Music gives all children the ability to express themselves creatively and with imagination. It is an integral part of all cultures and opens up an avenue for cross curricular learning whilst providing the opportunity to bring a topic to life.
At Great Missenden School the intent is to inspire a love of music, promote understanding and give children the ability and confidence to make music.
- Every child receives at a minimum a 1 hour dedicated music lesson each week delivered by a specialist music teacher
- A progressive approach is taken and children learn to listen, understand, compose and play music from reception upwards, with skills and knowledge increasing sequentially year on year
- We take a very practical approach to the learning and children will sing and/or play instruments in every music lesson.
- Whole class practical musicianship is taught in music lessons throughout KS1 and KS2 (Drumming, samba band, ukulele, classroom percussion)
- Singing and some instrumental use is currently limited by COVID guidance for schools. However children will still all have a practical element to their learning within the guidelines. We are taking all necessary precautions to keep the children safe and follow the guidelines for music learning in schools.
- Throughout their time at the school children are exposed to a huge range of different musical genres and styles from all over the globe - past and present
- We use IT and apps within the music classroom and on stage to aid music making, tuning, composition, production and performance
- All children have the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular musical activities in the form of lunchtime or after school clubs. (Clubs currently suspended due to COVID guidance, but will resume as soon as it is possible)
- KS2 children have the opportunity to take instrumental lessons if they wish. These lessons are delivered during school time by teachers from the Bucks Music Trust (BTM)
At Great Missenden school we are musicians, we are singers, we are composers we are performers and we listen to a wide range of music. Enjoyment of music is a key focus; enhancing well-being, self-confidence and a sense of achievement for the children.
Music assessment is on-going throughout the year and children are encouraged to discover, identify and develop their own areas of strength. Alongside the ‘taught musical skills’ children learn to formulate an opinion and to participate and collaborate with others; enhancing teamworking skills and building an awareness of self and others.
Musical experiences stretch beyond the National Curriculum with visits from professional musicians, composers and theatre companies. Every child rehearses and performs at least once in front of an audience each year*. Outside the classroom there are also optional additional performance opportunities. Over a third of the pupils at the school chose to take part in the ‘Stars of the Stage and Screen’ concert in 2019; a showcase of the after school performing arts clubs and a celebration of music and dance at Great Missenden School.
**In 2020/2021 we have been unable to have an audience, but have filmed performances which have been shared with the school community in-line with COVID19 rehearsal and performance guidelines
There may be lots of restrictions in place for music and the performing arts because of COVID, but that hasn't stopped the children at Great Missenden putting on amazing performances this Christmas. Well done to all children who took part in the following productions in a COVID safe manner this Christmas:
EYFS - Christmas video including a wonderful 12 days of Christmas song
KS1 - Nativity - great acting with all singing outside and some instrumental work too!
Year 3 Production of Silent Night - rehearsed and performed in bubbles with acting, dancing, singing, soloists and instrumental work.
Year 5 - Singing performance of In the Bleak Midwinter recorded safely in bubbles with distancing up at the church. This was included in the Oxford Diocese Christmas service and the local Church crib service on Christmas Eve.
Remote Choir - video of 2 fabulous songs, recorded in a COVID safe manner in 11 different bubbles and edited together for an amazing performance.
With hours of music recorded for parents to watch we can't share it all here but you all did wonderfully and I share a couple of examples below.
Remote Choir performance extract
Learning to use tracks in GarageBand to record separately in bubbles but sound like a choir #COVID19
Year 5 - learning to recognise and notate pitch aurally
Year 4 - Boomwhackers (covid safe practical musicianship - reading and playing music from onscreen notation)
Year 1 - Exploring Vivaldis 'Autumn'
Year 2 - Indian Music composition
Over the past couple of weeks the children have been listening to and learning about North Indian Classical instruments. Using their new knowledge and searching for these instruments on the app Garageband the children have created a fabulous composition to be proud of. Enjoy!
Visiting Composer and Musicians
We have been extremely lucky this term to have a number of visiting musical professionals both as part of the Little Missenden Festival Workshops and to compliment Year 4's music learning about the orchestra.
Professional composer John Webb has been working with year 2 through a series of wonderful and inspiring workshops. They have written their own song which they will perform alongside professional musicians as part of the Little Missenden festival later this term.
More children throughout the school will have opportunity to hear and meet the musicians next week as we make our final preparations for the performance on 13th Feb.
Year 1 drumming and singing as part of their Africa topic
Year 3 - We will rock you (Stone Age version!)
Music and Technology
Year 6 are learning about the use of technology within the education sector and music industry this half term (Spring 1). As part of this topic they are also composing their own songs and exploring the inter-dimensions of music using various software/apps.
Composition is linked to the year group question/topic and many children are writing songs about climate change and protecting our environment.
Year 4 - Instruments of the Orchestra
This term year 4 are learning about the instruments of the orchestra. We will learn about the different orchestral families, how sound is produced and how the instruments are played. We will listen to recordings and live musicians and will try out as many instruments as possible.
We especially love this topic as the children who are learning instruments have opportunity to perform to their classes.
At the end of the term, we will use Prokofievs Peter and the Wolf to cement our learning and start to recognise instruments aurally.
Autumn Term Performances
There were so many fabulous musical performances by the children in the Autumn term, which saw more than 350 children on stage.
Year 4 Harvest Festival Service up at the church.
5B singing Space Oddity during their space assembly.
6S singing a moving wartime medley at the remembrance service.
Christmas services and nativities for EYFS, KS1 and year 3.
Year 1 visiting Abbeyfield to perform carols to the residents.
Years 3-5 performing songs in French, Latin and German for European day of languages.
And our fabulous performing arts Christmas show, with performances from children taking part in the music and dance after school activity clubs.
Well done to all the children involved and thank you for sharing your music and dance with us all.
Rock band visited the studio at Buckinghamshire College Group on 26th June. We had an amazing day recording a CD of the music the children have been working on all year. Our wonderful sound engineer Nick took us through the process and gave the children a wonderful day and an unforgettable experience. All the children were impeccably behaved and a credit to the school. Many thanks to the college and to Nick Lindsay for all his hard work. The CD will be on sale before the end of term.
Collectively the children have created their first composition inspired by their passion for combating climate change.
They created the backing track themselves using online software, wrote the lyrics, came up with a tune and recorded it for you to enjoy.
For the remaining weeks of song writing club the children will be writing their own songs (individually and in small groups) and I look forward to the results.