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Music Curriculum

"He who sings, prays twice."  St. Augustine

Our vision

At St Mary’s, we value music as the soundtrack to our lives. Although it is not tangible, it is very powerful; it makes us want to move or has the influence to change how we feel; it has the ability to evoke stories and bring the past back to life; it can unite people as well as paint pictures in our minds; it has the power to motivate us, or lull us to sleep; it can console our souls in times of hardship. As humans, music is inseparable from what makes us unique. We were all musicians before we were born: the first sound each of us ever heard- the first rhythm we ever moved to- was the beating of our mothers’ hearts.  Music connects us through people and places through our everchanging world. It allows us to be creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our school, we believe music brings our diverse community together through our shared endeavour of whole-school prayer and liturgy where we sing and praise the Lord, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils performing. The pure joy of music and music making feeds the soul of our school community as it intertwines with everything we do here at St Mary’s. The music at our school, enriches each student whilst facilitating the shared bonds of support and trust through the musical experiences each child has the opportunity to experience whilst they are here.

How we plan and teach Music

At St Mary’s, we have based our curriculum on the Model Music Curriculum that was published by the DFE in 2021. We have carefully designed our curriculum to rigorously ensure children make progress in the technical, constructive and expressive components of the National Curriculum for Music.   Listening opportunities are planned to develop children’s ability to listen attentively and to move to and talk about music. Through regular opportunities to listen to music, children are supported to notice and respond to a steady beat by singing, tapping, dancing or using instruments. Children are supported to express their feelings about music and to understand that their response is personal and valued. Children learn a range of songs and develop their ability to match the pitch of another person to follow the melodic shape of the song. Children are guided to understand how music is created, produced and communicated both with instruments and technology. They are taught to recognise and read musical notation. Children are also taught to create and compose their own music both independently and collaboratively using their technical and constructive knowledge to give their piece of composition expressive meaning.  Singing is a highly-valued part of our music curriculum. Children are explicitly taught to sing with increasing accuracy, control, fluency and expression. Where our children’s voices are valued throughout our curriculum, children’s singing voices are equally valued and developed. Singing together with correct posture can cause proud projection in assemblies is a joyful and intentional practice opportunity. In turn, the benefits of singing and music for children’s wellbeing are highlighted and encouraged throughout the school.  Extra-curricula singing lessons are offered on a weekly basis after school within the school choir. The children have the opportunity to perform away from school and represent us in the ‘Young Voices’ showcase on a yearly basis. At our school we are committed to providing a range of musical experiences for our pupils. The children are encouraged to participate in various productions throughout their time at St Mary’s, live performances take place as a whole school.  Throughout their time at St Mary’s, children develop an understanding of the history of music. They are also taught to use vocabulary associated with key musical concepts with precision and confidence. Vocabulary related to pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure enables children to analyse and reflect on music they listen to and create. Children are taught to understand that these elements work together in an interrelated way to give musical expression

How we evaluate Music

Class teachers regularly assess children’s progress in music through watching and listening to children’s performances, evaluating their technical, expressive and constructive knowledge. Children are also involved in peer and self-assessment opportunities against specific criteria and are taught to analyse their performances to draw out areas of strength and next steps.

Children are asked these questions during every music lesson:

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