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St Michael With St John Church of England Controlled Primary School home page

St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 4

Year 4 Rationale

Throughout Year 4 children build upon their learning from Year 3 and they learn and develop their skills in Singing, Listening, Composing, Musicianship and Performing. Children are taught music by a specialist music teacher from Bolton Music Service (Wider Opportunities), where they learn to play African drums and work towards completing an Arts Award. In addition to this, children receive a music lesson taught by a specialist music teacher from the company ‘Junior Jam’. Each week is progressive in both music lessons, with children learning new knowledge and skills. Prior learning is revisited throughout lessons to ensure children embed new skills and knowledge.


In Autumn 1, children complete the unit ‘Song writing with glockenspiels, level 2’. Children create music for non-musical stimuli. They explore musical components by composing music to create a specific mood – this is done through composing to a short, animated clip. Children create music using graphic scores and create their own graphic scores for others to play. They are taught to create keys for their scores and choose to use one or not, so others can interpret their music the correct way or leave their piece open to interpretation. Children compose music on their instruments in pairs, as well as working on whole-class compositions.


In Autumn 2, children complete the unit ‘Singing, level 2’. Prior learning from Year 3 is built upon as children already know the fundamentals of best singing practice; so this level moves on to different types of songs singers perform such as rounds and partner songs. Pupils learn to listen to each other when they are singing but also learn the hard skill of singing something different to the group next to them. Pupils learn about harmonies and listen to some examples before trying a simple three-part harmony within their class. Pupils also learn about voice classification and what their own vocal range is.


In Spring 1, children complete the unit ‘Music Theory with keyboards, level 2’. Throughout this unit the children look at six key genres from the past 400 years: Classical; Jazz; Motown and Soul; 80’s and Britpop; Present day and World. The children listen to and analyse examples of music from these musical movements and compare them to the music that went before. At the end of every lesson, pupils either compose music in the style of a chosen genre or recreate a famous piece of music from that time.


In Spring 2, children complete the unit ‘Keyboards, level 1’. This unit focuses on children learning how to play a keyboard. Pupils are taught how to improve their keyboard skills, gaining confidence in reading music, performing and improvising. Children work through several exercises looking at notation, timing and rhythm. Pupils learn how to read music in the treble and bass clef and perform a variety of pieces throughout the unit.


In Summer 1, children complete the unit ‘Electric Drums, level 1’. Children learn about music of a different culture. Lessons include; the history of the drum, how the drums are made, information about the countries and how to play the basic hits. Children play the drums, both as part of the group and in a solo capacity.


In Summer 2, children complete the unit ‘Class Jam, level 1’. Throughout the unit, children

Build on their musical skills using a range of melodic and percussive instruments. Pupils play Chime bars, African drums, Boomwhackers, Keyboards and accompany them with both vocal and instrumental percussion to recreate famous popular songs. Children learn to play along to backing tracks and are given the opportunity to swap instruments and experiment with playing melody, rhythm and accompaniment whilst improving their ability to perform within an ensemble.