Music is important in the rounded development of children and supports far-reaching learning skills that aid all school subjects. Music expresses emotions, moods, settings and stories. At Greswold we want to foster a love of music and singing. Every child will experience a wide range of styles and traditions of music through singing, listening and appraising in Music Assemblies, developing the ability to explain what they like and why and acquiring knowledge of influential people in music. Music is promoted through school productions, music lessons and competitions and school band and choir. Children will learn to play and perform, read and create their own music. Throughout their time at Greswold, the children will focus on key musical skills of rhythm, beat and pitch in conjunction with dynamics, duration and tempo.
Children explore and develop a love of music through singing, sharing nursery rhymes and dancing. They are encouraged to use instruments, music, role-play and small world play both inside and out, to express themselves and their experiences which are readily available in the environment. They learn to listen to sounds in their environment and made by instruments, especially in Nursery where they follow Phase 1 of Phonics Letters and Sounds. Children are taught rhythms, rhymes and changing sounds not only with instruments but using body percussion too. The children are encouraged to respond to music and the sounds they hear through enjoyment and experimentation. Both Nursery and Reception produce a Christmas nativity where they get the opportunity to demonstrate the skills they have learnt so far and perform to a live audience. Reception also go to weekly assemblies where they learn songs that are sung throughout the school.
The children learn songs from a range of styles and genres. They identify different sound sources and make sounds using different parts of their body. They repeat clapping patterns and play percussion instruments, keeping a pulse, culminating in a performance for parents on Tapestry. The children continue to explore pulse, rhythms and pitch, which they apply during their Easter performance to parents. Pupils also learn to control volume and tempo when singing and playing instruments. They make and control long and short sounds using voices and instruments, working as a class and in collaboration with other children.
The children further develop their understanding of pulse, rhythm and pitch, learning how to keep in time to the music when singing and playing detuned instruments. They learn how to play the ocarina by reading graphic notation and develop their listening skill to play as part of an ensemble. Through their Africa topic children are exposed to music from another culture. Also, they learn a range of songs throughout the course of the year culminating in a performance for parents in the Summer term.
Pupils continue to sing and perform, while learning to work as an ensemble, listening to others. They develop their internal pulse and awareness of rhythm so they can keep time with the ensemble in singing and playing instruments. The children develop their awareness of written notation whilst ocntinuing to interpret graphic notation. They begin learning to play the recorder and also use tuned percussion instruments to compose and play their own pieces of music. Children are encouraged to develop their musical preferences and explain what they like or dislike about different pieces or genres.
The children are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to learn a brass instrument free of charge. Every child is able to have an instrument to take home for the duration of the year and receive weekly tuition from specialist teachers as part of the class, with the opportunity to perform as both a soloist and as part of an ensemble. This tuition includes a focus on reading musical notation, exploring pitch, pulse and practising melodies through singing. During the year there will also be opportunities to perform pieces that the children have been learning, both in school and at Brass Blast which takes place at Warwick Arts Centre.
Children cover a range of musical styles and have opportunities to both compose and perform. They experience musical enrichment in the local community, for example through a partnership with Solihull School during their ‘Solihull Sings’ lessons and performance. Pupils have regular opportunities to explore and play a variety of instruments. The children work with both modern and classical pieces, to enhance the breadth of their musical knowledge. As part of the performance to parents, the children learn a range of songs. Children are also able to enjoy and utilise music as a tool for concentration, calming and inspiring their learning.
Children develop their own interest and passion for music through studying modern and relevant music. Not only will children be provided with singing opportunities in special, themed assemblies (including Harvest, Christmas and Easter), but they will also be taught to play more modern songs on the ukulele by their class teacher. The end result of this will be that children are able to perform chart-topping songs to parents, staff and peers during their final Leavers’ Assembly in Summer.
The highlight of their musical career at Greswold is that they are able to put on an end-of-year performance using technical equipment such as microphones and lighting; learn professionally choreographed dances; as well as taking part in solo and group vocal collaborations.