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At the Nar Valley Federation, we believe that a good music education not only enables our children to enjoy music as listeners, creators and performers, but also allows them to develop a richer and broader understanding of culture and history, both of their own and of others around the world. In our music lessons, we endeavour to provide our children with the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas about music, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. Our pupils will learn that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe that Music lessons should inspire pupils to develop a love of music and develop their talent as musicians, and in turn increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Furthermore, we believe that opportunities for children to play in small groups or ensemble help to foster essential life skills such as co-operation, mutual support, self-discipline and commitment. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen to with appreciation the best in the musical canon.
As well as fulfilling the requirements of the National Curriculum, we also aim to provide our children with additional opportunities to support and extend their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music. These opportunities include having visitors with a musical talent both amateur and professional, visiting concerts and school productions. The external interests and talents of our children are also encouraged and showcased in class and in assemblies, ensuring that everyone is celebrated regardless of previous musical experience.
At the Nar Valley Federation, our intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, improvising and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat/pulse. Through singing and analysing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach a full range of technical vocabulary and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.
Music lessons aim to foster a passion for music in children of all abilities, with planning and delivery linked to the Norfolk Music Hub's Charanga music resources. Music is delivered to all classes by either by a specialist music teacher or by the class teacher and includes regular whole class instrument tuition (currently glockenspiels, ukuleles, recorders).
Children learn how to play both tuned and untuned instruments and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing a variety of instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
All pupils also have access to the Charanga units via their own personal logins on the linked YUMU site. The children are then encouraged to explore and expand their learning at home, building upon their sessions in class.