Music

At Prior Weston we want our children to experience outstanding teaching from highly skilled, well supported and committed staff; Creative Arts are an important part of a child's learning and development, helping them to grow in confidence and develop their creativity.

Music Masters

Music Masters (MM) work creatively with some of the most respected organisations and institutions in the music industry. They believe that music is of inherent cultural value and that it can have a lifelong impact on the social, educational and cultural development of children and communities.  We share in their vision for a world where there is equal access to extraordinary music.

MM do not just teach children to play musical instruments, but to develop as well rounded, confident young people!

Composers Wall

Our ‘Composers Wall’ includes original pieces of music written by some of our Year 5 children....

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Many Voices

Many Voices Ensemble is a brand-new set of commissions involving 10 composers writing ensemble pieces both equally performable for learners and professional musicians. The composers will co-create the new music with musicians in our Flagship Schools during workshops led by the composers and supported by our music teaching team.

This workshop is led by composer Abel Selaocoe, and supported by teacher Anna Caban (Violin), with Year 5 cellists and violinists from Prior Weston Primary School. The compositional process will then continue remotely as appropriate through communication via the composer, music teacher and students. Finally, the music will be premiered, recorded and released widely to learner settings in 2023.

Pathways

Pathways is a programme designed to help promising and committed young instrumentalists in Key Stage 2 achieve to their greatest potential whilst addressing the lack of inclusion and diversity in Classical music by specifically working with those whose backgrounds are underrepresented in the sector.

Year 5 Music Masters Pathway Pupils Work With Jordan Bak

Year 5 Pathways pupils worked on a project with violinist Jordan Bak at the National Gallery. The...

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Music Masters during the Covid-19 outbreak

During the Covid-19 outbreak of 2020, the subsequent school closures and period of home schooling; Music Masters remained committed to their provision of a creative, award-winning music education programme. Every Friday, during term time, we had access to a wealth of live music activity.

MM now have a page full of all the music and highlights of The BIG Friday Live! show, along with the archive of everything from Friday live!

Musicianship

Music Masters is an established programme at Prior Weston, with every child in the school taking part in fortnightly musicianship sessions led by one of MM Learning’s expert musicianship tutors. Using a mix of child-friendly approaches to musical learning including Kodaly and Dalcroze, musicianship tutors work with each class, as well as class teachers and teaching assistants, to increase their levels of musical understanding and proficiency. Through these interactive sessions, participants begin by learning the fundamental building blocks of music – including elements such as pitch, rhythm and dynamics – through movement, song, listening and playing, before building advanced skills and knowledge in a fun and creative way. Not only do these sessions meet the criteria for the National Curriculum for Music, but they go above and beyond this to provide pupils with an excellent musical background with highly trained musicianship teachers and empower class teachers to feel confident in teaching and leading music.

An overview of the children’s musical progression this year is as follows:

Learning Focus

Learning Progression

Use of voice

Children will be able to find their singing voice and also to distinguish between singing, speaking, whispering (and other timbres) and thinking voice. They will build confidence in singing, and will be encouraged to sing solo when appropriate, as well as taking part in call-and-response songs, developing leadership skills.

Pitch

Children will be able sing songs using pentatonic and major scales built using the following progression:

  • so-mi
  • la-so-mi
  • mi-re-do
  • do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do (full scale)

Key Stage 1 and 2 children will progress onto using solfa handsigns.

Pulse

Children will be able to distinguish between rhythm and pulse. They will be able to maintain a pulse during spoken, sung and played musical activities. A strong sense of pulse will be develop by practicing:

  • Keeping pulse on knee
  • Keeping pulse with action
  • Keeping pulse with instruments
  • Walking pulse

Rhythm

Children will be able to copy rhythms using ta & ti ti (crotchet and quavers) and sh (crotchet rest). They will be able to recognise the ‘Suzuki Twinkle Rhythms (I’m a little monkey, run pony run pony, fatter than a caterpillar)’ when played on an instrument or clapped. In Key Stage 1 and 2, rhythms such as tikka tikka (semiquavers) will be introduced.

Musical Elements

Children will be able to distinguish between the musical elements:

  • Higher/lower
  • Faster/slower
  • Louder/softer

Ensemble Skills

Children will develop become practiced in using their thinking voice. They will sing songs in canon, songs with ostinato parts and partner songs and be able to explain the meaning of the related words.

Melodic Notation

As an introduction to melodic notation children will use body solfa and will recognise adapted visual notation for so-mi, la-so-mi and mi-re-do patterns using the songs See Saw (so-mi), Snail Snail (la-so-mi) and The Dizzy Song (mi-re-do). They will also be introduced to reading unfamiliar patterns and to reading up and down the sol-fa scale.

Rhythmic Notation

As an introduction to rhythmic notation children will learn to read and manipulate pictorial rhythmic scores (Mama & Baby Bear footprints). Ta, ti ti and tikka tikka symbols will be introduced on a reduced stave and the Suzuki rhythms will be learned in musical notation.

Performance

All children will have performance opportunities within their musicianship sessions, using their voice and percussion instruments. Key Stage 2 pupils will have the opportunity to experience performing as part of a choir, and will receive other performance and creative workshop opportunities through London Music Masters.

Listening Skills

All children will develop their active listening skills and will be able to identify musical elements within a wide range of musical pieces, both through live performance through MM’s visiting artist programme and recorded music. They will also be able to react physically when listening to a piece of music, for example moving in time to the pulse, or – when a little more advanced – changing a physical action depending on the time signature of a piece of music.

Instrument Lessons

In Year 1 and Year 2 all pupils, as part of their music study programme, learn to play either the violin or cello.

Music Highlights

"For my family it has been a fantastic safe and engaging place to come, a weekly event to do as a family"

- Claudia, a parent talking about Stay and Play at the Children's Centre