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Music

Music at Connaught Junior School

As part of our commitment to developing the whole child at Connaught Junior School we enhance the children’s musical ability with specialist provision. We are extremely well resourced and are lucky enough to have a music room in which the children take their lessons. The topics are closely linked to our Creative Curriculum. 

The Music Curriculum

Intent:

Music is important to people emotionally and socially. It is part of every human culture and society.  We believe in the musical potential of each child and every child is catered for, irrespective of their background or skill level.  In fact, children who may find other areas of the curriculum a challenge, may excel in music and we strive to encourage this.  We aim to nurture children’s musicality through active musical engagement; to develop their musical understanding, knowledge and musicianship through listening, communicating, creating and performing.

Implementation:

Music skills and knowledge are taught through topics, many of which have links to classroom topics. Children build up their musical knowledge, understanding and skills, through listening, improvising, composing, practising and performing. They do this individually, in groups and as a whole class. They are given the opportunity to share their work with others, sometimes the whole school, to instil a sense of pride about what they have achieved.

Children have the experience of learning the ukulele in class music lessons and are also given the opportunity to learn other tuned and untuned instrument from the various instrumental teachers in the school. They are encouraged to use these instruments in any compositions they are creating in class. They also have the opportunity to join the school choir and sing at a variety of venues throughout the year.

Impact:

Children at Connaught develop a love of music. This is fostered through exposing them to a wide range of music genres and breaking down and exposing their similarities and differences. Throughout their time at the school they will develop a musical understanding, gradually learning musical terminology and standard music notation. They will establish an understanding the various musical elements and an appreciation of composers and historical periods of music. All of this prepares them well for KS3 music at secondary school, and beyond.

Year 3

Year 3

Autumn - An introduction to Pulse and Rhythm

Understand that music of the past is divided into eras.  Investigate Minimalist music in the Modern era of music.  Learn the names of the percussion instruments in school.  Learn how to play them with correct technique and use them to demonstrate rhythm patterns.

Understand the difference between pulse and rhythm.  Read, understand and perform simple music notation (crotchets, minims, quavers and crotchet rests) using the Kodaly system of ta and te-tes. Understand and use new music vocabulary, such as pulse, rhythm, ostinato and texture. Sing chants with strong rhythmic patterns.

      

 

Spring – Walking the Dog   (This will move to the Summer Term in 2023)

Learn about the Jazz genre of music and the instruments used.  Look at how George Gershwin was inspired by it.  Continue to develop an understanding of music notation, pulse and rhythm and a knowledge of percussion instruments.  Use ‘Promenade’ by Gershwin to inspire their own ‘walking the dog’ composition.  In groups consider sounds on a walk and choose instruments of suitable timbre for their compositions.  Consider rhythms they might play and develop an understanding of dynamics and how they can use them to effect in their work.  Practise, perform and evaluate success.

              

          

Summer - The Living Rainforest (soon to change to Music of the UK)

Revise notation learnt the previous term and write simple music notation.  Continue to perform rhythms with cups.  Learn about the various dynamics, their Italian names and how their symbols are shown in written music.  Listen to rainforest sounds and match their timbre with that of classroom instruments. In groups write rhythms to portray the various rainforest sounds.  Write the composition on a simple score to show changes in texture and add dynamics. Practise compositions, keeping rhythms in time and evaluate success.  Make changes as necessary.  Each group perform to the rest of the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

Year 4

Autumn – Tudors (Stayed the same this year, as on website, but in Autumn 2022 this will be the ukulele topic. This topic will go, and a completely new topic will be created for the spring term – as yet undecided.  Photos can go in for this year, though, with the same Tudor write-up.  Taken last term).

          

 

Spring – Rumble, Rumble, Sizzle, Sizzle, BANG! This will move to the Summer Term in 2023)

Learn about the many music traditions and instruments in various countries around the world.  Revise understanding of pulse, rhythm and basic notation.  Write own 4 beat rhythms.  Develop an understanding of ‘texture’ in music when building up layers of rhythms from natural disaster words.  Learn to sing some rounds including ‘Disasters’ and ‘Popacatapetl’.  Discover how rounds work with melody lines working in harmony together – often involving chords.  Learn about the C major tonic triad chord and change own word rhythms into melodies using a choice of the 3 notes.  In pairs, create a performance using their own word rhythms and melodies.  Perform to class and evaluate success.

