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Chesswood Junior School

Chesswood Junior School

Music Curriculum Celebration


A difficult term as many of the children worked from home during Lockdown School. There were further restrictions once we returned and this had implications for singing and playing - however, with a bit of modification and creativity, music lessons supported the planning to ensure consistency and progression.

Year 3 found out about the evolution of Rock and Roll, play the 12 Bar Blues and compose using Garageband. They found out about Beethoven and his significant works and listened to and created melodic and rhythmic ostinatos. Year 4 discovered of world of Chinese Music, dragons and celebrated the Chinese New Year. Children played and created pentatonic phrases and learnt to read and write 4 beat rhythmic phrases. They also had fun bashing away at pots and pans during the unit on Stomp inspired rhythm. Year 5 studied Music for a Planet Earth Documentary! Working for the BBC is always a possibility and what a fantastic job it would be to create the underscoring for videos of animals - preempting the action, the imminent danger and the joy of nature in the wild. The children were taught techniques and improvisation on keyboards.  Year 6 had fun listening to iconic 60s Music with a focus on The Beatles. We also learnt how to read TAB and play iconic riffs. The children found out about the life of Ralph Vaughan Williams and were inspired by The Lark Ascending to create music on keyboards using a falling bass line technique.




The display outside the Music Room currently shows the knowledge we will be learning this Autumn Term. Year 3 are learning about Animals and the Orchestra: The Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Year 4's unit is: Witches and Wizards. We started by finding out about John Williams as he composed the fantasic Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter. We are learning about two amazing works: Symphonie Fantastique and Night on a Bare Mountain - both of which contain a witchy theme. Year 5 are learning about The Planets by Gustav Holst and how to read, write and interpret Graphic Scores. Year 6 are learning about Film Music and how to create feelings and emotions through music. Year 6 are also learning how to create an Egyptian sounding piece of music and how to create music for computer games.

Year 3

The Year 3s enjoyed watching Peter and the Wolf.



Year 4

Here are some of the children's pictures. The children drew a picture after listening to each movement of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. By the last movement, the music describes monsters and witches. The children also drew pictures after listening to Night on a Bare Mountain and watching the cartoon from Fantasia.

Year 5

The children compared the musical dimensions in Holst's Mars, the Bringer of War and Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Holst did not write about Earth. We created our music to describe Earth. If Holst had written about Earth, we decided the music would probably contain elements of War and Peace. However, Holst certainly did not write about Eric's planet! We read the book to find out clues and here is some music to describe Eric's planet.







The children were inspired by Incredibox. We drew the sounds the Incredibox people made using symbols.



We had a go at recreating the sounds the Incredibox people made.









Here the children were given a Graphic Score which the they were asked to interpret. They used Garageband to create a multi-layered piece of music to describe the sounds of a factory.






Year 6

The children were first inspired by other film composers. We magpied musical ideas for creating a mood or feeling such as fear, mystery, sadness and suspense. Children chose to use Garageband to create dramatic music for this Avengers clip exploring loops, dramatic orchestration such as brass ensemble and making music multi-layered.



Children created the feeling of fear by using unusual instruments in unusual ways, using the organ voice on the keyboard, playing both high and low notes, playing semitones together to make sounds dissonant, using a glissando effect on strings (played here on an iPad) and a drum for a heart beat .



Children kept the music upbeat for their music for a fantasy land such as The Shire. Playful tunes and lively drum rhythms were perfect choices.



Children identified techniques to create traditional Egyptian sounding music. We flitted between E major chords and A minor chords and later explored World loops on Garageband. We created Egyptian themes using 4 or 5 notes on a keyboard, ensuring that semitones were included. This always makes music sound 'Egyptian.' (See Knowledge Organiser for further ideas)










Year 6

The children were asked to create music that reflected the mood of a poem they had been reading in class. I had taught them some techniques in previous lessons: a falling bass line, simple ostinatos and repetitive notes. Some children chose to narrate the poem at the same time as playing. Children explored the voice settings on keyboards to help create emotion and atmosphere.









































SPRING 2019 and 2020

Year 5

The children were taught an ancient Mayan song called Xtoles. It is based round a pentatonic scale. The children read and played the main part of the song from notation. They then had a go at composing a middle section to the song using the same 5 notes. We used rhythm cards to help us create a 4 beat rhythm. Children had a go at playing and then writing the music on the stave.


Year 3

Here the children are showing off how they read the rhythm cards. We learn 4 beat rhythms by putting actions and words to crotchets, quavers, semiquavers and crotchet rests.















How about trying this at home...