Music at Horsley aims to nurture its appreciation as an art form. Pupils learn how to sing and compose, as well as listen with discrimination, to a range of musics reflecting different times and places. In Reception, children explore music and sound, expressing their own creative ideas. At Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2) there are opportunities to make and create music using voices and percussion, listen to a range of music, and apply learning about the dimensions of music. At Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6), children build on their knowledge and skills acquired in the infants, playing and performing solo and in ensembles, improvising and composing using their knowledge of the musical dimensions (e.g. pitch, tempo and timbre). They also learn about music notation and begin to develop an understanding of the history of music.
Across the school, music is taught through the acclaimed, on-line teaching resource, Charanga. This provides a modern coherent course of study which is exciting and engaging. Singing also forms a key part of Collective Worship, and hymn practice takes place on Tuesdays, giving children from across the school the opportunity to develop vocal skills, sing in one and two parts, and develop a repertoire reflecting the Christian distinctiveness of the school.
The school is also supported by a team of well-qualified, peripatetic instrumental teachers each offering tuition on a range of orchestral and folk instruments which includes: flute, clarinet, recorder, saxophone, violin, viola, guitar, drum kit, piano/keyboard as well as voice.
Throughout the year there are various opportunities to hear live music-making from visiting musicians and ensembles. There are many opportunities, too, for pupils to share and showcase musical learning, from weekly Friday congratulations assemblies to the annual Chamber Concert in February. The school choir’s participation in Young Voices, in Birmingham, has become an annual highlight of the musical calendar, and the Key Stage 1 nativity, and Key Stage 2 production in July, are also special and memorable events, combining music, dance and drama.
The annual May Day celebration brings together music and dance, drawing in local musicians and artisans, part of a rich and long-established pagan tradition at Horsley.