The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.
- Learn to sing and use their voices, musical instruments and technology to create and compose music on their own and with others.
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated through the inter-related dimensions of music.
At Thoresby Primary school, our intention is to deliver a high-quality music education with these same aims and aspirations. We endeavour to help children develop fluency in the inter-related dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure. With a strong understanding of these music dimensions, children can effectively listen to, perform, compose and improvise music from all styles and traditions. Music is both a powerful and enjoyable outlet for creativity and expression. Our music curriculum aims to foster a lifelong curiosity and love for all types of music.
At Thoresby, there are many different opportunities for children to develop their skills and understanding of music. A large part of our curriculum is implemented through the Charanga music programme. Charanga is a high-quality music programme with a bank of bespoke music pieces and resources designed to teach students how to hear and use the inter-related dimensions of music. Through the programme, students develop a range of musical skills, including listening, singing, composing, improvising and music notation, and learn how to play tuned and un-tuned instruments.
In Year 4, all children receive whole-class clarinet lessons from one of the Hull Music Service’s expert musicians. These are weekly lessons in which the children will learn how to care for a clarinet, how a clarinet works and how to perform some simple songs. Many of our students go on to learn other instruments as a result of enjoying these lessons so much. Our longstanding relationship with the Hull Music Service allow us to offer pupils the chance to learn brass, string, woodwind and percussion instruments in small groups with peripatetic teachers. We offer this opportunity to Key Stage 2 students and try to ensure the costs are affordable for all our families. As a result of this tuition, many of our students have been awarded music medals by the ABRSM.
Our assemblies are an invaluable chance to appraise and perform music as a group. The music children listen to as they enter and leave assemblies is carefully planned over a four-year cycle to ensure that pupils hear a varied diet of music from all periods, styles and traditions. The songs that pupils learn together have been chosen to help foster a love for singing, no matter their musical ability.
All children participate in whole-school singing performances throughout the year, like our Christmas Carol Concert or the exciting finale to our summer Kaleidoscope festivities. In addition, every year group rehearses and performs a production for their parents. These performances give music learning an authentic value and a chance to celebrate everyone’s musical talents.
In addition to the music taught within the school day, children can continue to practise their performing skills in after-school clubs. Our school choir is very popular and all age groups are welcome. At choir, the children have the chance to enjoy singing as a team, as well as opportunities to perform to audiences outside of the school community. In previous years, the school choir has performed at local events, including the Vista Festival and the Song for Hull concerts, and were even invited to contribute to the 2019 charity single Winters Dream for Viking FM. In addition to choir, a small group of students can join our Steel Drum ensemble. The Steel Drums perform at many school events throughout the year including our Christmas Carol Concert and Kaleidoscope Finale.
As a result of the music curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities, children at Thoresby learn to analyse, appreciate and enjoy music of all different varieties. The children are able to progressively develop their understanding of the inter-related dimensions of music and use them to perform and create music in their own way. Music is an outlet for creativity and expression, as well as a vehicle for developing self-confidence, teamwork, respect for other and mental health. All children become well versed in musical skills but many pursue music further through instrument tuition or by joining choir.