At East Ardsley Primary Academy we believe that music is an essential form of creative expression that should be encouraged and developed in all our children. The children are exposed to a curriculum that offers them the opportunity to explore, compose and perform music; as groups of all sizes or individuals, using instruments including their voice, and for a range of audiences.
Every year group from Nursery through to Year 6 have access to a specialist music teacher and weekly singing assemblies as well as appreciation lessons with their teacher. They are offered the opportunity from Year 4 to learn an instrument of their choice with one of our peripatetic music teachers. There is a cost to this but school supports those families who cannot afford it, as it believes every child should have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument.
Playing a musical instrument has been shown to use the whole brain and stimulates a response in everyone. It encourages social skills as children come together in groups to play and develops patience and resilience as children commit time to practice and improve their skills. Ultimately this helps the children to build their confidence as they are given opportunities throughout the year to perform in front of a range of audiences.
As the children move through the school the music curriculum they are exposed to progresses and builds on the skills they have developed in previous years:
- performing, listening to and evaluating music from a wide range of genres and cultures;
- learning to sing and use their voices to create and compose music on their own and with others;
- learning to play a musical instrument;
- understanding and exploring how music is created, produced and communicated with reference to pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and musical notation.
Lessons are all practical and involve the children using and practising their musical skills in a number of different ways. Children are taught to play a number of simple instruments such as the ocarina and ukele as an introduction to learning to play an instrument and to give them a better understanding of what it means to learn to play an instrument.
Opportunities are explored to bring musicians into school to share their expertise with the children and to perform live music for them, children are involved in projects in Leeds that bring children from different schools together to sing and play as part of an orchestra, and they perform within small groups at lots of different events and concerts across the year. Music is seen as a vital part of school life and not for a limited few or those with particular talent and ability.
The peripatetic music service and specialist teaching is bought into school through Artsform, Leeds. This enables us to have a specialist music teacher in school one day per week, and to give the children access to the highest quality teaching as well as the chance to take part in a wide range of organised music events.