The Primary Music Curriculum incorporates listening to, appreciating, performing, improvising and composing within a range of musical contexts. Within Key Stage 1 our pupils are taught to combine sounds, listen with concentration to a range of musical genres, play a variety of instruments and use their voices expressively. Moving through Key Stage 2 our pupils have the opportunity to develop and build on these skills, as well as starting to explore formal musical notation and developing an understanding of the history of music. This curriculum enables our children to be able to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings through the medium of music. However, at Echelford we feel that Music Education not only develops the musicality of each individual, it also helps our pupils to develop fundamental skills which feed in to so many other areas of the curriculum.
We believe that appraising and making music increases a child’s listening and concentration skills; improving their ability to actively listen and respond appropriately. For younger pupils it also enhances their ability to recognise and discriminate between sounds. This improves phonetic awareness and helps to develop language, literacy and reading skills. Furthermore we feel that Music Education and exploring rhythmic patterns can help develop spatial awareness, mathematical thinking and physical coordination. In addition to this, music making and composition in small groups promotes teamwork and develops cooperation and leadership skills.
At Echelford we believe that performance is an important part of the music curriculum and singing is fundamental to our music curriculum. This not only takes place within class music lessons but through weekly Key Stage singing assemblies. Additionally children have several opportunities throughout the year to perform in different situations; through the Christmas nativities and Key Stage 2 concert for instance. To support this we have an excellent staging, lighting and sound system which greatly enhances the whole experience for our children. We also have a school choir which takes part in events both in school as well as in the local community.
To ensure our pupils are provided with the opportunity to play a wide range of tuned and un-tuned instruments we have a wide collection of percussion instruments for use in class music lessons. Furthermore each pupil in Year 4 takes part in class guitar lessons and is provided with a guitar to hire. This is organised through Surrey Arts. The Surrey Music Centre is able to offer additional instrumental tuition, for which a charge is made. Several of our pupils utilise this and continue their guitar lessons beyond Year 4 or learn how to play a different instrument such as the violin.