Music.

Subject Leader: Mrs M Purves

Vision / Intent:

“…every child has the natural ability and desire to assimilate musical ideas and comprehend their combinations into musical forms.”             Leonard Bernstein

Our aim is to deliver a range of high-quality musical experiences for all as part of a wider curriculum that helps children to achieve their potential.

Approach / Philosophy / Implementation:

All children at Holywell have the opportunity to sing, perform, compose, and listen and respond to music within their weekly Music lesson. In addition, the Music curriculum at Holywell strives to embody the following approaches:

  • Sound before symbol: notation is a key skill for musicians but knowledge of standard musical notation – and the available alternatives – should be developed alongside practical music-making opportunities.
  • Child-led music making: we start with each pupil’s musical background, interests and aspirations. We work to ensure that our music lessons offer genuine opportunities for all pupils to develop their individual creative voices. 
  • Experiences which enhance cultural capital: close familiarity with a diverse styles of music helps pupils understand the cultural context of the society in which we live. It also enhances empathy and understanding with people from all over the world.
  • Equal opportunities for all to engage with music making: We strive to ensure that all pupils have equal opportunities to experience, enjoy and engage with music in all its forms.
  • Stylistic diversity: we believe in the inherent value of all styles of music, from all historical periods, and from all the world’s cultures. We aspire to introduce pupils to as many of these as we can whilst they are with us at Holywell.

Department Members

  • Mrs M Purves          Music Subject Leader
  • Mrs P Gough           Music Teacher

Topic Overview 2019-20:

Year 5

Autumn Term – What is Music?

  • Introduction to different instrumental groups
  • Performing using graphic notation (Stars)
  • Group composition task (Fireworks)
  • Listening and responding to a variety of different musical styles using appropriate subject vocabulary.

Spring Term – Finding and playing the right notes

  • Beginning to learn the ‘geography’ of the keyboard and basic stave notation.
  • Performing melodies and rhythms individually and as part of a group.

Summer Term – Composing a piece for an audience

  • Group composition work to develop pieces in response to a given stimulus (for example, BBC 10 Pieces ‘Earth’ task).
  • Listening and responding to associated appropriate pieces.
  • Developing instrumental technique and performance skills. Evaluating ideas and developing these within structures. 

Year 6

Autumn Term First Half – Drones, Composing, Performing and Improvising

Main focus: Composing in response to a stimulus, learning to perform Ode to Joy on the keyboard using correct technique. Listening and responding to appropriate repertoire. 

Assessment focus: Final composition, solo performance, summative listening task. 

Autumn Term Second Half – The Ukelele

Main focus: Learning ukelele technique including how to play a range of basic chords in context. Listening and responding to appropriate repertoire.

Assessment focus: Group and solo performances, summative listening task.

Spring Term – West African Music

Main focus: Learning about the music from West Africa. Performing using Djembes, call and response and polyrhythmic patterns. Composing using call and response, polyrhythms and tuned percussion. Listening and responding to a range of associated repertoire, including ‘field’ recordings.

Assessment focus: Final compositions, group performances, summative listening task. 

Summer Term – Folk Music of the UK and Ireland

Main focus: Learning about some of the traditional music from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Performing songs and melodies using voice, ukelele, keyboard and cajons (box drums). Composing a piece using the Dorian and Aeolian modes. Listening and responding to a range of key repertoire.

Assessment focus: Group performance of Seven Stars (trad.), group composition, summative listening task.

Year 7

Autumn Term – Structure and Form in Western Classical Music

Main focus: Learning about different structures used in music e.g. concerto, variations, ground bass. Performance work based on excerpts from works studied. Composing and notating a variation on a theme. Critically responding to a range of associated repertoire through listening activities. 

Assessment focus: Group/individual performance of Mozart Rondo theme, group composition, summative listening task.

Spring Term – Music of the early 20th Century

Main focus: Learning about different structures used in music e.g. concerto, variations, ground bass. Performance work based on excerpts from works studied. Composing and notating a variation on a theme. Critically responding to a range of associated repertoire through listening activities.

Assessment focus: Group/individual performance of Mozart Rondo theme, group composition, summative listening task.

Summer Term – The Guitar

Main focus: Learning to play basic chords and riffs on the guitar. Performing Bob Marley’s 3 Little Birds. Composing using a range of chords. Critically responding to range of associated repertoire through listening activities. 

Assessment focus: Group performances of 3 Little Birds, final composition, summative listening task.

Year 8

Autumn Term – The music of George Gershwin and ‘The Great American Songbook’

Main focus: Learning about the classical and musical theatre work of George Gershwin. Understanding the context in which he was writing. Performance and improvisation work based on got Rhythm, using keyboard, guitar, voice, ukelele or individual instruments. Composition tasks responding to An American in Paris. Critically responding to a range of associated repertoire through listening activities. 

Assessment focus: Group/Solo performance of I got RhythmAmerican in Paris composition. Summative listening task. 

Spring Term – Improvisation

Main focus: Improvising in different styles and structures using a range of different starting points, e.g. 12 Bar Blues, Traditional Indian Music, Modes, Unmeasured Preludes. Understanding the context of each style. Improvised performances, using and responding to given rhythmic and melodic motifs. 

Assessment focus: Improvised performances on given rhythmic and melodic motifs and the development of these. Composition using own motifs. Summative listening task.

Summer Term – 4 Chord Cover Challenge

Main focus: Covering a song (self-chosen) which uses 4 chords traditionally found in many pop/rock songs. Working out how to play the song using skeleton resources e.g. lead sheet/chord chart/mp3. Critical evaluation of progress and final outcome. 

Assessment focus: Progression during rehearsal process, final performances, critical evaluation of final outcome.