The children had an amazing opportunity to experience and learn through music. The music was linked to each year group’s topic.
Reception: Miss Dawkins bought in and played her cello. The children and staff were blown away by it. Miss Dawkins explained about the bow and cello as well as informing us about what it is made from. We learnt what the technique col legno means. The children asked lots of questions, including “how does the music come out so we can hear it?
Sitting in a large circle the children were given instruments to play. They swapped and experienced a variety of percussion sounds.
Can you remember what the bow is made from?
What does col legno mean?
Year 1: The Four Seasons by Vivaldi was played in the background as the children used body percussion to interpret sun, cloud and rain. There was a sound map on the whiteboard so when the teacher pointed to a symbol the children had to strike or shake their instruments. Also the dynamics (level of volume) was shown by the rise and fall of the pointing stick.
Which instrument would you choose to make sun, rain or clouds?
What does body percussion mean?
Year 2: Elegy for the Artic by Ludovico Einaudi was playing while an image of him playing the piano against an Artic background was displayed. The children drew their responses to the music and shared words that they imagined related to it. The graphic score was shown and the children observed any repeating patterns. Using tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments the children made up their own repeating music pattern. This was shared with the rest of the class.
What is the correct way to hold a beater?
Can you create sound effects using body percussion to make a simple repeating pattern of the weather today?
Year 3: National Anthems of England and France were used to discuss similarities and differences between the two pieces of music. This was followed with pieces composed by English composer Elgar and French composer Bizet. Pomp and circumstance March Number One (Elgar)
Carmen Habanera Instrumental (Bizet).Finally, the children read the music notes to Frere Jacques and rehearsed the nursery rhyme on various instruments, which they then performed to their class peers
Name the title that Elgar’s piece is well-known for?
Explain what a conductor does
What is Forte?
Year 5: ‘Mars’ from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ was first performed immediately following the war, in 1918. The children listened and drew their interpretation and then wrote about it. In small groups they were asked to create a short piece of music focussing on the use of an ostinato pattern. The use of percussion instruments, voices or body percussion was used to add dynamics contrast through the use of crescendos and diminuendos.
What are crescendos and diminuendos?
Mars is the god of what?
Year 6: the soundtrack No Man’s land from the War horse which was composed by John Williams, provided year 6 with the ideal musical back ground to appreciate the complexity of composing such a dramatic piece. Using the film clips as a guide the children composed their own composition and after having the chance to rehearse, they shared this with the whole class.
Name two other films that John Williams composed for?
What is a repeated pattern of musical notes known as?
For more detailed information on performances, composers and how music can make you feel you can check out the BBC Ten Pieces website.