We want all children to develop a life-long love of music, increase their self-confidence, creativity and imagination, and take advantage of opportunities for self-expression and a sense of personal achievement. Through singing, playing, creating, listening, appreciating, and performing, children will develop confidence, communication, thinking and creative skills and improve their emotional well-being.
A musician at St Katharine’s will:
sing and play instruments with others with increased confidence, in groups and individually, in unison and in parts, with accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
use improvisation and composition skills to communicate creatively to an audience within a range of musical structures.
listen thoughtfully and articulate their responses to music using musical vocabulary suggesting improvements to their own and others’ work.
show enthusiasm, aspiration and resilience in all their music making.
The music curriculum at St Katharine's.
We are very proud of our strong music curriculum and wider opportunities. Class music lessons are taught weekly by our specialist teacher Mrs Smith.
The Kodaly Concept of Music Education
Our music specialist has undertaken training in Kodaly principals. This has led to a curriculum based on learning through singing and playing musical games. This is particularly the main focus in KS1, but continues to build throughout KS2. By singing simple songs, children gradually learn the elements of music, including pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and tempo.
Games reinforce the learning and make the lessons fun. Key skills being built include listening and singing in tune. By learning through developmentally appropriate folk songs and games an inner felt/heard sense of pulse, pitch and rhythm builds on both an unconscious and conscious level.
This is the key to musical literacy, exploration, improvisation, composition, listening, appraising and performance which are present in all Kodály lessons. The Kodály philosophy develops aural, kinaesthetic and visual learning in all pupils, proving a valuable holistic concept for all abilities and is an extremely inclusive way of learning.
Children are encouraged to participate in all activities and their skills build using the fundamentals of Prepare, Present, and Practise. The National Curriculum is fulfilled by learning through this philosophy and builds year on year to extend children’s understanding of music, introducing whole class instrumental lessons in Y2 and Y3 and a wider understanding of music across history and the world in Y4-6.
In Early Years the children are introduced through singing, games and playing instruments to learn about tempo, pitch, dynamics and timbre. They find their singing voices and distinguish between singing, speaking and whispering. They have opportunities to sing with others and on their own and use actions and games to learn about pulse and rhythm.
They are introduced to classroom percussion instruments, learning to name them and use them appropriately. They learn about sound and silence and have opportunities to sing to an audience, whether other children in the school or parents.
Although the music specialist teaches these lessons, the EY teachers often will learn new songs and games with the children and use them during the week to reinforce learning in music lessons.
Learning through singing and games continues in Year 1 with the children gaining confidence in learning about dynamics, steady beat, rhythm, pitch and tempo. They are introduced to simple rhythm notation both practical and written and learn about pitch through learning hand signs and names for so and mi.
In Y2 this is built on in whole class recorder lessons where formal notation is introduced alongside rhythmic and sol-fa notation and practical musicianship.
In Y3 ukulele and violin is taught in whole class lessons to build on the skills in musicianship and formal notation. The school has its own set of ukuleles which are loaned to pupils for two half terms and are able to be taken home for practice. Class sets of violins are hired through Soundstorm (our local music hub) and are used in the same manner. Children learn more about formal notation, about performing with others alongside specific skills related to each instrument. They have an opportunity to perform for parents at the end of each unit of work in violin and ukulele.
In Y4, 5 & 6 class lessons continue to teach about musicianship but also explore body percussion, samba as well as using software such as GarageBand to explore composition.
Extra-curricular opportunities in music
There are two choirs in school offered to pupils from Y2 to Y6 which meet in lunchtime. These offer opportunities for performance at school events, events in the wider community, between schools and for competitive events.
To encourage further development of recorder playing for Y2&3 there is a lunchtime recorder club which is based around the Recorder Karate scheme.
The music specialist also runs a weekly orchestra before school catering for Y5&6 pupils who have been learning an instrument for one year. Our guitar teacher also runs a weekly lunchtime school band for Year 5&6.
From Y4-6 peripatetic lessons are offered and 30-50% of pupils learn an instrument. We have six visiting peripatetic teachers who offer lessons in violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and drum kit. These are paid for by parents, although financial support is available for those who require it. We encourage parents to commit to lessons for a full year to instil a sense of commitment in our pupils taking lessons and teachers encourage pupils to prepare for music exams when they are ready.
We have a bi-annual Summer Concert which gives many children an opportunity to perform and alternates with a Y5&6 extra-curricular musical. In past years we have performed Oliver, Lion King Jr and Peter Pan Jr.
In addition to these major events there are opportunities for individual and group performance throughout the year at services, fêtes and in class, phase and whole school worship.
Opportunities are also sought to combine music performance with other arts subjects in lessons and performance and links are made with our SEASIDE themes through the curriculum, and as whole school days, themes or events and as well as enrichment opportunities for children.