We experience music almost everywhere: on the street, at a concert, in our homes, on our phones or radios, in school and in classrooms. At Linwood, Music is celebrated across all phases and is embedded within all of our bespoke curriculums. The benefits of listening to, and engaging in music making are well documented. Some of the benefits include:
- Reducing feelings of anxiety and stress
- Helping with the regulation of emotion
- Improving focus and concentration
- Developing the way children and young people can process language and speech
- Promotion of positive mental health and self-esteem
- Supporting the development of social skills and relationships with others
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, pupils begin to explore their ‘world of sound’ – exploring different sounds that can be made using different instruments and via body percussion. Investigation and exploration of sounds that can be created by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing are encouraged and celebrated. Pupils begin to build a repertoire of songs and dances, moving in response to the music. Rhythmic skills are explored and developed through movement – responding to the music being heard. Singing is enjoyed and explored and pupils who are becoming increasingly aware of familiar songs and rhymes.
Music within the ALMA curriculum is delivered by Sam Mason, a specialist Music teacher who uses her extensive knowledge of working with pupils with PMLD/SLD to enable pupils to access rich and valuable musical experiences.
Within the Semi-Formal curriculum, Music falls under the domain of ‘expressive arts’. Pupils learn to further explore their ‘world of sound’ by expanding on their prior musical experiences. Pupils are provided with opportunities to explore both tuned and untuned instruments to further investigate musical concepts such as melody. Pupils are encouraged to learn basic skills to play simple melodies as part of a group or ensemble on instruments such as keyboards and chimes. Within these collective music making experiences, pupils continue to learn about the musical elements that underpin the design of our music curriculums. These elements include tempo, texture, structure, pitch, duration, dynamics and the importance of silence.
Within the formal curriculum (including KS2 and KS3), pupils begin to refine and build upon existing musical experience and knowledge. A deep exploration of the musical elements (tempo, texture, structure, pitch, duration, dynamics and silence) are explored through both theory and practice. Pupils are encouraged to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Pupils learn to sing and to use their voices with increasing control and accuracy. They will learn to create and compose music on their own and with others. We provide opportunities for pupils to learn a musical instrument and explore the use of music technology where appropriate to enable progress to the next level of musical excellence. Pupils are taught about formal and informal ‘scores’ and how music can be recorded in the written form. For some pupils, formal notation (on the written stave) is taught and concepts such as note duration, note names, key and tempo are explored. However, we also acknowledge that informal notation can allow for greater freedom of expression for our learners to express (and understand) musical ideas. Concepts such as the colour coding of notes allows for pupils to access melodic ideas and is something that is continuously being explored by our staff and pupils here at Linwood.
The Linwood ‘Open Up Orchestra’ continues to explore the ways in we can enable even greater access for our young musicians of all abilities. Technologies such as the Clarion (Ipad based instrument) and the Soundbeam 6 are technologies which provide our learners with access to ever increasing world of sound and experience. The orchestra meet on a weekly basis and re-work classical pieces to create their own vivid repertoire.
For all phases and curriculums, performance is an integral part of the learning process. This is where pupils develop and refine their skills through rehearsal, share their work during performance and importantly assess their development and progress before establishing their own next steps for learning.