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“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”

– Victor Hugo


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

- Plato


“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


1.2 Music confirms our understanding that there is something beyond ourselves. It promotes high-level intellectual and physical attainment, and evokes deep emotional and aesthetic response. It stimulates processes of thinking which require high levels of accuracy and precision. In a unique way, involvement in music provides a rich variety of opportunities for acquiring and developing a wide range of the musical, personal and social skills which our modern world needs.


1.3 Through music, children build confidence and self-esteem, develop language and communication skills, explore patterns and structure, learn to share and take turns, develop motor control and, what’s more, music brings them joy. A growing body of research bears this out. We are told that music is the only subject that reaches every part of a child’s brain (*The Music Miracle, Lisa Henriksson-Macaulay) and that good quality music learning actually increases children’s capacity to learn in nearly all areas (*The Power of Music, Professor Susan Hallam). For these reasons, here at Lickhill Primary School, we believe that music should be at the very heart of learning for all young children.


1.4 Music education is sometimes considered to be of little more than enrichment, entertainment or a source of instant gratification. But a deeper interaction with music leads us to develop our horizons. It is not simply about learning a body of knowledge. Indeed, music is a wonderful medium for facilitating communication between people of different cultures, ages and social backgrounds.


1.5 It follows therefore, that any music education programme must include first-hand experience of these deeper qualities so that the social, interpersonal and aesthetic benefits of music take up a key position in the way we live our lives. To achieve these objectives, here at Lickhill Primary School, we follow a music education programme that has cognitive benefits. It is only when we get ‘inside’ music that we become aware of the skills, concepts and levels of understanding needed to come to terms fully with the functions of music and the ways in which it is created and assembled.


1.6 Within our primary school, we are seeing an increasing number of children who are experiencing challenges around memory, impacting negatively on their development. This programme supports development of aural memory skills, which we know are helped and prompted by associated muscle memory and visual symbols (notes etc.). Through repetition and regular practice of music, we know that habit-memory (instant recall) can be achieved.

2.  Intent - Aims and Objectives   

2.1 At Lickhill Primary School we aim 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.


2.2 The children will have opportunities to:

  • Learn the knowledge outlined in the programmes of study in the national curriculum for music.
  • Explore a variety of musical styles, developing their skills and techniques.
  • Understand the role of music in other cultures and times.
  • Enjoy being creative and using their imaginations.
  • Learn how to respond to their own work and that of others.
  • Participate in musical performances for a range of audiences.
  • Play both tuned and untuned instruments.
  • Experience opportunities to compose their own music.


2.3 At the EYFS there are early learning goals for creative activity including music. These are outlined below.

3. Implementation

3.1 At Lickhill Primary School we use the ‘Charanga Music School’ scheme of work which supports all of the requirements of the National Curriculum and gives children access to a wide range of musical concepts and experiences. The ‘Charanga Musical School’ Scheme provides teachers with week-by-week lesson support for each year group in the school. It is ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers and provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression, and engaging and exciting whiteboard resources to support every lesson. The Scheme supports all the requirements of the new National Curriculum and is absolutely in line with published OFSTED guidance. The learning within this scheme is based on: Listening and Appraising; Musical Activities - creating and exploring; and Singing and Performing.


3.2 EYFS Children in the foundation stage follow the Early Learning Goals and objectives for creative development and follow stepping stones of progression as they develop through the stage. The Charanga Musical School programme of study is also used in our EYFS.

Communication, language and literacy

  • Speech and language - singing is an ideal language development medium.
  • Memory - through repetition of songs and rhymes, which are more easily remembered than words of speech.
  • Communication - call and response and actions during activity-based and group songs/games help develop awareness of others and encourage friendship and social interaction.

Personal, social and emotional development

  • Self-esteem and confidence - simple songs and rhymes are easy to learn, and 
    can increase confidence dramatically as children learn to sing alone as well as in a group.
  • Self-control - singing games can help children to follow a leader, be a leader, and wait their turn.
  • Cooperation and listening skills - songs and rhymes involve listening and responding to instructions.
  • Involving families - parents and carers can be involved directly in the setting, or at home where children will inevitably repeat songs and games they have learned.


3.3 The children are taught Music regularly throughout the year in classroom lessons, Key Stage singing sessions and whole school hymn practices. Children in Year 2/3 also learn to play the recorder while those in Year 4 learn to play a musical instrument (e.g. clarinet, cornet, ukulele) through the FAME (First Access Music Education) scheme. Children and parents are given the opportunity to continue to play their instrument through peripatetic lessons during Year 5 and 6. Home access to resources is available to all children through our Charanga subscription.


3.4 At Lickhill Primary School, the children are given opportunities to experience live music both within school and outside. Pre-School and Reception class perform at least twice annually to parents and carers in the school hall whilst Year 1 and 2 perform an annual Christmas musical. Years 4-6 perform an annual musical, usually at a local theatre and KS2 perform a Christingle at the local church every other year. The KS2 choir regularly participate and perform at local events and venues such as local nursing and residential homes, The Civic Hall, Voices and Visions as well as international events such as Young Voices.  


3.5 Equal opportunities and SEND For a variety of reasons some children may have special educational needs in relation to music. The delivery of the music curriculum takes account of these learning differences and children throughout the school will be catered for at their own level by means of differentiation of content, skills, techniques, compositions, or instruments. All children will be given the same experiences regardless of race, creed, colour or sex. Similar value and consideration is given to music from all cultures. The Charanga music scheme has a programme of learning specifically adapted for SEND.


3.6 Opportunities for the use of ICT are encouraged such as in the use of recording equipment, music software and internet web sites. 


3.7 All children are taught the safe and appropriate use of musical instruments and recording equipment. Children are taught to recognise hazards, assess consequent risks and take steps to control them in order to manage their environment for the health and safety of themselves and others. Musical instruments are either kept in a central resource area (with staff being responsible for keeping them tidy and neatly put away) or in boxes within pre-school, Reception and Key Stage One classrooms.


3.8 Children are encouraged to appraise both their own and others’ performances covering “what went well “and “even better if…”, enabling them to develop self-awareness, reflective skills, social skills and a mind set to be open to constructive criticism which we know is a crucial life skill.

4. Mastery in your music lessons 

4.1 Charanga Musical School Units of Work enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. The Activity Manual guides us through each strand of musical learning from Reception to Upper Key Stage 2 in order for us to plan teaching and to see the opportunity to embed a deeper learning, knowledge, understanding and skills.


4.2 Musical teaching and learning is not neat or linear. The strands of musical learning, presented within the lesson plans and the on-screen resources, are part of the learning spiral. Over time, children can both develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. Repeating a musical skill doesn’t necessarily mean their progress is slowing down or their development is moving backwards! It's just shifting within the spiral. Mastery means both a deeper understanding of musical skills and concepts and learning something new.

5. Impact

5.1 What will this look like? By the time children leave our school they will:

  • Have a rapidly widened repertoire which they will be able to use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance works.

5.2 This will be evident through;

  • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
  • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
  • An excellent understanding of how musical provenance - the historical, social and cultural origins of music - contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
  • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
  • A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.