At Warwick Road Primary School, we teach music lessons to develop children’s brains, increase IQ, expand children’s ability to problem-solve and promote reading skills. Many studies have shown that high-quality musical learning has profound benefits for children in terms of wellbeing, academic achievement and the development of reading and social and emotional skills.
We use Charanga to support our music teaching, this is an online music scheme provided by Kirklees Music Services with lots of visual aids and interactive resources to support children's learning about music. Children also experience using glockenspiels, percussion instruments and recorders to take part practically in classroom and small group music lessons.
The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, create, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in classroom activities and lessons as well as assemblies, various performances and the learning of instruments. Music lessons are planned in progressive sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding.
The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use, with growing fluency, the language of music to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom children learn how to sing with confidence and play a variety of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create music, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion, vocal sounds, un-tuned and tuned instruments is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements.
We celebrate the musical ability of pupils, through regular performances. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to perform to a wider audience of parents and the wider community. Parents are invited to watch the musical talents with the annual nativity, musical Eid performance, end of year productions and class assemblies.
The importance of music in developing reading skills
Music plays an important part in the development of early reading skills. Music both prepares children for learning to read, and supports them as they continue their reading journey. Music can be used to help students learn the alphabet, the sounds of letters, develop phonemic awareness, build phonics skills and vocabulary and more. Teaching children to read musical notation and symbols when learning music, reinforces the symbol to sound connection which is crucial in reading words. Music can improve speech and reading skills, by increasing one's ability to distinguish between different sounds and understand the patterns of language. Music can also give us clues about a child’s struggles with reading. Research has found three and four year old children who could keep a steady musical beat, were more reading-ready at the age of five, than those who couldn’t keep a beat.