       

     

Summer – The Ukulele School (This will move to the Autumn Term in 2022-2023)

Following lessons 1-6 in Unit 1 of ‘The Ukulele School’ scheme, children learn how to hold the ukulele and learn the names of the parts.  This is followed by learning the note names of the strings of the ukulele and the difference between picking and strumming. They revise their understanding of rhythm and melody, crotchets, quavers and rests.  They learn what tablature (TAB) is and how to read from it.

As well as the single notes of the strings, they learn how to fret a string to make other notes, such as the high note C on the A string.  They are introduced to chords as two or more notes played together.  They learn the notes that make up the chord of C major and F major and work out which strings need to be fretted to play the chords.  The learn techniques in order to changes smoothly from the chord of C major to F major and back again.  Along side all of this, they play along to a number of exercises and songs.

Year 5

Year 5

Autumn - Space

Listen to G.Holst’s ‘The Planet Suite’.  Compare features of his ‘Mars’ and ‘Venus’. Revise the length of notes (duration) and learn about time signatures.  Read and write rhythms in 5/4 time. Consider the musical element, ‘structure’.  In groups, write own compositions for Mars, the god of War and Venus, the god of peace and love, inspired by Holst’s suite. Improvise own count-down, lift-off and rocket theme (that keeps recurring). Practise, evaluate, make necessary changes and perform.  Some groups perform to the whole school.

 

      

    

Spring – The Ukulele School  (This will move to the Summer Term in 2023 and will be Unit 2 then.  As ukulele has only begun this year, they are starting Unit 1, as are Year 4 and Year 6).

Following lessons 1-6 in Unit 1 of ‘The Ukulele School’ scheme, children learn how to hold the ukulele and learn the names of the parts.  This is followed by learning the note names of the strings of the ukulele and the difference between picking and strumming. They revise their understanding of rhythm and melody, crotchets, quavers and rests.  They learn what tablature (TAB) is and how to read from it.

As well as the single notes of the strings, they learn how to fret a string to make other notes, such as the high note C on the A string.  They are introduced to chords as two or more notes played together.  They learn the notes that make up the chord of C major and F major and work out which strings need to be fretted to play the chords.  The learn techniques in order to changes smoothly from the chord of C major to F major and back again.  Alongside all of this, they play along to a number of exercises and songs.

    

Summer - Rivers

Listen to and analyse river and water music.  Read, understand and perform rhythms in 6/8 time.  In groups create own River composition inspired by Smetana’s ‘Vltava’ from his ‘Ma Vlast’ suite.  In it depict a river flowing from the source to the sea, using a melody in 6/8 time, creating a crescendo as it does so.  It should pass a couple of scenes, illustrated by differing instruments with ranges of dynamics.  Practise, evaluate, make necessary changes and perform.  Some groups perform to the whole school.

 

Year 6

Year 6

Autumn - Champions for Change - Victorians

Revise the lengths of notes and position of notes on the stave.  Read and perform a simple street cry as a chant, keeping in time with other street cries. Create words for own street cry and lay down its rhythm in either 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8 time. Go to a tuned instrument and change the rhythm to a melody.  Play on tuned percussion and add rhythmic accompaniment, creating a performance.  Practise, evaluate, make necessary changes and perform.  

     

Spring – Ukulele and Song Structure

Continue to revise lengths of notes and read and perform rhythms.  Listen to a variety of songs with different structures.  Learn about the various structures in music, such as binary, ternary and rondo.  Discuss the features of songs – introduction, chorus, verse, bridge, instrumental break, key, chord progression, lyrics, style and so on and develop an understanding of what these mean.  Pick out these features in each song.  Learn what makes a chorus catchy, the different way lyrics are written and how to write a song.

Alongside this, learn how to play the chords of C, F, G7 and Am on the ukulele and, using these chords, accompany some songs.

