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Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to embed a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

Overall Aims

In most year groups, music at The Vineyard is taught by a specialist from a creative learning charity called ‘ARTIS’.

“We firmly believe in the transformative power of the performing arts to change lives, and we want everyone to recognise the value of a society enriched by the arts.

The Artis Foundation exists to help people flourish through the performing arts. We do this by creating magical, high quality, learning opportunities that help develop vital skills for life and learning.”

Our music curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

In their weekly ARTIS sessions, music and the performing arts are closely linked to other areas of the curriculum.  The core skills, which form the basis of all the children’s learning, are:

Character awareness

  • responding to others, in and out of role; understanding the emotional responses of others
  • understanding characters and universal themes through stories

Body awareness

  • using the whole body to create movement
  • responding kinaesthetically to a range of stimuli

Dynamics and timbre awareness

  • using body, voice and instruments to create music through singing, improvising and composing
  • discriminating between dynamic and timbre qualities using words and sounds

Language Development

  • exploring and experimenting with sounds, words and texts
  • using language creatively with intent to convey ideas

Awareness of the quality of movement

  • time, weight and space management
  • recognising and responding to the dynamic qualities in sounds, words, music with contrasts, characters in stories and pictures

Rhythmic and pulse internalisation

  • using the body, instruments and singing to maintain a steady beat/pulse against rhythmic patterns and music of different metre
  • improvising, composing and responding to different rhythmic patterns and sequences

Pitch discrimination

  • identifying and discriminating pitch using words
  • using voice to make and explore different sounds for improvising, composing and storytelling

Spatial awareness

  • use movement to explore space around the body and in relation to the environment and/or a partner
  • responding to a range of stimuli with a sense of directional impetus and change.

Learning a musical instrument

In addition to the above, our Year 3 teachers work in conjunction with the Richmond Music Trust on their ‘Wider Opportunities’ programme. This is a government initiative, designed to give all primary children the chance to play an instrument as an integral part of National Curriculum music lessons. All Year 3 children follow the ‘mixed-strings’ programme, which is taught through four integrated stages:

Stage Focus Term
Foundation Musical development through vocal work. Whole class sessions with a vocal specialist. Term 1
8 weeks
Initial Musical development through learning to play an instrument. Whole class sessions with two instrumental specialists. Term 2
8 weeks
Transition Provision for children who wish to continue and enjoy learning in large groups, generally 6-15 children per group. Terms
3 and 4
20 weeks
Continuation Ongoing standard tuition in small groups (up to 4 children) for those who wish to continue learning. Term 5 onwards