Thornhill's key principles for the teaching of music:
"Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.” (National Curriculum 2014)
At Thornhill, our vision is give pupils access to a wide range of high quality musical concepts and experiences. We believe that music is a subject which has value both as a stand alone subject and one that can contribute to learning across the curriculum, whilst also promoting their social and cultural development.
Throughout the school, we guide and support children’s learning in key areas of music education:
Listening – having the opportunity to listen to, review and evaluate high quality music is crucial to developing an understanding of music of different historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.
Learning to sing and play a musical instrument – learning the basic principles of singing solo and in a group as well as ensemble instrument lessons and performances.
Creating and composing music - to create, compose and share music on their own and with others, use technology appropriately and understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions.
The effective teaching of music at Thornhill
Listen, review and evaluate – pupils are taught how to listen to music with intent. This is taught through two annual music weeks using the Chiranga scheme which school staff are trained on how to use effectively. Discussion around pupil’s interpretations of music takes place in weekly assemblies
Singing – pupils are taught how to effectively warm up and use their voices in assemblies lead my the Music Coordinator, music weeks and during the rehearsal process and performance of class performances and Christmas productions
Learning a musical instrument – From years 1 - 3 pupils take part in weekly recorder lessons with a music specialist. Pupils are taught the basic principles of playing a woodwind instrument in a group. In years 4-6, pupils take part in weekly violin and cello lessons with a trained specialist. They learn the skills and techniques required to play a stringed instrument as well as staff notation and Sol-fa. During music weeks, additional percussion instruments are played. All children have termly opportunities to perform throughout the year.
Composition and improvisation – during music weeks, all pupils are taught the principles of composition and improvisation appropriate to their year group, using Chiranga Musical School. Pupils then have the opportunity to perform their compositions to each other.
Understanding and exploration - Pupils are taught how to understand the interrelated dimensions of music to ensure that they understand pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. As they progress through the school, pupils understanding of these areas should extend.
Assessment: Pupils work should be recorded and assessed in the following ways: A class shared book for any written activities and photographs, recordings of singing/instrumental work made with an iPad can be uploaded to Chiranga. A QR code which directs to a specific recording can be put in a class book. The Chiranga schemes used in Spring and Summer music weeks include a performance at the end of each unit and this is to be recorded using an iPad.