Music crosses cultural boundaries and speaks to us in different ways; it creates strong feelings, builds memories and ignites passion. Music is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way we feel, think and act. It enables us to be innovative and creative and to express ourselves using the language of music, developing a positive sense of identity and respect for others. It binds together intellect and feeling and gives us opportunities to reflect and explore our own personal and emotional development.
At Cove Infant School we enjoy music in many different ways: through whole school and class singing, choir, assemblies, visitors, performing and weekly taught music lessons.
‘I like singing assembly and watching Mrs Lee play the piano and the sound that she makes. I would like to learn to play the piano one day. I try to keep to the beat but sometimes it’s a bit tricky.’
Throughout the Early Years curriculum, children are encouraged to explore and express their ideas and feelings through a variety of songs and musical activities, both inside and outside the classroom. They learn to use a range of tuned and untuned instruments and begin to investigate rhythm and how to keep a steady beat. The children are introduced to the names and the correct use of instruments, in order to find out how sounds can be made and changed. Then they take part in various musical games which helps them to listen and identify different sounds that they cannot see. They apply these skills to create sounds to accompany stories.
‘I like music – I like playing the tambourine because we can shake them. We learn lots of songs.’
In Year One, using our projects as a stimulus, we build on the musical skills of each child and give them opportunities to create and respond to different musical styles. They learn a range of songs, poems, chants, raps and stories and begin to make their own choices of suitable ways to accompany their musical story telling. They use a wide range of instruments and, through games, they are introduced to simple musical notation. Children develop their use of rhythm and can use this expressively in a variety of ways. Performances are mainly to each other and the children are encouraged to give opinions about their presentations.
‘I liked it when we were doing Jack and the Beanstalk using instruments and characters. I was the mum and the child. I chose to play a maraca and a trumpet.’
In Year Two, children learn about how music is created, produced and communicated through all the musical elements: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre and texture. They use their knowledge of the different types of musical instruments, how they are played and what sounds they make, in order to structure, compose, write (using appropriate notation) and perform in small groups. We aim that each child becomes a confident performer who can evaluate and improve their learning.
‘ I like playing all the musical instruments. I learnt how to play them properly. I like music. I would like to get better at keeping time to the beat when I am using an instrument’