Music is everywhere we go; it is the very heartbeat and soundtrack of our creative, expressive individuality and our collective, collaborative identity in our world and cultures. At Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, we study music to learn more about the world we live in and express our own individuality within that. Per the 2021 National Model Music Curriculum in England, music divides into four main categories: singing, listening, composing & musicianship/performing.
Singing is the application of good vocal practice, with the intention that all pupils should be able to sing in harmony and with musical delivery by Year 6. Many aspects of good singing practice develop gradually over time, and it is crucial to apply the necessary skills in every session, such as warm ups, breathing practices, posture, dynamic consideration, phrasing for melodic lines, context and, most importantly, strong vocal health.
Listening to music is fundamental to musical understanding. By learning to listen critically, pupils will not only expand their musical horizons but also gain a deeper understanding of how music is constructed and the impact it can have on the listener. Listening to a broad range of music also helps develop other areas of musical activity, including composing and performing.
Composing is the creative process, with wide horizons and possibility, which gives pupils an opportunity to contribute to music culture in unique and valuable ways. As pupils travel through key stages, they develop the craft of creating melodies and fashioning these into short pieces. Familiarity with music in a range of styles and genres is crucial for developing the aural understanding needed to compose music.
Musicianship (KS1) & Performing (KS2) are creating the opportunities to celebrate, share and experience music of all kinds. Performing allows pupils to develop their stagecraft (confidence, audience engagement, respect for fellow performers, etc), consideration for sequential impact, encouragement of peer feedback & self-reflection and, above all, the chance to seek opportunites for creative collaboration.
As we learn about music, we are using different knowledge from the inter-related dimensions of music to apply to and improve our skills in these four key areas such as: dynamics, pitch, rhythm, structure, tempo, texture and timbre. Growing in these skills and knowledge applications thus allows us to express our place and our collaborations in the world around us, with the power to change our own life and the lives of others.
While not all children may seek a career in music or related disciplines, musical literacy will still impact and influence their lives daily and their respect and appreciation for others. The music taught at Cherry Tree is therefore essential to both the pupils’, the community’s and the nation’s progression and development.
In short, music is an expressive, inclusive, explorative, collaborative and engaging subject that helps make sense of who we are and the world we live in.
Our Intent For Music at Cherry Tree Hill Primary School
At Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, our music curriculum works in line with the Model Music Curriculum, 2021, and the Power of Music to Change Lives, 2022. Our curriculum intends to inspire pupils with active listening, responding to the world around them and experiencing diverse musical styles throughout history, self-expression through exploration and composition, and encourage the pupils on their own musical journeys whilst connecting and working with others. We strive to inspire an active, enduring musical engagement by exposing them to a wide variety of musical styles, inspirational core literature and expression through singing, improvisation and composition.
We believe that through music, pupils will have the opportunity to develop creatively, culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We believe that music will enable pupils to access skills applicable across the curriculum and to build on what they already know elsewhere, whilst embracing individuality and ownership of their skills.
Our intent is to:
- Implement active listening and response opportunities to sounds from the world around the pupils and quality pieces from diverse musical styles throughout history.
- Provide active opportunities to explore and improvise sounds, applying them to their own compositions on both tuned and untuned instruments.
- Actively seek opportunities to read and understand musical notation and staves in a developing, progressing format throughout the year groups.
- Pupils perform their composition using tuned instruments, untuned instruments and their voices with opportunities to reflect, up-level and change their compositions to better suit their intended expression.
- Inspire children in music through fictional and non-fiction musical literature.
“Curriculum music is, fundamentally, about all students developing their musical understanding. This must be done through creative, practical exploration of sounds and music – we are not talking about passive ‘musical appreciation’. But it is about understanding, getting to know how music works, and how it therefore conveys meaning.”
Furthermore, we provide instrument-specific, whole-class lessons in ukulele and trumpet in Years 4&5, respectively, through specialist teachers from a Derby-based provider that we have a close collaboration with, Hot House Music. They also provide individual instrument lessons to pupils and we are actively seeking to work together to create a Ukulele Band, Brass Band, Infant Band and Junior Band in the academic year starting 2023-2024 to build on and apply the skills they have learned in their instrument lessons. Practises will be during school hours and practice rooms for individual practice will be provided during lunchtimes.