During the early years, children listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of different kinds of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions with increasing confidence, imagination and control. Notation is introduced as early as reception and they explore and enjoy the way sounds and silences can create different moods and effects.
In Year 1 they are introduced to the violin and cello as part of whole class tuition. In year 2 they explore the ukulele. Year 3 & 4 experience the recorder as part of their creative arts afternoons.
In Years 5-8 the subject builds from the work started in the early years with skills being further developed. A greater emphasis is put upon performance skills and a more challenging level of composition is expected. The elements of music are reinforced through practical and listening work. Singing continues to form an important part of the curriculum and is positively encouraged. Part singing is encouraged in the upper years.
A range of topics are covered in all year groups ranging from World Music, Medieval, Minimalism, Blues, Rock and Pop. These are all explored through practical music making. They improvise, and develop their own musical compositions, in response to a variety of different stimuli, with increasing personal involvement, independence and creativity. Pupils are encouraged to notate their compositions where possible and to spend time revising and reflecting upon their work.
Music making is both challenging and engaging. In addition to this we aim to enhance the pupils’ understanding and enjoyment of music, through an active involvement in listening, composing and performing. Music is a subject that is accessible to all, providing opportunities for excellence at all levels of intellectual development and in all phases of education. In addition to this, other qualities and standards, such as discipline, respect, co-operation and supportive encouragement must be maintained at all times.
Outside of formal lessons, music making is actively encouraged. Instrumental tuition on a variety of instruments is provided by visiting instrumental teachers, and extended curriculum activities allow pupils to further extend their musical knowledge and skills. Pupils can take formal examinations following the ABRSM or Trinity exam boards. Monkton School is a regular visitor to the Mid-Somerset Festival entering both ensembles and individuals. It’s no surprise to hear music as you walk down the corridors at Monkton; you will find children singing, composing music, playing their instruments in a one-to-one lesson, or taking part in a rehearsal. Music is a part of our day and a part of our life at school.