“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self- confidence,
creativity and sense of achievement” DfE 2013 “If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing” J.M Barrie, Peter Pan.
Music is a unique and powerful form of communication that can change the way pupils think, feel and act. It combines
creativity with emotion; enabling personal expression, reflection and development. At Benton Dene, we are supported and inspired by our Music Specialist. We aim to develop children’s abilities to listen to, and appreciate, a wide variety of music. We want children to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated. We aim to provide opportunities for children to explore and express ideas and feelings about music in a variety of ways. We want to encourage active involvement in creating and developing musical ideas using voices, instruments and technology. We want to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness through the process of composing, rehearsing and performing. We believe that all of this will increase self-discipline, self-confidence, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
We truly love music at Benton Dene: we sing at every opportunity. We use songs and rhymes to support different areas of the curriculum; we have songs to consolidate routines, and help remember rules .And of course we just sing for the joy of it: within class, zone or whole school; be it at Christmas or Easter; with other schools and groups, or out in the local community.
As well as music being an intrinsic part of our school life, it is, of course, a subject in its own right. Our music curriculum is broad, balanced and inclusive. There are four main strands: Listening and Appraising, Knowledge and Understanding, Applying and Composing and Performing. Units of work draw upon the four strands and are tailored to pupils’ individual abilities and interests. There is an opportunity to revisit and embed learning as pupils’ progress through year groups.
Our Music Specialist teaches the majority of classes in Key Stage 2 allowing her a clear overview of content, continuity and progression. This helps her to continuously develop, evolve and improve our curriculum, ensuring it remains relevant and engaging.
Having Subject Specialists across the Arts has enabled us to deliver a Performing Arts focus for our Key Stage 2 music sessions in the spring term. Here the children develop and showcase their own authentic Summer Show, enjoying the opportunity to apply their learning, with purpose and before a genuine audience. These sessions are predominantly child-led, allowing them to cultivate their own creativity. Initial ideas, script, choreography and compositions are developed, rehearsed and performed by the children. The scenery, props and costumes are designed and made by the children, as part of their Art and DT lesson
Music time is met with great enthusiasm by the children, they know when their specific music lesson happens, are familiar with the routine, and are typically keen to begin; talking or asking about a previous activity, composer or a favourite song. They become increasingly confident to share their own musical ideas with others and in performing to an audience. Their ability to apply musical knowledge when composing or appraising shows genuine, meaningful and retained learning and understanding.
Music learning is very much a practical, exploratory experience, and therefore, we record work predominantly via video. Three pieces of documented video evidence per half term provides a more formative assessment in order to monitor both access to, and impact of, the Music Curriculum. That all informs and gives concrete support to our next planning steps.
Summer update 2021
Music has been a little bit different at Benton Dene this year. We were unable to perform together at Christmas and Easter, and we can’t put on our annual summer show (for the second year running!).
But although covid restrictions mean we can’t all get together and sing, music is still an intrinsic part of school life:
We have been involved in some virtual performances with other schools, where children contributed to a Christmas song; Blue 8 composed their own class song; Blue 6 made a video with Dave Hull Denholm, from the band, Lindisfarne, and Red 4 made a little video about following the covid rules, using the song Don’t Stop Believing”, which you can watch here on the website.
Summer Term Music:
EYFS will enjoy moving to, and singing songs linked to their topics of Healthy Me and Under the Sea. They will use voices, body percussion and classroom instruments to recreate sounds of the sea.
Year 1 are following an interactive music programme which this term is called Big Bear Funk. They play instruments within the songs they learn, improvise with voices and instruments and explore pulse, rhythm and pitch.
Year 2 are also following the interactive music programme, this term it’s called Use Your Imagination and they are beginning to compose their own music.
Year 3 are learning about the orchestral instruments used in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. They will then use classroom instruments to create their own musical version of the tale.
Year 4 are expanding their knowledge of orchestral instruments by learning about the different sections of the orchestra, and will explore the use and effectiveness of these instruments, in Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Greig.
Year 5 are composing their own music, inspired by the music of Heitor Villa Lobos, a Brazilian musician who combines his love of steam trains with music.
Year 6 are taking part in a Music project with other schools from North Tyneside. This involves exploring music technology to compose music for their own music video, which will be shared on North Tyneside’s music hub website and we will share it on here too.
Year 6 children will also be planning and preparing their Leaver’s Celebration. Again, we won’t be able to come together in an assembly, but there are some exciting plans afoot that will be shared with parents towards the end of term.....so watch this space!
If you would like to record your own please use Seesaw to send them to us and we will post them here. Thank you.