In Early Years, the children learn to identify and distinguish between environmental sounds and begin to describe these sounds using vocabulary such as loud, quiet, fast, slow, low and high. A significant part of Early Years Music at Westwood is encouraging the children to enjoy listening to music and then comment on whether they like or dislike a piece. The children begin to identify the beat in a piece of music through clapping and stamping.
In year one, the children are taught how to walk, move or clap a steady beat, altering this when the tempo changes. The children build upon their Early Years education as they begin to use body percussion and untuned instruments to maintain a steady beat and pulse when listening to a piece of music. They learn to identify a change in tempo and can tell the difference between loud and quiet sounds. As the children move through school, they are exposed to more genres of music, as well as being given more opportunity to experience live music in and out of school.
In year 2, the children will already be able to define 'beat' and will move onto creating a slower or faster beat. They will begin to group beats in twos and threes by tapping their knees on the strongest beat and clapping the remaining beats. The children will be given greater opportunity to recall simple rhythmic patterns from a piece of music, and recognise changes in timbre, dynamics and pitch when listening. This learning is integral when they compose and perform.
Singing high and low
Clapping a rhythm
In year 3, the children's ability to use musical vocabulary (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo etc) will get stronger as they continue to describe and give their opinion to different pieces of music. As they move from year 2, the children will be evaluating and improving their work more frequently as they listen with greater technicality. They will be taught how to identify a greater range of instruments by ear and independently internalise the pulse in a piece of music. All the previously taught features will now be independently identifiable when listening to any musical composition.
In year 4, the children will be taught the effect of silence within Music and use this knowledge to enhance their own compositions. They will learn how to identify the character of a piece of music and its emotive impact. Building on this, the children will describe and identify the different purposes of music, how lyrics create meaning, and how harmony, drone and ostinato is used. The children's confidence in using musical vocabulary will continue to grow as they are exposed to more musical compositions (both professional and from peers).
In year 5 and year 6, the children will describe, compare and evaluate different kinds of music using an appropriate and broad musical vocabulary. They will be taught how to distinguish between layers of sound and understand their combined effect through evaluating both live and recorded performances. The children will learn how music may be interpreted and appreciated in different ways by different performances.