Intent: Why should we teach Music?

 “Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our schools, music can bring communities together through the shared endeavour of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.”  

                                                   Model Music Curriculum, DfE March 2021


During their time at Mabe School, we want all of our children to be able to enjoy and benefit from all of these aspects of music, as part of a wider curriculum that celebrates creativity in all it’s forms.  We recognise the therapeutic and mental and emotional health benefits of music, and as such the importance of musical opportunities in supporting children’s well-being and capacity to engage with every aspect of their school life.


At Mabe School, we understand that children will join our community with a range of musical experiences.  Some will have been exposed to a wide range of live and recorded music, might have musicians in their families, or already know a wide range of songs and rhymes.  Other will have a more limited experience.   The intent of our music curriculum is in the first place to provide all children at our school with a broad foundation in the musical elements, equipping our pupils to explore their own musicianship, appreciate music which is played and performed by others, and collaborate in creating their own music.  A strong foundation in musical skills and knowledge will allow children musical expression to flourish, enabling them to enjoy a full experience of all that music has to offer.  In addition to this, we aim to provide children with experiences beyond the classroom, such as instrumental lessons, perfomance opportunities in the local community, and the chance to watch live performances by a range of artists and musicians.


Implementation: How will we do this?

Alongside an environment that is rich in daily songs and rhymes, our youngest children begin developing their musical skills and knowledge in Reception as they join in with weekly music sessions using our chosen scheme, Charanga.  These weekly lessons establish, embed and revisit the elements of music, and continue as our pupils move through Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, so that all our children are equipped with a growing level of musical understanding and practical musicianship.  Through singing and the use of instruments from an early age, children are given practical experiences to see that everyone can enjoy, play and create music.


All of our classes have a weekly curriculum music lesson, which comprises listening and appraising, development of musicianship skills and knowledge, singing, composing and performing.  Throughout their time at Mabe, each of these aspects of musical learning will be revisited and built on, providing the children with a rich and exciting musical foundation ahead of moving on to Year 7.
Our core music curriculum, delivered through weekly Charanga lessons, is supplemented in a range of ways across the school.  In 2021-22, we are fortunate to have support from specialist music teachers from Penryn College, who spend time with each of our classes across the year.  This specialist support is planned to strengthen our curriculum delivery, and to provide instrumental and music technology opportunities.  
Alongside this, we have peripatetic instrumental teachers from the Cornwall Music Service Trust visiting the school weekly to deliver lessons on a range of instruments.   Through regular demonstrations and musical performances, we aim to encourage children to take advantage of these lessons.  Instrument hire is available through the Cornwall Music Education Hub, so that there is no need to buy an instrument in order to get started.
Across the year we put on a range of plays and performances, including Christmas plays, end of term assemblies, and other special events.  Our school choir meets weekly to rehearse, and has performed as part of the annual Songfest productions, at lunches for the elderly in our local community, and for shoppers at our local Asda.  The choir often rehearses harmonies to sing alongside the rest of the school during  singing assemblies. 
As well as the singing resources available through Charanga, we also have a school subscription to Sing Up, which has a fantastic range of songs available.  These include songs by current artists as well as more traditional songs, so we are able to select a range of singing material to appeal to everyone.
Impact: What do we hope to see as a result of this?
When they move on from Mabe School, we hope that all of the musical opportunities and experiences that the children have had will have inspired them to go on to explore and develop music in all sorts of ways.  At Penryn College, there is a great range of musical activities for students, and our aim is for our past-pupils to be able to access these comfortably, having been equipped with all that they need to enjoy these new opportunities. 
We hope to see children who have taken up instruments making good progress with these, and if they choose to access music grades, that they will be enjoying success with these.  Further opportunities to continue with these lessons exist beyond Mabe School, along with some fantastic ensemble opportunities at Penryn College.
Having had a wide range of listening and appraising opportunities at Mabe, children should leave us with knowledge of a wide range of musical styles from around the world and throughout history.  They will probably have some clear ideas about what sorts of music they enjoy, and be able to explain those preferences with reference to a range of musical elements.
We hope children will have gained an understanding of the importance of music as part of the world that we live in, as a creative outlet, and a way of expressing and processing our emotions and experiences, and that they will go on to develop a love of music throughout the years ahead.