Music is a universal language and connects us through people and places in an ever-changing world. At St Anselm’s we believe that music lessons should inspire and engage students to develop a life-long love of music and their talents as musicians. Music lessons are as practical as possible and throughout children’s time in St Anselm’s we aim for them to participate in singing, ensemble playing, listening and experimenting with the creative process and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Music should underpin all celebrations, performances and religious events in our school.
There is a specialist music teacher employed at St Anselm’s and all classes receive a 30 min music lessons per week as well as a 30 min whole-school singing session (hymn practice). We have developed our own curriculum which covers the aims of the Music Programme of Study in the National Curriculum, as well as taking inspiration from the Model Music Curriculum. All children learn the recorder from the Summer Term of Year 2 (continued throughout Year 3) and in Year 4 all children learn the ukulele. We work closely with our local Music Service (Harrow Music Service) and children have the opportunity to learn other instruments in small group settings (violin from Year 3, wind from Year 4 and guitar from year 5). Children in Year 5 also spend a term studying and participating in West African singing, drumming and dance, again through the local Music Service. St Anselm’s KS2 choir (Yrs 4, 5 and 6) are very active in the local community, performing at local events, with our Catholic community and in collaboration with Harrow School. There is a recorder club for children in Year 3 and regular lunch-time singing for children in Year 2.
Diversity and Cultural Capital in the music curriculum:
Songs from different traditions: Throughout their time in St Anselm’s children are taught songs from a diverse range of cultures including, Irish, Spanish, Polish, North American, South American and African.
Composers from different countries, backgrounds and genres: Children are exposed to the music of a wide range of composers and musicians as various as American minimalist Steve Reich, female Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz and Ustad Mohammad Omar from Afghanistan. Children are exposed to living composers, such as Kerry Andrew as well as some of the more well know composers, such as Handel and Beethoven.
Being exposed to a wide variety of music from different eras and genres helps to equip children with the cultural capital they will need in order to continue their studies in secondary school and beyond as well as allowing children to confidently speak about and express preferences in music. Being exposed to different cultures through music also promotes the British value of mutual respect and tolerance.