At Duncombe, music education is important. The curriculum offered engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians. Children in every year group have regular high quality music lessons, taught by specialist music teachers. All children have regular opportunities to sing and to play instruments. A strong emphasis is placed on performance, with all children given regular opportunities to perform for an audience.
Our Approach to Music
- EYFS: In Nursery and Reception, children have access to musical instruments every day and are encouraged to experiment with making sound. Children also take part in weekly singing lessons with a specialist singing teacher where they learn how to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. Weekly drumming lessons with our long standing African drums teacher introduce children to the dimensions of music such as pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, and structure.
- KS1: In Year 1 and Year 2, children continue to use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They also listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.
- In Year 1, children continue drumming lessons, progressing to more complex patterns.
- In Year 2, children start learning recorder with a specialist teacher. Every child is given their own instrument to take home. In these lessons children, experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
- KS2: There is a strong focus on progression in KS2. In Year 3 children will start learning to play a new instrument. This rotates between violin or cello; clarinet or trumpet; or ukulele. They continue learning the same instrument until they leave Year 5, receiving three years tuition in total. Every child is provided with their own instrument, free of charge, which is theirs to take home to practise with.
- In Year 6 children do not learn an instrument unless they choose to. They do however, take part in weekly choral singing lessons with our singing teacher.
- Extra Opportunities: From KS2, children are encouraged to build on existing skills and progress to the next stage of musical excellence. Opportunities for advanced music learning at Duncombe include: guitar lessons, advanced drumming, advanced recorders, Choir and The Hub at Islington Arts and Media School. Advanced music provision is in addition to the curriculum offered in class.
- Performance: Every child is able to showcase his or her achievements in regular performances. All children takes part in frequent assemblies and are expected to perform a song in every one. Children also have annual music assemblies which are an occasion to celebrate what they have learnt that year. Each Key Stage works towards a major performance each term, ensuring that every child takes part in a large scale production every year. Children are also encouraged to perform at International Evening.
Specialist Music Teachers
We employ specialist music teachers who ensure that children:
- Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
- Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music.
- Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory.
- Use and understand staff and other musical notations.
- Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.
- Develop an understanding of the history of music.