At Cambridge Primary school we aim to provide an engaging music curriculum that is accessible to all and develops a love of and enjoyment for all aspects of music. We aim to ensure that all our children are engaged in the appreciation of, and performance of, a variety of music in lots of different ways. We like to encourage children to show off their musical talents during assemblies, productions and in class to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Music plays a big role in the classroom, where it is played during lots of class sessions. Here, it is used to encourage a concentrated calm working atmosphere or maybe time a class challenge. More formal teaching of music in class is linked to the class termly topic which means that children can be listening to and appreciating music as diverse as Brazilian samba drumming - in order to learn the drum rhythms to accompany such music - or listening to Holst’s 'The Planets' so that they are inspired to use percussion instruments to perform a piece of music to create the atmosphere of panic during the Great Fire of London. During these class sessions, the children learn to use the vocabulary associated with making music and are able to discuss the pulse, pitch, dynamics and tempo of the music they are listening to. They are able to make music both with their voices and with a variety of instruments that are matched to their abilities. In the Upper Key Stage 2 classes they also begin to learn to read and write music using simple musical notation.
All children take part in a singing assembly each week where we learn a variety of traditional, new songs and celebration songs for special occasions such as Harvest or Easter. During these assemblies we occasionally accompany the singing with the playing of musical instruments. The children enjoy these assemblies and are quick to learn the new songs we teach them.
We endeavour to ensure that children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and that they are able to use their musical skills, knowledge and experiences in a variety of contexts. Each year, different class groups and both key stage choirs take part in performances and competitions outside school. These include Furness Voices - Barrow schools' production at the Forum; Young Voices production at Manchester Arena and Ulverston Music Festival as well as smaller gatherings such as singing at Barrow market or for the residents of a local care home at Christmas time.
Each Key Stage 2 child is given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument including recorder, violin, penny whistle or flute. These instruments are taught by both staff from the school and music teachers who are bought in by school. All the children who take up this opportunity enjoy the experience and are not only able to take part in performances both in school and in the local community but they are also able to continue their learning outside of school and once at high school.