Through Music the Academy aims to develop children’s imagination, communication, memory, self-confidence, self-esteem, social skills, concentration, self-discipline, listening skills and ability to collaborate as part of a team; children will develop the ability to critique and present their own work, other’s work and that of composers and performers from around the world. We develop our children’s skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to access and enjoy music through a variety of musical activities: appraisal, improvisation, composition, singing and performance using tunes and untuned instruments and their voices. They gain an understanding of global musical cultures and history. Children are given a platform from which to let their lights shine in different and practical ways.
Lessons are drawn from the Lincolnshire Music Service platform -Charanga. Our bespoke scheme of work includes units which are themed to make cross-curricular links with topics as well as units that are particularly popular with the children whilst ensuring progression.
Each year children learn and build on their factual knowledge and their skills, revisiting them as they begin the next stage of their learning and embedding them in activities at the start of lessons. In each Charanga lesson children have the opportunity to appraise a piece of music, sing, improvise, compose and play tuned instruments. Where they improvise and compose they kindly and respectfully evaluate their own and each other’s work. Children learn to use graphic scores and conventional musical notation and learn to play tuned percussion and recorders as a whole class. The learning sequence is structured to ensure all interrelated dimensions of music are implemented. Musical diaries are kept throughout the year in each class and record the children’s listening journey beyond Charanga and in conjunction with the theme of Collective Worship entry music each term. Music, composers and performers are deliberately chosen to broaden the children’s appreciation and understanding of global role models, traditions and influences.
Musical performance is valued in school and all children participate in performances alongside class members as they move through school. Each year group has performance units of work built into their music allocation. In EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 children will perform the songs in the Nativity Play in December. Year 3 and Year 4 perform a musical once every two years and have whole class music tuition with the Lincolnshire Music Service over a term every two years. In Year 5 and 6 children perform a musical every year. Further opportunities arise in class assemblies.
Extra-curricular activities are also offered at Ellison Boulters. The Young Voices choir performs at Sheffield Arena every year alongside thousands of other children from different schools. There is a real sense of pride as they experience the excitement of performing at a large venue as part of a vast choir. It is always a wonderful day. Rocksteady visit the Academy every week to work with children who would like to be in a rock band. Children learn rock songs and the band includes drums, electric guitar, bass guitar, vocals and keyboards; the children put on a concert each long term. Lincolnshire Music Service visit school every week and offer tuition in flute, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, cornet and trumpet. We also have a visiting acoustic guitar tutor. In addition to visiting tutors we have a musical staff who run clubs.
We enjoy sharing the children’s performances with the whole school and with visitors from our school family; we also enjoy working together beyond school whether it is as one of the Young Voices choirs alongside many other school choirs or singing carols by the Christmas tree with our village community.
Music is a fundamental part of the school’s Christian worship, contributing to pupils’ social, moral, social and cultural development in association with our vision, values, and Christian ethos. As well as hymns we have a number of I Sing Pop songs with associated dance moves which are a firm favourite with both staff and children. Regular hymns include those which celebrate our school vision: Let Your Light Shine. For example, City on a Hill, This Little Light of Mine and a recent edition was written and premiered by one of our Year 5/6 classes and their teacher: Shine My Light. Hymns are also chosen with global events and concerns in mind to support social, moral and spiritual development, for example Light A Candle for Peace. Entry and exit music is chosen to celebrate a particular composer, performer or theme-perhaps a particular protected characteristic, or an instrument- over a short term.
Our children realise that everyone can access and enjoy music. Everyone will choose different ways to do so as they move through life- the important thing is that they have been able to try different things and be successful so that they can make informed choices. This contributes to children valuing new experiences and finding out who they are.
The musical opportunities that our children enjoy support them in learning to respect each other’s opinions and each other’s contributions to team tasks, to value the positive experience of working together over time to achieve something which they feel proud of and enjoy. Children learn that music is a language through which they can communicate their own feelings and thoughts and realise that music triggers a range of emotional responses and memories, communicating with us on an emotive and elemental level.
Most importantly, by becoming more musical and developing their musicianship, children are better placed to enjoy, appreciate and participate in music making for the rest of their lives.