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Advice from Music specialists please!

Discussion in 'Music' started by Over_the_hill, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I am a KS1 primary teacher, I try my best with music but I am a complete beginner. I work hard to plan interesting and fun music lessons for the children. However, I have two assessment criteria to tick off and I do not know what sort of activities to do. They are:
    1. Can they create music in response to different starting points?
    2. Can they order sounds to create a beginning, middle and end?
    Any ideas of what I could do?
    Many thanks! Over the Hill x
  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I'm sorry, I don't have anything to offer except my sympathy for this nonsense. In KS 1 the children should be singing and using percussion, in an organised way. They should be learning about standing correctly and a bit of good breathing. And having lots of fun (and they are, so I reckon you're doing it right!). By singing good quality songs with good quality accompaniments they are absorbing the feeling for harmony and rhythm, and gaining confidence and a million other things that your boxes will never tick because it's like asking a child who can't write to write a story.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference Occasional commenter

    What to do is........ DO MUSIC! By singing, listening or playing the children are covering the criteria you mentioned to some extent. Most of all, they are DOING MUSIC and having fun. Use good resources with lots of fun at the heart of your lesson and they will start to build up a lifetime of good musical experiences. Tick the boxes if you have to and feel happy that the children have made music.
    1 person likes this.
  4. jubilada

    jubilada New commenter

    It’s great to hear you are doing music and making it fun for the children, so well done. I used to be a specialist, now retired, so here are a couple of ideas that work which you could try.
    1. Sit in circle with a selection instruments (or sound makers) in middle - also good opportunity for learning names, playing technique. Play pass the beater game (pass the beater round x2, if the beater stops at you, you can make a sound) . Child chooses an instrument to play and show - could be directed ie quiet/ high etc or to represent something eg a leaf falling, wind blowing.
    2. Make a music trail - sing a travelling song as a link, maybe a song about autumn. At end of song Choose sounds to represent wind blowing, sing song again, choose sounds for leaves falling and so on..Try a walk round s haunted castle.
    A great book for ideas for music in year 1 is Three little pigs by Kay Umansky.
    Hope this helps.
    1 person likes this.
  5. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I used to cover these criteria through the topic of weather. I used the song "In All Kinds Of Weather "as a starting point. It's from one of the A and Black books. Each verse is about a different type of weather. We sang the song and added actions/body sounds. I split the children into groups, each with a picture of a weather type-sun, rain, hail, snow etc etc. they talked about the sounds and which instruments they could use. They talked about how the sounds could be changed-eg. single slow raindrops, gradually getting faster as the rain got heavier. Each group practiced their weather music and then we put it together in a class performance. We sang the song and after each verse the groups played their music. For the beginning, middle and end you could use a thunderstorm-beginning-sunny day-bright shiny sounds eg chime bars, triangles, middle-single rain drops, wind getting up (voices),building up in intensity (faster and louder), end-fast rain, loud wind (voices) thunder and lightning.
    You can use lots of starting points for children's composition. Another one I have used is a Magic Carpet Ride. I build it round a story of children finding a magic carpet in an antiques shop. They children decided where the carpet went-we did it around various landscapes-a waterfall, the desert, the jungle, North Pole etc etc. They talked about the sounds they would hear and chose appropriate instruments. I wrote a little story linking their work into a group performance.
    ViolaClef and (deleted member) like this.
  6. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Different starting points-music for an Autumn Walk-leaf floating/crunching sounds, robin singing in the tree, conkers falling , squirrel running up a tree, etc etc.We used to make sounds for Teddy's Autumn Sound Walk.
    Or a musical bonfire party-sounds for the bonfire(flames , crackling sounds), and all the different sounds of the fireworks-rockets, bangers, Catherine wheels , Roman candles, sparklers etc.
    Both topical for this term.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    ViolaClef and (deleted member) like this.
  7. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I disagree. Everything you have said is true, about singing and posture etc etc but KS1 children are perfectly capable of using the instruments creatively in response to a musical starting point. And...….in my experience, they love doing it! :)

    Another is clock music. Listen to the beginning of movement 2 of The Clock symphony by Haydn as a starting point. Use metal instruments for long chiming sounds and wooden instruments for short tick tock sounds. Add in vocal cuckoo sounds-always fun!
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    digoryvenn and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I'm old and bitter! Too many times I've seen children banging away on percussion instruments with no purpose other than to make a noise, and no sense of rhythm or anything. And singing age-innapropriate songs, usually pitched way too low and sung with no attempt to do anything right, so no satisfaction there either. The things the children in my choir used to tell me went on in school singing appalled me. They loved my choir (I took them from five). They loved standing properly and singing satisfying songs and silly songs and hard songs and rounds. Better to do traditional stuff well than try too hard and end up in a mess.
    1 person likes this.
  9. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    1. By different starting points, I believe they mean different stimuli, so a picture, a sequence of pictures, a story etc.
    2. Ordering sounds is about creating a piece with a sense of structure - as @sparklepig2002 suggests - ‘The Storm’ - starting with some sunny day music, then the storm, the storm passes over and the sunny day music returns.

    With instruments like an ocean drum, metallophone, glockenspiel, hanging cymbal and drum the possibilities of Sea Music abound. The children could make up some background sea music; then a theme for a little fish, darting in and out of the reef/rocks. Along comes a shark! The little fish hides. The shark passes by and swims away. The little fish comes out again. You could find pictures or video to put on the IWB to help the children to imagine the scenario. Just an idea!

    Keep enjoying your Music! All the best!
  10. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Thank you so much for all your replies, which were immensely helpful and much appreciated.
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  11. simplyme2

    simplyme2 New commenter

    Aren;t there any musical resource books for KS1? Do Pearson do any? Any on the internet? I think I hav seen some websites that do musci KS1. I would get one of those and use their resources, I wouldn't want to be thinking each night what I would do th nexy day.
  12. WelshMags

    WelshMags New commenter

    Look for books by Sue Nicholls for KS1 music. You can't go wrong with them - e.g Michael Finnigan Tap your Chinigin covers all the NC music skills and is easy for a non specialist to use. It will show you that it's not as complicated as the objectives make it sound. It's old but a classic!

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