Music at the Federation
At the Federation, NORCA & Sistema in Norwich provide Music lessons and opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop skills and appreciate a wide variety of musical forms. We embrace the National Curriculum (Ofsted, 2014) purpose of study which states:
“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupil’s progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, improvise and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.” National Curriculum 2014.
The objectives of teaching music at NORCA & Sistema in Norwich are to:
- Encourage our children’s understanding and enjoyment of music through an active involvement in listening, composing, improvising and performing;
- Provide the opportunity for children to develop their individual skills, sharing experience and cooperating with others;
- Help children to develop an awareness of musical traditions from a variety of cultures.
At NORCA & Sistema in Norwich we address the curriculum through a rich and progressive spiral of musical activity (ISM, Daubney, Fautney, 2019) that teaches musical skill, whilst developing other transferable skills recognised to benefit from musical engagement (S. Hallam 2015). Further, NORCA & Sistema in Norwich keeps the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development that is intrinsically involved in the musical process, at the core of our teaching (ISM, Daubney, Fautney, 2019).
APPROACHES AND CURRICULUM
The spiral progression of musical ability
Although it is important to recognise the strands of musical learning that can be developed in young students it is equally important to understand the holistic nature of musical learning (ISM, Daubney, Fautney, 2019). When children learn to play a musical instrument they inevitably develop improved listening skills; when they begin to improvise with an instrument they will begin to learn how to compose. The strands of musical ability are intertwined, and by experiencing rich and varied musical activities, the strands progress together, and can be assessed together.
NORCA & Sistema in Norwich students develop musical skill through the use of the Kodaly method (Beng Huat See, Lindsay Ibbotson, 2018), which is evidenced to positively affect attainment, language and mathematics by developing links between aural, visual and vocal stimuli, while being an internationally recognised musical pedagogy applied to education in both whole class ensemble teaching (WCET) and instrumental learning. Singing is part of every day life and promotes, but is not limited to, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Singing is progressive and is respected as the high order musical skill it is, while also being a proven technique for developing language, supporting language for students with English as an additional language (EAL), and improving concentration skills (Idrees, 2019).
In addition, music provides the perfect opportunity to discuss historical and cultural subjects while allowing students to express opinion and appreciate the opinions of others (S Hallam, 2015). Classroom music lessons also employ a digital approach to learning that embraces modern technologies which are current and relevant to young musicians while providing the opportunity to develop transferrable computing and programming skills (Henley, 2011).