At MJS our intention is to help all children to feel that they are musical and to develop a life-long love of music. We are proud to offer our pupils a music curriculum that provides all our learners with the opportunities to listen, perform and analyse music from a range of historical periods, genres and cultures, teaching children to respect and appreciate the music of all traditions and communities. We aim for the children to develop their love of music and be creative musicians with strong aural skills by encountering music by living composers, creating music through improvisation for a specific purpose, on tuned and untuned percussion instruments, seeing composition as a current art form. They develop their understanding of rhythm and pitch and learn how music is structured, as well as learning technical vocabulary for these elements. Through music, our curriculum helps children to develop transferable skills such as team-working, leadership, creative thinking, problem-solving, decision making and presentation and performance skills.
We cover the end of year attainment stages outlined in the national curriculum for KS2 also aiming to cover the aspects from the 2021 Model Music Curriculum.
Using units from the Charanga Music scheme along with additional units planned by the school's music specialist as a method of delivery, we cover the strands of performing, listening, composing, the history of music and the inter-related dimensions of music. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work as well as improvisation and teacher-led performances. Cross-curricular links are made when it is appropriate. We intend that every lesson can be accessed by all pupils and that there are opportunities for the more advanced musicians to stretch their learning and excel, whilst the less confident musicians are given the support necessary to enable them to succeed and build their confidence.
We aim to meet the model music curriculum requirements of 1hr of music a week; this includes time spent singing regularly in assembly, with songs taught either as part of whole school singing assemblies or within class in preparation to sing as a school, and whole class music lessons, which may be taught as a block or broken down into shorter lessons over a term, depending on the musical unit, as well as additional lessons and workshops from specialist companies. Whilst music is taught discretely, elements of music feature across the curriculum - from listening to songs from different cultures in each assembly, singing, chanting and rapping to recall times tables in maths, applying the use of fractions when learning note values, dance in PE to singing songs in French.
All children in Year 4 are given to opportunity to learn a musical instrument through the Wider Music opportunity (this is currently brass) as well as using pitched tuned instruments such as the glockenspiel and recorders and percussion instruments in class music lessons, with opportunities to perform to their class and the wider school community. Recordings are made of performances and placed on the website for an extended audience. Whole-school singing performances take place annually at the Christmas Carol service at the Parish Church, or during times of the pandemic, outside on the playground! Other performances for an external audience take place by various year groups at different points in the year. We aim to participate in a variety of events, including young voices and give our pupils the opportunities to perform in external venues such as Derby Cathedral and the Parish Church. The inclusive school choir meets weekly and the children are given the autonomy to choose the songs they would like to sing.
Musical notation is introduced in class lessons, initially using a graphic score, moving onto staff notation with the aim of the majority of children being able to read simple music in the treble clef and translate that to use on a tuned instrument by the end of year 6.
For those children who wish to learn an instrument, we offer peripatetic lessons, with specialist teachers, currently in woodwind, piano, guitar and violin. They are encouraged to perform to their class, which builds up their confidence of playing their instrument to an audience. Many of these pupils take external exams on their instrument with boards such as ABRSM and Trinity. A number of our pupils play with ensembles out of school including the Melbourne Town Band, South Derbyshire Music Centre and Derby Cathedral Choir with past pupils progressing to join the county bands and the Hot House music center. One past pupil is currently touring with the West End Musical 'School of Rock' playing the bass guitar she learnt whilst at MJS.
The impact of teaching music will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of music. Formative and summative assessment opportunities are presented through retrieval quizzes and end or unit recorded performances. Whole-school and parental engagement will be improved through performances, extracurricular activities and opportunities suggested in lessons/overviews for wider learning. Participation in music develops wellbeing, promotes listening and develops concentration. We want to ensure that music is loved by teachers and pupils across school, encouraging them to want to continue building on this wealth of musical ability, now and in the future with all members of the school community showing enjoyment and confidence when performing. The expected impact of implementation at MJS is that pupils should leave equipped with a range of skills to enable them to succeed in their secondary education and to be able to enjoy and appreciate music throughout their lives.
Please see the video section of the website for examples of past and more recent performances on this link: