We believe it is important to nurture the creativity, passion and individuality of each child at BWA. Music is integral to the broad and comprehensive education we offer and we provide pupils with the opportunity to express themselves in a multitude of ways. We follow the National Curriculum for music.
Children are taught to respond to various emotive actions from the piano, to develop confidence in keeping a sense of ‘pulse’ through various forms of game, namely stop and start, fast and slow, soft and loud, sharp and soft. They also listen to fairy tales told with a guitar accompaniment to express these dynamics.
Children work as a whole class studying subdivisions of the fundamental beat (walk). When halved a walk becomes a jog (2 motions in the time of 1) and this is then split into quarters (4 motions in the time of one), triplets (3rds), three quarters and a quarter (taught as a skip). They then move on to multiplications of the fundamental beat for longer periods, a ‘2 beat stride’ is a larger step that represents a musical note lasting for as long as 2 beats, the same applies for a 4 and 3 beat note. As the children perform these actions they are provided with the visual musical representation of these note values and form a natural physical association, preparing them for performance of these rhythms on instruments. They also study quite mature musical dynamics such as legato. In addition, they study Anacrusis, the idea of preparing and anticipating before beginning a song, studying the down beat and stressing certain notes, and finally Solfege and intervals through a series of vocal exercises and folk songs. Drums are used as a means of studying poly-rhythm, performing one action with the feet (keeping the beat) and dividing the beat via the drum.
Both Years 5 and 6 study guitar as a main instrument, and percussion as a means of understanding divisions of the fundamental beat. Drums are used as a means of studying poly-rhythm, keeping the beat with the feet and dividing the beat with the drum. They are taught to read music, understand pitch, learn to play a chromatic scale, understand beats in the bar, and learn these concepts by studying, reading and playing music from cultures all around the world. They work in simple and compound time signatures, and work collectively as a class and then within groups.