Philosophy Of The Department

 

 

Music is at once a creative and an academic subject. In the world outside school the two exist side by side and cannot be separated. There are skills and abilities to be learnt and employed in the practical fields ( such as performance or composition ) and also Music history, research and journalism.

 

The National Curriculum acknowledges the interdependence of these areas, viewing them as

"Performance ", " Composition " and   " Listening and appraising " . Few professional musicians would approach the performance of a piece without an understanding of the musical conventions of the day, and few critics would try to comment on a piece they had not heard or played.

 

There is a myth about music which does educators and children alike a disservice. The myth states that musical ability is some divine gift which can be effortlessly enjoyed by the chosen few while the majority of the population look on in wonder. Of course some are blessed with "perfect pitch"  or " a good ear " , but there are many more who have learnt these skills by hard work. Recent studies have shown that a person of average academic abilities  can reach Grade 8 standard on an instrument by hard work and practice. While that may not get a child to professional work in an orchestra, it might well provide the basis of a meaningful and expressive pastime for life.

 

Above all, music in the classroom should be a vibrant and enjoyable experience. Practical work - performance and composition must be the backbone of the curriculum, reinforced by a wide range of listening experiences from varying ages and cultures. The support of the peripatetic staff is vital to the good running of the department. It is essential that they are viewed   as members of the department just as much as the classroom teachers. The work of non- specialist staff who are willing to join in with extra - curricular activities provides a valued resource for both the specialist staff and the pupils. The children themselves are, of course, an important resource. They have skills and abilities which the effective teacher will attempt to foster and guide; creative and performing abilities, knowledge about their own instruments, organisational skills and teaching abilities

 

At its best music should enliven, interest and motivate the pupils. It should foster creativity and enhance their  spiritual understanding. It should lead to an enquiring mind and raise self-confidence and self-esteem. It should be at the centre of school life for all and at the forefront of liaison, carrying enthusiasm to the pupils, the staff and the local area alike.

 

"Singing - like football - has, unfortunately, become something which we watch others doing rather than doing ourselves."  Mr Dickinson

 

 

 

"What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music: our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music" Hazrat Inyat Khan (Sufi Master)  1882 - 1927

 

Words of the Great and Mighty

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