The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all children:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
- be taught to sing, create and compose music
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated
At the Berkeley Academy, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom through our curriculum which takes elements from the structured music programme Charanga as well as the Model Music Curriculum documentation. This is complimented by singing assemblies, and teaching from specialist music teachers.
The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom, children learn key aspects of listening and appraising music. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds are also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument. Children all learn to play chime bars, xylophones and recorders and create orchestral compositions using iPads and computers.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows them to self-reflect, discover areas of musical strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a child may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. Great emphasis is placed on musical vocabulary and discussing music as a class. Opinions are respected and children are encouraged to explain their thinking and reflect upon their own musical taste and musical experiences. Children understand how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in music later in their lives.