school and the children (and staff!) are able to score each piece they listen to and discuss why they enjoyed or did not enjoy the music. This allows for musical discussions and incorporates the use of musical language. It is also a 5 minute ‘brain break’ where the topics of wellbeing and mental health are also encouraged and why music can be a source of comfort and calm. The children are transported to music from the current UK industry, but also historical classics, world music, movies and musicals to enrich every child’s music learning journey.
Progression and structure through the music curriculum is supported by a ‘threshold concepts’. The ‘threshold concepts’ are what pupils should understand and underpin the breadth of study. These include:
- To perform
- To compose
- To transcribe
- To describe music
The children return to each concept again and again through each area in the curriculum breadth. This helps the children develop as musicians and secures the concept development into long term memory and allows for progression. This increases their knowledge of the areas of music over time.
Links to Other Subjects
Music has the power to link to all areas of the curriculum. Music teaches us how to collaborate, explore, discuss and think outside the box. The basis of a composition, setting out beats, bars and working out the partnership of multiple instruments working together helps us with our maths work and problem solving. In science, music enables us to understand sound waves and how we hear high and low pitches. By looking at different genres and composers of music from across history, we are able to have a better understanding of daily life and culture. Music enhances our gymnastics and dance work in PE lessons, making sure we keep in time by listening and watching. Most importantly, music helps us have healthy minds.
In every year group, children are able to see direct topic links to other areas of their learning:
The Year 3 pupils link music to their geography topics of rivers and the country of Spain. In Year 4, the children delve into South America while the music service introduces the cultural phenomenon of samba. In Year 5, the discussion of whether Annie Edson Taylor (the first person to go down Niagara Falls in a barrel) is a hero or not in English coincides with their music lessons exploring movie theme tunes for heroes and villains. Finally, Year 6 widen their historical knowledge of WWI and learn all about the popular songs of the time.
Special Education Needs and Music
Music has a rare and unique ability to bring people together; music making can make a whole class, school and community feel connected to others and a part of something bigger. Our music curriculum celebrates the inclusion of all pupils including those with special educational needs and disabilities, ensuring that all children can reach their creative potential. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement.
Music Beyond the Classroom
To raise children’s aspirations as musicians, we always look for opportunities beyond the classroom.
We have been fortunate to have local musicians and practitioners visit the school to demonstrate and perform to the children showing the creative career opportunities which are possible, further endorsing the notion that music is an important part of our curriculum and holds a vital part in our wider lives and industry.
Children have taken part in orchestral workshops and concerts with other schools in the wider community to showcase and develop their talents.
Weekly instrumental lessons are provided by Shropshire Music Service and an array of music clubs have been organised MDJS staff in order to provide as many opportunities as possible for children of all ages and abilities. These have included a lower and upper school choir and recorder groups, guitar and ukulele clubs.
Music has a high profile within school as shown by our Gold Award for excellence in music provision. To help children gain a deep level of understanding about music, we introduce them to a range of musical genres throughout their school careers from Nursery to the end of Key Stage 2. Through discussion, practical hands-on exploration and taught sessions, the children are gradually introduced and become more proficient with the elements of music.
The children review and build upon their knowledge through each new unit of work. Through our partnership with the Shropshire Music Service, pupils in lower school are taught by a specialist teacher allowing high quality music tuition to take place and misconceptions to be dealt with, continuing on from the provision provided in Key Stage 1. In upper school, our excellent classroom teachers continue with this high quality curriculum.
The frequent listening opportunities allow children to compare and contrast genres as their growing musical vocabularies develop. Music Mix enables classes to also discuss the importance of music for their wellbeing and mental health. The experience of learning a tuned instrument is invaluable in the pursuance of deep understanding. Children develop learning skills such as perseverance and resilience whilst mastering the techniques.
Through the explicit teaching of skills in music, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. As most of our work is practical, we use video recordings as our main tool to assess and analyse.
To conclude, the impact and measures of the above are to ensure that the children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the music curriculum, but also to embrace and nurture a love of music. Above all, children and staff should enjoy the teaching and learning of music together.
Shropshire Music Service Gold Award
We are very excited to have received the Shropshire Music Service Gold Award this year - 2020. A huge well done to all the children and staff who bring music alive at MDJS, what a fantastic achievement! We can't wait to see even more wonderful performances in the future.