At Monkston we follow the Charanga scheme of work for music which is designed to allow progression in the key musical techniques, as well as educating pupils across a range of key genres of music and exploring the impact of some influential composers. As pupils progress, they develop a keen engagement with music allowing them to compose – and to listen critically to – a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians. As part of the Key Stage 1 curriculum, pupils are taught to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They learn to play tuned and un-tuned instruments musically and to listen with concentration and understanding to a range music. As part of the Key stage 2 curriculum, pupils are taught to sing and play with increasing confidence and control. They develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulate ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Throughout the Monkston music curriculum, pupils’ understanding of British values are developed cohesively throughout. In every part of the programme, mutual respect and tolerance of other faiths, backgrounds and cultures is taught through listening and appraising music from British and world history and also a variety of styles of modern music. In every lesson, children have the opportunity to appreciate these compositions from a musical perspective, discuss their own personal thoughts and feelings with their peers (also a chance to express their individual liberty) and hear the teacher model and praise positive language. Additionally, developing the children’s confidence and “adding strings to their bow” is key. Throughout the programme, the children are taught to sing, play an instrument as part of a whole class ensemble, given the multiple chances to perform solos in front of their peers and a chance to perform as a cohesive group. Using their skills learnt in the listening and appraising part of the lesson, the children learn to praise performances and develop the skill to constructively and gently advise their peers in a structured manner. Confidence building is also integral to a positive mental health and our music curriculum definitely enhances this. Being expressive, accepting our unique opinions and doing something you are good at, are all things that have been renowned for developing a happy state of mind. Our music lessons are designed to give our children these opportunities.
To encourage children’s interest and concentration during lessons, the scheme has highly engaging, stimulating and interactive presentations coupled with cheerful and enthusiastic teaching. The children have the chance to learn a variety of instruments and are also encouraged to bring their own in to perform. Over the course of their KS2 journey, children are able to develop their resilience by continuously improving, self-assessing and trying to master their instrument. The children are given clear signals about when to join in, how to speak to their peers, when to play their instruments and what to do when they are not playing their instruments. Concentration and co-ordination are also developed whilst learning these instruments. In all units of work, in every year group children’s imagination is developed through improvisation which also develops the children’s co-operation when the children are working together on these compositions.