Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.
At Damers we have a specialist music teacher who is also a qualified primary teacher and instrumental teacher and over the course of the year each year group will benefit from a dedicated music lesson for their class. Years 2 and 3 will spend 4 half terms learning music for an hour during their PPA afternoon and Year 4, Foundation and Year 1 will receive specialist music provision with Mrs Newlin during their curriculum time every week.
This generous allocation of time allows enough time to develop singing, listening and playing. The music room is very well equipped with an interactive whiteboard, upright piano, digital grand piano, 30 ukuleles, 15 pitched percussion units (xylophones, glockenspiels and metallophones) and a whol class set of African drums. The school has invested in enough flutes, clarinets and violins to enable small groups to be formed and taught as extra-curricular activities. Singing is further developed through two whole-school assemblies a week, which afford an opportunity for the whole school to sing together and for individual classes or children to perform in a supportive environment. Furthermore there is a lunchtime choir for Key Stage 2 called Supersingers which is open to any child who loves singing.
Music lessons develop the following transferable skills:
|Musical Skills||PSHE||Literacy Skills|
Key Stage 1
In Year 1 children build upon the repertoire of songs started during foundation stage. The focus is now on pitching notes accurately and using introductions to set the mood of a song. They learn to match actions to words and then actions to the beat. They learn to differentiate between beat and rhythm and to echo sing and echo clap. Predominantly they progress from accompanying their songs with body percussion to using unpitched percussion, such as claves, drums and shakers, learning to control and vary the sound as they listen to each other. Children learn the meaning of pitch and learn to represent sounds with symbols.
In Year 2 children learn some aspects of notation such as the names of notes, the length of crotchets, quavers and minims and the concept of a scale being a ladder. They learn to find notes on pitched percussion to accompany their songs and compositions. During this year the children move from accompanying familiar songs to creating their own music to accompany images. Towards the end of the key stage they learn to experiment with timbre, by changing the sound of familiar instruments to add effect.
Some children start to have individual or group recorder and violin lessons, which are arranged through DASP music. Children playing instruments are encouraged to demonstrate them to others and use them in class music lessons.
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2 marks a change of pace in music lessons, where the focus is on learning an instrument together. In this academic year 2015-2016 Year 3 will learn recorder, violin and ukulele. Learning these instruments in Year 3 means that work on beat and rhythm in Key Stage 1 is given meaning and context in Key Stage 2. In the Autumn Term of Year 3, the children benefited from a term of learning violin, the teaching being provided by Dorset Music Service, our local music hub. There is a shared performance by all 90 or so Year 3 children at the end of the term.
Year 4 is a year when the children focus on working and performing together, choosing songs which can be accompanied rhythmically and harmonically with pitched and unpitched percussion and ukulele. A beautiful set of class ukuleles was purchased by the Parents Association and all children in Year 4 learn a basic repertoire of chords and strumming patterns, so that they can accompany songs themselves and experiment with composing melodies and chord sequences using the ukuleles. Children choreograph and rehearse dance movements to enhance their songs.
Children in Key Stage 2 have the opportunity to join Damers Supersingers and In the academic year 2015-2016, smaller groups of chidren were given opportunities which included singing at Brewery Square Christmas lights lighting up ceremony, recording a carol for Wessex FM, carol singing at nursing homes and Dorchester Hospital, performing at the DASP Christmas Concert, taking part in the DASP Year 4 concert in March, as well as attending a Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concert in May.