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Phoenix Infant Academy

music

Akram, Heron

 

At Phoenix Infant Academy, we have a thriving musical culture. This has been created through our commitment to offer first-class experiences to all children, both in and out the classroom, as well as ensuring our non-specialist teaching staff have a secure understanding of the curriculum they teach.

We place considerable importance on music at Phoenix Infants, and as a result, have been awarded the Music Mark from Slough Music Service. We are hugely proud of this achievement. 

INTENT

Our music curriculum is designed with the intent to introduce young learners to the fundamental elements of music, such as rhythm, melody, and exploring music notation, while igniting their curiosity and passion for music. We aim to foster a sense of joy and confidence in music exploration, nurturing creativity and self-expression, and set a solid foundation for their musical journey as they progress through their education.  We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to engage with music of all styles and from all cultures, in order to develop their own musical journey. 

Implementation

Music is taught through a spiral curriculum approach where the key musical skills and learning are repeated across the Units of Work. This repetition enables more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills across a breath of repertoire. The interrelated dimensions of music are at the heart of all the learning activities. 

These are:

  • Pulse – the regular heartbeat of the music; its steady beat
  • Rhythm – long and short sounds or patterns that happen over the pulse
  • Pitch – high and low sounds
  • Dynamics – how loud or quiet the music is
  • Tempo – the speed of the music; fast or slow or in-between
  • Timbre – all instruments, including voices, have a certain sound quality e.g. the trumpet has a very different sound quality to the violin
  • Structure – music has a structure eg an introduction, verse and chorus ending
  • Texture – layers of sound
  • Notation – the link between sound and symbol

The KS1 curriculum is planned to be in line with the Government’s Model Music Curriculum. The Reception units perfectly feed into the KS1 curriculum. The school use the Charanga units of work as the base of the music curriculum and adapt these to meet the requirements of the children within the class.

The clearly sequenced lessons and units support the areas of the National Curriculum for Music: listening, singing, playing, composing, improvising and performing

Each unit involves a variety of musical activities, centred around given songs:

  • Understanding Music
  • Listen and Respond
  • Learn to Sing the Song
  • Play Your Instruments with the Song
  • Improvise with the Song
  • Composition - Compose with the Song, Create a Graphic Score
  • Perform the Song

For each of the musical activities listed above, there are associated knowledge and skills and key learning and outcomes - what the children will learn and what the children will understand/know/demonstrate.

Differentiated instrumental parts for unit songs, provided under the ‘Sheet Music’ tab within the lesson viewer, allow the teacher to choose those that correspond with available instruments and also accommodate children of varying abilities. We predominantly use glockenspiels and other non-tuned percussion instruments.

Impact

As mentioned before, lesson material in KS1 is organised into six units. Over the course of each unit, children are introduced to new songs. The musical learning related to each song is incorporated into a variety of lesson activities. Simply put, children don’t just learn to sing songs – they learn about all aspects of each song, including its historical connections, narrative, cultural context and style. With a performance goal associated with every lesson, children work through a series of musical activities where they acquire new – and enrich existing – musical knowledge and understandings. As lessons progress through each unit and year group, musical skills and understandings are continually reinforced, allowing for deeper learning.

The Understanding Music section of each lesson supports students in their understanding of duration, pulse, rhythm and pitch. It is designed to bring everyone together at the beginning of the lesson to learn, embed or revisit the music theory required for the unit and year. Just as we can talk and understand words before we read them, we sing, play, improvise and compose before we learn to read music or have an understanding of its language.

Every lesson across the scheme involves a Listen and Respond section, where children listen and respond to the weekly song. Through this, they gain an understanding of music’s design and cultural place while learning about and feeling the impact music has on us. Learning about the elements of music is also part of this activity.

Each Learn to Sing the Song section ensures children practise and rehearse their singing skills while discussing elements of music associated with each given song. Children will have warmed up their voices in ‘Understanding Music’.

Throughout each unit, children engage in playing instruments, improvising, and composing. These activities further allow children to directly use and manipulate the elements of music. 

Ultimately, the music provision for children at Phoenix Infants allows them to develop their own musical identity through musical appreciation, developing their technical knowledge and performance opportunities. Children love music at Phoenix! 

Music lessons

All children in Key Stage One are given explicit music lessons each week using the Charanga Musical School Scheme. Not only do the lessons provide the children with exciting and engaging opportunities, they also support all the requirements of the National Curriculum.  The curriculum documents can be viewed below.

Year 2 learning musical notations

 

Instrumental music lessons

All children in Year 2 are given weekly melodic instrumental lessons taught by a specialist music teacher in the following: ukulele and/or recorder. All lessons are delivered by Slough Music Service.

Children in KS1 also all learn to play glockenspiels through their music lessons. 

 

              Beat Goes On

 

All children throughout the school are also given the opportunity to hear and play additional instruments, both melodic and rhythmic, such as the samba drums courtesy of Beat Goes On, dhol drums courtesy of Elite Drummers. Through our close links with Godolphin Junior Academy we also have the opportunity to listen to their steel pans group and ukuleles. 

 

From January 2024 we are also launching rocksteady lessons.  

choral opportunities

All children participate in a weekly singing assembly led by Miss Jarrett, Music lead. During these, they are given opportunities to listen to, and perform, a variety of different songs. They also use this time to use their voices to create music with their peers. 

Our children take part in organised events through Slough Music Service, including the annual Carol Concert and Total Vocal harmonising workshop. We join the massed choirs, made up of children from across the Borough, to sing pieces together, as well as sing on our own. We were extremely proud of our children's latest achievement performing their songs whilst signing using Makaton

Children are also given the opportunity to take part in alternative singing workshops such as those provided by Singing Hands and our singing lunchtime club. Click here to watch and listen to the video on our Twitter feed!

And COVID lockdowns didn't stop us from singing!

 

additional opportunities to perform!

All children are given the opportunity to perform with their classes, peers or individually during our incredible annual PHOENIX's GOT TALENT!! 

Children also perform in annual carol concerts in their year groups. Check out our Twitter feed here!

Year 1 has singing talent!

 

Our curriculum documents can be viewed below.

For further information, please contact Music Lead, Miss Jarrett, on 01753 521888 or post@phoenixinfants.uk.