Aims and purposes of music

By engaging students in making and responding to music, the music curriculum offers opportunities for them to:

  • develop their understanding and appreciation of a wide range of different kinds of music, developing and extending their own interests and increasing their ability to make judgements of musical quality;

  • acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make music, for example in community music-making;

  • develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subject areas and that are needed for life and work, for example listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others.

Content of music

The music curriculum will:

  • develop each of the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appraising in all activities;

  • extend these skills by applying listening skills and knowledge and understanding of music.

  • enable students to make connections between all areas of knowledge and musical experiences.

In particular, by making and responding to a wide range of music, children will be helped to understand:

  • how sounds and music are made, changed and organised, for example through the use of the musical elements, devices and structures;

  • how music is produced, for example through the use of instruments, ICT, and musical processes including relevant symbols and notations;

  • how music is influenced by time and place, for example how it can be affected by the venue, occasion and purpose.

Building on student's earlier experiences

These experiences are likely to include:

· having the opportunity to sing, explore sounds and dance and/or move to music;

· recognising and exploring how sounds can be changed;

· singing simple songs from memory;

· recognising repeated sounds and sound patterns;

· matching movements to music;

· communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings by singing a variety of songs and using musical instruments.

Language and communication

Students develop language skills by:

  • exploring ideas about the starting points for their work;

  • using descriptive expressive language when discussing their own work, and work of others;

  • finding out about music by extracting information from sources such as reference books and the internet;

  • discussing and comparing their own and others' work and explaining their own views.

Values and attitudes

Students have opportunities in music to:

  • consider their own attitudes and values in relation to music and learn to challenge assumptions, stereotypes and prejudice in music and other forms;

  • develop respect for their own and others' work and learn how to offer and receive constructive feedback and praise;

  • work with others, listening to and respecting each other's ideas and learning to value different strengths and interests within the group;

  • develop skills of resilience and perseverance.

Progression in music

Students will make progress in music through:

  • progression in the breadth of experience, for example increasing the range of:

    • kinds of music used as stimuli for making and responding to music, including different musical styles, genres and traditions, and moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar;

    • other forms of stimulus used, including poetry, dance, pictures and student's own feelings;

    • musical activities in and out of the classroom and the school;

    • knowledge, skills and understanding that are taught and learned through student's own work;

  • progression in the challenge/demand of the experience and depth of learning, for example increasing the:

    • student's level of engagement with the music and musical experience;

    • length and complexity of rhythmic and melodic material, developing student's ability to sing in tune and play rhythmically;

    • subtlety of the expressive use of tempo, dynamics, timbre and texture;

    • length of student's memory when listening and their accurate use of notations;

    • student's understanding of the musical elements, processes and contexts and their ability to make more complex connections between areas of knowledge and skill;

  • progression in the quality of the outcome, for example increasing:

    • student's confidence, independence and ownership;

    • student's musical sensitivity and expression (playing a simple piece better);

    • the creativity of student's responses, for example so that they produce unexpected outcomes;

    • student's ability to communicate their own intentions through music.