At Cordwalles we teach music using the Charanga online music school. Charanga is a comprehensive programme with clear progression of skills embedded within. Charanga teaches the many areas of music by using a song as a focus for each unit. These include both specially written and popular hits such as Mamma Mia by ABBA and Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. Within each unit, children have the opportunity to listen, appraise, compose and perform. Children also experience different composers, styles and pieces through our assemblies where they listen to and learn key facts about weekly changing pieces. Teachers are also encouraged to use music during their everyday life and to enhance other parts of the curriculum . Children also have the opportunity to take part in the BBC Young Voices Concert in year 5 and 6, take part in and watch school productions and enjoy welcoming musical visitors to our school.
At Cordwalles we believe in the power of music for the well-being of our children, to inspire, uplift, motivate and support in all areas of school life. We believe that every child should have a broad experience of different genres of music both during music lessons and throughout the wider curriculum.
The Charanga curriculum has a strong structure with clear progression that builds upon previous learning throughout, it also enables every child to have the experience of learning an instrument in the course of their lessons. We use formative and summative assessment throughout which enables us to respond to the children's learning and address any gaps in prior learning or any misconceptions that arise so that all children succeed. We believe that music has strong links across the Curriculum. Teachers use music to support the children's learning in all areas of the Curriculum such as in maths, with times tables songs, English with grammar songs and play music from other countries and periods in history to add greater depth to their lessons.
Music is taught once a week for between 45 minutes to an hour. However, our children experience music throughout their school day. From calming music to welcome them to their classroom in the morning, to a composer or piece of music to learn about on their way into assembly. From relaxing music to listen to during English, medieval music whilst creating their own Bayeux Tapestry, music to inspire pieces of art and singing times tables songs in maths, we believe that music has the power to support the education and well-being of our children in all areas of school life.
At Cordwalles we expect that the majority of children will be able to access and progress through the music curriculum as it is planned. However our teachers tailor the lessons to meet the children where they are and enable each child to progress and develop their music knowledge. Teachers carry out formative assessment through the lessons and are able to speed up or slow down the progression of each lesson as appropriate depending on the levels of understanding in the class. This is supported by the different challenge levels of lesson activities.
What a 'typical' lesson looks like:
A typical music lesson begins with the introduction of a piece of music, either instrumental or song. The children listen and appraise the piece by considering questions such as "What do you hear?" "Do you like this piece of music?" We move onto pulse and rhythm games using body percussion and movement. These progress into sung exercises including call and response and practising rhythms from the focus piece. We then move onto learning to perform. This varies depending on the unit from performing a song to performing the piece on tuned instruments such as the ukelele, glockenspiel, recorder and keyboard.
Lessons are taught once a week for 45-60 minutes. The learning intention is shared with the class at the beginning of each lesson, with Must, Should and Could statements. Teachers use both online resources and musical instruments during lessons. We also have a specialist music room called The Studio available for lessons.
African Drumming at Cordwalles
On Tuesday 24th May 2022, we will have a whole school African Drumming workshop day:
We are looking forward to exploring our creative drumming skills!