“Music is an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
– Billy Joel
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 First School it is our intent to inspire creativity, increase levels of musical skill, develop confidence, self belief and ignite a passion for a lifelong love of music. We strive to enable all of our pupils to experience the joy of singing, composing and performing together. To create memories and a passion that will last a lifetime.
Through our music curriculum we offer a wide range of opportunities for our pupils to develop their musical skill, knowledge, understanding and appreciation. The requirements of the music curriculum is implemented through teachers using the Charanga Scheme of work. Teachers follow the suggested modules throughout the year but adaptations can be made through the freestyle module and year group teachers’ decisions to substitute music more relevant to their creative productions.
Music lessons are broken down into half term units that follow the same learning sequence:
- Listen and Appraise
- Musical Activities (including pulse and rhythm)
- Singing and Voice
- Playing instruments
- Improvisation / Composition
- Perform and Share
In addition to this, the pupils in KS1 have weekly access to a music specialist who is a professional, orchestral musician. Here they receive a provision that enriches the curriculum content of the Charanga Scheme. This allows them not only to experience a high level of expertise but also provides motivation and aspiration. It helps us to be able to find the learner within every child and for them to believe that music can be a profession.
Pupils in Year 4 have the benefit of whole class music instrumental teaching during the summer term. These lessons are taught by musicians from the Dorset Music Hub and individual instruments to all pupils are provided by DASP music. At Damers First School we work very closely with the staff at DASP music and our local First Schools to come together and perform in a Year 4 DASP singing concert. This year we have extended that further and are working with a composer, creating songs that will be performed with the other schools and the community choir.
Performing is important here at Damers First School. We understand that it is a performance art and regularly give all of our pupils a chance to showcase their work. In the Foundation and KS1 classes, all are involved in Christmas productions. Parents are warmly invited to watch. The sense of achievement, confidence and teamwork, alongside the musical skills developed cannot be underestimated.
For the pupils in KS2, they perform a Christmas Carol Concert in a local church, again with parents invited to watch. They also perform in an end of summer term production staged in the Thomas Hardye School’s theatre.
Our music provision is also extended to after school clubs. We are currently running a singing club for KS1, a music club, providing a variety of skills and techniques for KS2. This is run by our professional musician. We also have a digital music makers club and one of our social proscribing activities is also music.
At Damers First School we also encourage the children to participate in musical instrument tuition of their choice. This is facilitated by the Dorset Music Hub and uses peripatetic teachers. This can range from individual lessons to small group sessions. Lessons available include piano, recorders, violins, drums, guitar, ukuleles and a variety of brass instruments. Details can be found on the DASP music website.
The music provision within our school, we hope, will have a lifelong impact on the children. It is so integral to human nature that it crosses all areas of life skills including, self belief and self worth, confidence and an understanding and respect of difference. The music teaching at Damers First School will give the children the knowledge, skills and understanding to develop as confident performers, composers and listeners. They will experience a wide variety of musical styles and genres which in turn will help them to respect all of those around them in a world that is vastly diverse.