Music at Joy Lane Primary School.
What are we offering that is so special?
Peripatetic Instrumental Music Tuition
This academic year, we have sixty-three pupils taking instrumental music lessons in school and more who choose to learn out of school. This represents 21% of our Key Stage 2 pupils learning in school. We offer all of the top ten most popular learned by children instruments (taken from ABRSM exam statistics) and three more instruments in addition. We expanded from offering two instruments, to thirteen instruments in just four years, which is more than some local secondary schools. Our instrumental lessons are taken by a wide variety of pupils – boys and girls, across Years 2 – 6, including Oysters classes. We celebrated nine children taking grade 1 or 2 exams in June 2017, which was a really special achievement for them. This academic year, we anticipate another fifteen to twenty children taking grades debut, 1 or 2 exams on five different instruments.
We have a number of professional musicians (and many musical class teachers) at Joy Lane. Kent Music, who give us funding for the delivery of music across the school, are very keen on Whole Class Instrumental Tuition as a cost-effective way of giving every child the experience of ensemble playing, but the ambitiousness of having thirty children all playing a loud instrument at the same time should not be underestimated. We have developed a programme where class teachers offer recorder tuition for a term in each of Years 4-6. Having experienced music specialists here also allows us to offer whole class guitar tuition for a term in Year 5, culminating in a 60 piece pop ensemble of children of mixed musical experience. Year 3 also benefit from whole class glockenspiel, ocarina and bell ringing tuition, which contributes to build a 90 piece ensemble of mixed instruments at the end of their project. We have consciously brought KS3 ideas and expectations of standards down into KS2. The ‘Firework’ (Year 5) project would be typical of Year 7. Year 4 are lucky to be the first year group to use our new Ukuleles and this was showcased in their musical show in Term 4. Year 3 also presented their own compositions in their Easter show for parents too. Meanwhile, our Year 6 are composing their own percussion pieces based on a BBC Composition Project and learning to play real drum kits by themselves too. Years R, 1 and 2 enjoy musical lessons throughout the year, experiencing a wide range of classroom, world and orchestral instruments as well as a great deal of singing. The children will be able to try many exciting instruments for themselves such as trumpets, trombones, djembes, ukuleles, violins, cellos and flutes. At Joy Lane we offer all children the opportunity to experience many inspirational performances by the older children (and indeed the staff) in our weekly music assemblies and end of term Music sharing assemblies.
Two years ago in our Oyster provision, we created two special sensory projects with the use of orchestral and electric instruments – double bass, cello, bass drums, guitars, microphones and a multitrack recorder. This culminated in a sharing assembly for parents where we combined pupil artwork, pre-recorded pupil music and live instruments to share an ‘At The Beach’ experience. Last year we enjoyed having a music specialist offering weekly music groups to our Oyster classes, focussing on tuned percussion instruments. This year we are planning another sensory show for parents at Christmastime, filled with music and based on ‘The Snowman’.
Music Off-Curriculum Afternoon
Every pupil and teacher performed to a huge audience of the whole school on our fields. A staff choir also performed accompanied by staff/pupil live band. We plan to stage this again in the Summer Term 2018.
Lounge on The Field 1 and 2
Many staff performed alongside 70+ pupils on our field in July 2015 and again in 2017. With our own pyramid stage, we showcased 14 bands and entertained over 500 delighted friends and family outside in beautiful weather.
Our first band began three years ago with two Year 3 boys and staff members.
Light Up The Hall
A two-night sensory extravaganza in our hall, filled with classical, film and show tunes. It showcased a high level of performance by self-motivated pupils as dancers, musicians, stage managers and technical support.
The second event, ‘Light Up The Hall Does Jazz Club’, took place in February 2018.
O2 choir – Fifty-five pupils travelled to London in January 2017 to take part in the largest children’s choir event in the World.
Tequila – Using professional recording equipment, the whole school, including staff, rehearsed and then took part in recording sessions that produced our version of the 60s song, Tequila, in June 2016.
The events that we have staged here take such long-term commitment (we begin in Sept for a July performance!) and the huge amount of children who take part do appreciate the enormity of the event and believe it is worth working hard for. That is what we are so proud of at Joy Lane.
In the Curriculum Overview document (link below), you will see a basic outline of the knowledge, understanding and skills to be covered. How teachers organise, interpret and teach this may vary and is subject to change.