At Chestnuts, we aim to encourage enjoyment and an understanding of music through listening, composing and performing. Music is a unique and powerful form of communication that can change the way children feel, act and think. Through our music teaching, the children are given opportunities to increase their creativity, self-confidence and imagination both on their own and with their peers.
We have designed our curriculum to ensure that it is progressive and enables all children to build on the knowledge and skills that they have developed previously and to nurture their talents. The focus of the music curriculum in the Early Years is on using songs to explore all areas of learning as well as the routines of the school day. Patterns and rhythm are introduced and there are musical opportunities within the continuous provision, such as exploring instruments, to enhance their musical development. In Key Stages One and Two, we follow the progressive Charanga music programme (except for in Year 4) as it allows us to teach the musical knowledge and skills that the children require through a range of different music genres, tailored to the age and stage of the children. The scheme also allows us to support confident musicians to develop their skills through a range of challenging tasks each lesson. For our children in Year 4, The Milton Keynes Music Hub provides us with a programme of wider musical opportunities which enable the children to experience learning a specific instrument alongside a specialist teacher. Through all of these experiences, we ensure that the children are equipped with the musical knowledge and skills that they need to continue their learning into secondary education and are empowered to become life-long music lovers.
At Chestnuts, we understand the importance of revisiting learning which is why we have sequenced our curriculum to allow for this. For example, through the strand of “Listening and Appraising”, in Early Years, the children learn how to listen attentively and to move to and talk about what they are listening to. In Key Stage 1, the children begin to develop their aural memory, learning songs off by heart, and to recognise that songs have a musical style. In Key Stage 2, the children then listen to a variety of musical styles and compare two songs in the same style.
Through their music lessons, the children learn to listen to and appraise a range of musical styles. They learn to sing songs and play a range of different instruments. The children learn to compose and improvise both individually and as part of a group. There are then always opportunities to perform together and share their new musical knowledge.
Through the wider curriculum at Chestnuts, the children have many opportunities to listen to and perform music in sing and sign assemblies and productions, sharing musical experiences with their peers and their families, whilst at the same time having fun and learning the art of performance.