Music at Atwood
If you were to walk into a Music Lesson at Atwood:
You might see children practising newly acquired skills on a range of musical instruments. You might see children behaving as music leaders, leading a class or a smaller group in a specific skill or demonstrating a song, an action, skill or mini-performance.
Above all you would see enjoyment, enthusiasm and engagement in the process of learning, participating and performing.
An Example of the Children’s Musical Journey or Skills Progression:
Our first instrument is our voice.
In Year 1, children play simple rounds, melodies and song accompaniments on the xylophone. Using songs from around the world they begin to learn about the 8 note major scale, simple melodies and how this supports the human voice.
At the end of Year 2, children are introduced to the chords and songs of the ukulele which is a powerful primary music learning tool. Again accompanying the human voice and singing is key. Elements of rhythm and pitch are reinforced here.
They are able to carry this learning through into Year 3 with the harmonica, so called because it naturally harmonises with itself. They then return to more xylophone work (reinforcing harmony and introducing some of the rhythm notation acquired in Year 2) and finish with an introduction to African Djembe drumming.
In Year 4 the ukulele chords give way to the rudiments of compositions and the inclusion of lyrical work based on a model song. Their musical journey continues with a revisit to the harmonica accompanied by harmony and round singing.
In Year 5 children begin their guitar studies and are able to bring all of their ukulele skills to the task of adapting to this larger, more demanding instrument. The same chord and strumming principles apply but here we introduce, with the help of historic examples, the flavours of new scales and modes like minor (Elizabethan and early music), pentatonic (African) and in Year 6 the dorian mode (blues).
By Year 6 children have a grasp of musical vocabulary and some confidence in understanding how different songs and musical structures are arranged. They revisit the guitar and the djembe drums before preparing for their musical swansong, the Year 6 leavers' show.