Music Department Curriculum Intent
Alt Bridge School Music Department Curriculum intent 2020-2021
At Alt Bridge the aim of musical education is to help foster a life-long love of music. We do this through exposing youngsters to diverse musical experiences and by igniting a passion for music and music making. By listening and responding to different musical styles, finding their voices as singers and performers and as composers, we will enable them to become confident, reflective musicians.
Through music education we provide a means for self-expression, creativity, critical listening, co-operation with others and confidence in performance. Music education also provides for the expression and development of individual skills and for sharing experience. Singing, playing and listening can give individual and collective satisfaction.
At Alt Bridge music also plays an important part in developing skills for life:
Co-ordination: Music develops an improvement in mental and physical co-ordination and the recognition of patterns resulting from singing and rhythm work.
Speech development: voice expression can improve through using a variety of pitch and tone. Speech control can be helped through the use of rhythm. Music’s contribution towards minimising stammering is well documented.
Language development: this has particular relevance for the speaking and listening in English. Music can provide new words and new imagery provide a vehicle for imaginative expression.
Learning to listen – this is arguably one of the greatest needs particularly common to our youngsters in Special Education. Music can activate a greater awareness of and discrimination between the sounds which surround us. Providing opportunities to develop this skill is all the more important in order to combat the factors which deter careful listening.
Memory – youngsters whose weakness in visual memory constitutes a permanent problem can often perform particularly well when relying on aural memory, for example, in singing.
Confidence and self-esteem – through playing and singing with others and through performing publicly, shyness can eventually be overcome. If youngsters are responsible for a singing or instrumental role they will become aware of the importance of their role
Leadership – Pupils are given the opportunity to discovery of an ability to pass on to others new found skills or to organise the activities of a group.
Social development – this can be improved by co-operating with others in a group. Learning to share, to take turns and to impose self-discipline are all essential skills to be adopted if pupils are to derive maximum benefit from music lessons. Singing and instrumental playing are essentially social activities and equally important is an appreciation of the contribution of others.
Music is taught once a week to all youngsters in years 7 to 9. Pupils also have access to a weekly choir and small group or individual guitar, piano, brass and recorder lesson through peripatetic teachers and music teachers within school. Pupils are able to practise every lunch time. Pupils have the opportunity to perform throughout the year. Year 7 and 8 produce a musical pantomime, year 9 take part in an end of year production. Pupils are also able to perform in the annual voice competition which runs through the spring term giving many pupils a chance to perform within their own comfort zone. There is also the opportunity for choir to perform in assemblies for parents and in out of school events.
The music curriculum ensures youngsters, listen, play, sing, compose perform and evaluate. The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use the language of music to discuss it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom students learn how to play various un-tuned, tuned percussion instruments and electric keyboards. In doing so they understand the different principles of creating notes, as well as how to devise and read their own musical scores and basic music notation. They also learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion, vocal sounds and technology is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.