How Music Playtime Supports Teaching & Learning
Music Playtime supports:
- EYFS (covering age 3-4 and Reception) & Key Stage 1, England
- Model Music Curriculum: Key Stage 1, DfE March 2021
- Foundation, Wales
- Early Years & Foundation Key Stage 1, Northern Ireland
- Early & First Level, Scotland
Early Years through Reception
Music is a 'spiral' curriculum through which children consolidate and extend their knowledge and skills as musical elements and concepts are revisited and reinforced. Music is a kind of language and, when we learn to speak any language, we internalise new words and phrases by hearing them and speaking them in a whole range of situations before, later, reading language too. The topic-based structure of Music Playtime facilitates revisiting musical concepts and skills in different contexts using songs, games, movement, creativity and listening. The activities that introduce the use of simple symbols to represent sounds lay a foundation for later work involving musical notation.
Development Matters 2020 EYFS
Music Playtime covers all requirements for music education listed in Development Matters - non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage September 2020.
Age 3-4 - children should:
- Listen with increased attention to sounds √
- Respond to what they have heard, expressing their thoughts and feelings √
- Remember and sing entire songs √
- Sing the pitch of a tone sung by another person (‘pitch match’) √
- Sing the melodic shape (moving melody, eg up & down, down & up) of familiar songs √
- Create their own songs, or improvise a song around one they know √
- Play instruments with increasing control to express their feelings and ideas √
Reception - children should:
- Listen attentively, move to & talk about music, expressing their feelings & responses √
- Watch & talk about dance & performance art, expressing their feelings & responses √
- Sing in a group or on their own, increasingly matching the pitch & following the melody √
- Explore & engage in music making & dance, performing solo or in groups √
Key Stage 1
The tiered structure of Music Playtime - Early Years/Reception material followed by Key Stage 1 - provides a smooth transition from Reception to Year 1 and beyond.
Music Playtime fulfils ALL the requirements of the Model Music Curriculum: Key Stage 1, March 2021 - and much more!
At Key Stage 1 the Model Music Curriculum states that children's music education should include:
- Singing - chants, rhymes, simple songs including pentatonic songs, call and response songs, using dynamics & tempo changes and responding to leader's directions and symbols √
- Listening - recordings in a wide range of traditions and styles of music are included √
- Composing - including question & answer, sequences, sound pictures, technology, graphic notation, rhythm patterns and pitch patterns, create music in response to a non-musical stimulus, work with a partner to improvise questions & answer phrases, so sing & play, use graphic notation, use music technology √
- Musicianship - based on the following:
- Pulse/Beat, including moving to a beat, body percussion, responding to pulse, ostinati, changing beat, walking in time, grouping beats √
- Rhythm, including copying and performing rhythm-patterns and word-patterns, inventing rhythms, creating rhythms using word-phrases, stick-notation √
- Pitch, including comparing high and low, talking about differences in sound, exploring percussion sounds to enhance storytelling, following pictures and symbols to guide singing and playing, singing games based on cuckoo-interval, sing short phrases independently, respond to pitch changes with actions, 'dot'-style notation √
Music Playtime is an ideal way to enable children to experience music in a topic-based way that integrates the four main learning areas and also makes links with other areas of the curriculum. Musicianship skills run through every topic. The main strands are meticulously incorporated into the scheme, with an emphasis on practical music-making using a mixture of voices, instruments, 'body sounds' and 'found sounds'. Each Music Playtime unit contains:
- Introductory Activities
- Songs and Chants
- Skills and Games
- Creative Music (composing)
- Listening, Appraising and Movement
- Cross-curricular Activities
A few points to bear in mind for SEND music lessons:
- Consider the whole child and complete learning experience in your planning. Music Playtime's topic-based, creative approach in which the teacher plays an active part in the music is especially useful in this respect.
- Music Playtime helps you to ensure breadth, balance and also an appropriate degree of repetition. Pulse is an especially important element of music in SEND lessons so look out for the activities that are labelled as being useful for developing this.
- Pay prior attention to the environment, behaviour management and arranging any extra support you might need.
- Have contingency plans in place - imagine the unexpected before it happens. Consider how you will keep a calm, positive atmosphere.
- Rehearse your lessons, making sure you thoroughly know the words of songs. Anticipate how you hope to interact with the pupils. Arrange practical matters such as positioning of children, props and resources in advance.
- Many children who find verbal communication difficult can vocalise creatively and expressively during music activities, including singing.
- Use SEND-appropriate resources, including both traditional, brightly-coloured percussion instruments and technology-based instruments such as SKOOG, particularly where children have physical limitations.