The progression of musical skills for primary pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 is to develop increasingly high standards of musical knowledge, understanding and skill.
The plan for each year group focuses on a set of skills to be developed over the year. The skills have been divided into four key areas:
- Singing – Singing should be at the heart of the music curriculum and children should have regular opportunities to sing together in large and small groups and individually e.g. within the class music lesson, in assembly, at transition times etc.
- Listening – Listening to music is fundamental to musical understanding and helps pupils understand how music in constructed and the impact it can have on the listener. Pupils should have regular opportunities for listening and responding to music (including listening to music they have produced themselves, live music performances and carefully chosen recordings that reflect a wide range of cultures, times and places.) Such listening should then support children’s composing and performing.
- Composing - Pupils should have opportunities to be creative and imaginative and to compose and make choices about their own music. Composition and improvisation activities allow pupils to use and develop the musicianship skills they have been taught and encourage collaborative work.
- Musicianship & Performing - Singing and playing a range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments should be at the heart of the music curriculum and pupils should have regular opportunities to perform musically (both formally e.g. a class performance for parents and informally e.g. for their peers within a lesson.) Pupils should be taught the fundamental musical techniques of controlling pulse/beat, rhythm and pitch. As well as learning by ear, children should learn to use both invented symbols (graphic notation) and standard musical notation when singing, playing and composing. Musical notation exists to support musical learning and so learning musical notation should be done to support music-making.
These key areas should not be taught separately but in a connected way e.g. listening gives ideas for composing or understanding of pitch taught through singing. Pupils will be ‘doing music’ as much as possible.