Summer – Onwards and Upwards – Writing A Leavers’ Song

In pairs or in a small group, write the lyrics and rhythm of a catchy chorus for an original leavers' song.  Using a ukulele, work out a melody to harmonise with a simple chord progression. Develop it further by writing the lyrics and melody of one or two verses.

Practise and perform the song, evaluating its success.  Perform to an audience.  Some groups perform to the whole school.

 

 

Performance

The children have a wide variety of instruments to choose from and ample opportunities to compose and perform their own music. Their learning is often shared in celebration assembly. 

Excitement when a set of ukuleles arrive in school.  April 2019.

Children also have the opportunity to learn an instrument and, at the time of writing, around one hundred and twenty children learn an instrument in school.  These include piano, guitar, drums, violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, cornet and tenor horn. We have peripatetic teachers from Surrey Arts who come into school to teach these instruments.  In order to book these lessons, please visit this website:

 https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/culture-and-leisure/arts/music/lessons-for-children

In addition, our specialist music teacher, Mrs Canfield, offers beginners’ guitar and piano lessons (up to and including Grade 2) at the school either before, during or after school.  

Please email her at scanfieldmusic@gmail.com

These instrumental lessons are often over-subscribed (particularly piano, guitar and drums) and it’s best to get your interest in as soon as possible.  It may be necessary to put your child on a waiting list.

At the end of each year we have a summer concert, in which the children have an opportunity to perform to an audience of parents and friends, if they wish.

The Connaught Summer Concert

Every summer the children at Connaught can take part in an evening event in which they can play their own instrument.  Whatever instrument they play and at whatever level, as long as they can play a piece with confidence, they are encouraged to be involved. It is a lovely opportunity for children who play and practise hard to showcase their talents and experience performing in front of a large audience. Our choir also sings, with some of our choristers performing solos.

 

The Connaught Choir

Connaught’s school choir is open to children from all year groups and they practise after school on a Tuesday. The choir are often heard singing in assembly and they also perform at several events throughout the year.

At Christmas they perform various Christmas songs and carols in our annual Christmas Carol Concert at St Anne’s Church in Bagshot. The children sing in unison and in harmony with many solos and duets. In recent Christmases, the choir have also visited Collingwood Grange Care Home to sing Christmas songs to the residents there.

Every June the choir take part in the North Surrey’s Primary Schools’ Music Festival, which takes place at the Princes Hall in Aldershot. They learn a work of songs and sing them along with many other schools.  This year – 2020 – they were practising towards the work, ‘Jake and the Right Genie’ by Richard and Thomas Allain.

Childrens Quotes

‘I like music lessons because we learn about different people and types of music.’

Joseph Year 3

‘What I like about music is that it makes me feel happy and calm. The best thing about music is that you learn music!’

Lucia Year 3

‘I think that it is so inspiring and so amazing because I just love it and even though I’ve only joined the school in Year 4 it’s just amazing and it will help me pursue my dreams of becoming a singer.’

Francesca Year 4

‘I always look forward to music lessons because they always include fun ways of remembering musical notes and symbols.’

Isobel Year 5

‘I really like when we did the rainforest topic, where we used instruments to make rainforest sounds, like a tiger, rain, woodpecker and more.’

Sophie Year 5

‘As I joined Connaught in Year 6, I didn’t get to enjoy the wonderous music lessons as I wanted to. This was still a fabulous year for music and I am very sad it has to come to an end.’

Gabriel Year 6

‘I have enjoyed every music lesson from doing the rainforest compositions to the planets to even learning the ukuleles. It was amazing! I was very sad when it was our last music lesson. At least I can still see Mrs Canfield when I have my piano lesson!’

Emma Year 6

‘We have been doing chords and even ukulele lessons, which are my favourite times. I have learnt lots of skills with Mrs Canfield.’

Harrison Year 6

‘My favourite things about music lessons is that we get to play instruments and make our own music, whilst learning different chords and notes that we could add in.’

Pippa Year 6

‘I really enjoyed learning to play the ukulele and now I understand chords: 3 notes played together are triads. I also loved the rainforest composition in Year 3.’

Jessica Year 6

‘I liked the compositions we did before lockdown, especially the rainforest one in Year 3! I’m really going to miss the amazing music lessons Mrs Canfield provides us with.’

Sophie Year 6