We are fortunate at Laddingford to have several members of staff who are passionate about music and music education. In particular Mr Ousby who is extremely passionate about music appreciation, history and culture and Mrs Swaite who has a more traditional background in music notation and instrumental teaching. We are working on creating a Laddingford music curriculum, which is broad in scope, inclusive and meets our school aims. As theses units continue to be developed we are also using the 'Charanga' music programme, to ensure that all objectives of the national curriculum are being met.
Our vision for music is to make it an accessible, lively, engaging and fascinating subject for all children that uses a diverse range of high quality recorded and, where possible, live music and to help them to develop as listeners and players themselves. We aim to challenge and expand their definitions of what music is and what it can be. They learn to do this by:
- Listening openly, deeply and mindfully to musical ‘texts’, and developing their ‘ear’ to experience the interplay between different musical elements and appreciating their collective emotional impact on the listener
- Responding reflectively, analytically and critically to musical texts and their own performances by developing a bank of musical vocabulary they can use accurately in discussion to justify their opinions
- Practising and refining their musical memory, singing, playing and performing on a range of untuned and tuned instruments with increasing skill and confidence in solo, small group, whole class and, eventually, whole school and public settings including:
- Existing pieces of music (taught through call and response and increasingly complex scores and notation)
- Composing, conducting and playing their own music
- Writing and singing lyrics
- Improvising performances
- Understanding the important role of music in society and learning about the personal, historical and cultural stories and context that lie behind and influence the music they hear e.g. cultural exchange or appropriation, racism, mental health, the difficulties of fame and addiction
- Using a variety of music technology to understand how music is produced and giving them an understanding of how the music industry operates and the opportunities and pressures it presents to artists
Examples of units of work include:
- the examination of musical influence by listening to the work of Bruce Springsteen alongside artists like Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison.
- a detailed study of Joy Division and the way in which their music and lyrics were influenced by the personality and life of Ian Curtis.
- a review of Kate Bush's musical career to date with a focus on her powerful, emotive songwriting and how she has asserted her artistic individuality despite of the pressures of conformity from within the music industry.
- an introduction to seasonal classical music with Vivaldi, Vaughan Williams and Stravinsky.
- understanding the formation and growth of Motown records alongside the civil rights movement in America.
- discovering the genesis of ska and reggae in Jamaica and its eventual conquest of Britain.