Some of these skills are specific to a certain instrument and some relate more generally to music as a whole; others, however, have value beyond the classroom and beyond the sphere of music altogether. These latter skills remind us of the important role Music plays in education and how it helps children to develop into well-rounded individuals who know how to collaborate with others to achieve a common goal.
Children in Year 2 are learning to play the ukulele, this week focusing on how to hold and play it to achieve a good tone. The posture and finger positions are specific to the ukulele but the principle applies to all instruments. In Year 4, children are also playing the ukulele. For those who have learnt before, this is a great opportunity to revisit the instrument and gain a greater depth of understanding. Learning to tune the ukulele is the next challenge and will help children to develop their musical ‘ear’.
Year 3 students are learning the recorder and are all working to earn ‘belts’ (think karate!). Perhaps you have helped or overheard your child practising ‘Hot Cross Buns’ or ‘Gently Sleep’? Many children now have their sights set firmly on reaching recorder black belt status! I have been delighted by the co-operation between students as they help each other with finger placement and give reminders about breathing through the instrument correctly. Even more impressive and most importantly, they are learning to listen to one another – an invaluable life skill of which we adults also need to be reminded from time to time.
By Matthew Champness
Head of Performing Arts