At Rimrose Hope we agree that 'Music lessons should be musical' and we emphasise musicality over talking in our curriculum and our lessons. We see the exploration of music in primary school as a moral imperative and a force for good beyond the scope of the lesson itself. Music plays its part in delivering content and value to all subjects within the curriculum and it is an essential component of the school’s pedagogical approach. Our pedagogy ensures that children from all backgrounds and musical experience should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence if they wish to.
Rimrose Hope EYFS and Rose Class Music
In Music we enjoy singing songs and this term we have been learning songs about ‘People who Help Us’ and ‘Chinese New Year’. We have also been learning to sing with lots of expression and really like singing the Teddy Bear song!
There are lots of opportunities to use the percussion instruments in music lessons. Throughout this term we have been learning to stop and start by following the conductors red and green cards, to make loud and quiet sounds and to find different ways to make sounds by tapping, scrapping and shaking the instruments.
During our music lessons we join in with lots of different types of music from around the world and practice being in a ‘big band’ with our percussion instruments.
During our topic about Chinese New Year we created sounds for the dragon and the cracking party poppers. We also used coloured scarves to help us create the smooth, flowing movements of the dragon as we moved to the music.
Rose class have been learning to play the Djembe drums. They have played ‘follow the leader’ games using different rhythm patterns. During the year Rose class will be learning more drumming pieces to perform on the Djembe drums.
Year 1/2 Music
In Years 1 and 2 we have music lessons with Mrs Payet. We enjoy using the percussion instruments to make rhythm patterns and learn to play sounds together in a class band. We learn lots of songs and how we can use our voices in different ways. Sometimes in our lessons we go outside and sing playground songs, working together to create circle games with actions. We listen to lots of different styles of music and are developing our listening skills by listening to the steady beat and moving in time with the music.
Year 3/4 Music
In Year 3/4, we have weekly music sessions with Mrs Payet, following the music scheme of work. We are learning about rhythm, notation, and performance and will be creating our own pieces of music and recording them! We are starting to learn about music notation and can play basic songs using the sheet music.
Year 5/6 Music
In Year 5/6 we learn how to play the djembe and percussion. We are learning about rhythm, pitch and dynamics. Our teacher, Mr Asbridge, lets us play with drumsticks and other percussion instruments to help use learn new pieces of music, different rhythms and dynamics. Some of our children are now in the school guitar group, we rehearse every Thursday lunch time and love to perform for our friends and family at a school events.
Evidencing progression within notation
Prior to written forms of notation in EYFS children have lots of opportunities in music activities to explore sounds and create sound sequences. Following on from this in Key stages 1 and 2 listening and aural memory is developed by copy cat patterns of melodic and rhythmic sequences. Improvisation opportunities on pitched and unpitched percussion provide further important opportunities for developing this.
Improvisation becomes composition once the music is written or ‘noted’ down. This can be in any form such as visual colours, mark making, graphic notation, stick notation and western music staff notation. The concept of notation arises when there is a need to remember a particular rhythmic or melodic pattern.
This approach can is demonstrated by the following slides showing the progression of learning.
Here we have shown a human notation from left to right there are four beats:
Beat 1 - a rest Z shape is formed by an individual. Beat 2 – Ta the individual stands with hands by side. Beat 3 - Tey-tey two children standing side by side hands across shoulders. Beat 4 - Ta individual standing with hands by side.
The children in the class can clap this pattern and then continue with the activity by forming another rhythm pattern to follow creating a short phrase.
The children then learn to use rhythm stick notation as shown below. We use phrases from familiar rhymes such as Jelly on a plate so that the children are familiar with the sound before writing down a symbol to represent it. This ‘sound before symbol’ approach is applied throughout the teaching notation.
The children then learn more about pitch - this follows lots of activities exploring melodies and improvisations on glockenspiels and recorders.
The picture below demonstrates the beginning of this progression to standard staff notation and identifies both rhythm and pitch, this example also shows phrasing and structure.
Year 5 and 6 Drumming
Throughout the year, years 5 and 6 are taught to play the djembe drums. During the weekly sessions, the children repeat patterns in call and response activities, learn to read music, compose their own individual, group and class pieces and perform to parents and whole school audiences.
Rimrose Rhapsodies 🎶
Rimrose Rhapsodies is a singing after-school club held on Thursdays 3-4pm. The club is open to children in years 1-6. Our focus at the moment is Musical Theatre, covering songs from Joseph and the Amazing, Technicolour Dreamcoat, Sound of Music and Les Miserables.