Music Leader: Rachel Besbrode
In Nursery and Reception, music is a part of the children’s daily learning experience, through both singing and playing simple percussion instruments.
In addition, we use an award-winning music scheme called Jolly Music. Through a repertoire of playground rhymes and songs, children learn to identify musical elements such as pulse, rhythm, pitch, loudness and speed. This learning is reinforced through physical actions, creative activities and musical games.
Key Stage One
In Years 1 and 2, teachers lead the children in weekly music lessons using an award-winning music teaching and learning platform called Charanga. The children learn through a familiar routine of listening and appraising, musical activities for creativity and exploration, plus singing, playing instruments (tuned and untuned percussion) and performing.
Key Stage Two
In Years 3 and 4, all children have whole-class recorder lessons with a visiting teacher arranged through Music Education Islington and the Guildhall School of Music. Through the learning of an instrument, the children cover the elements of the National Curriculum. For many children this is their first proper experience of learning a musical instrument and they develop skills in notation, pitch, rhythm and performance. The school provides each child with a recorder so that they can practice at home and it is theirs to keep.
In Years 5 and 6, all children have weekly small-group brass lessons with a visiting teacher arranged through Music Education Islington and the Guildhall School of Music. Children learn either the cornet or the tenor horn and cover the Music National Curriculum as they learn the instrument. The school owns the instrument and loans it to the child for the two years of tuition so that they can practice at home between lessons.
Weekly singing assemblies in both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two provide an opportunity for children to learn and enjoy new songs and to develop their skills in singing. Children sing a range of repertoire and prepare for performances at Christmas and Summer concerts at the prestigious Union Chapel concert venue.
In Key Stage One, a class teacher with a music specialism leads the children to learn traditional and modern songs with strong rhythm, melody and rhyme, including pieces that they go on to perform at the school concerts.
Key Stage Two singing assembly is led by the school’s music leader and includes voice training as well as repertoire from a range of genres. There is a ‘Weekly Listening’ segment, where children are asked to listen and appraise music from across the repertoire, including anything from as early as the 12th Century up to the present day. This is then posted on Class Dojo so that children can re-listen and discuss the music at home.
Key Stage One and Two Choirs
We have two choirs at Canonbury. The Key Stage One Choir works throughout the year on a range of songs that support the children to develop singing skills, including opportunities for duets, solos, harmony and rounds. The Choir performs at the Canonbury Christmas and Summer Concerts.
The Key Stage Two Choir rehearses weekly with the school’s music leader and performs a range of songs that challenge the children to sing in multiple harmony as well as offering solo opportunities. In Key Stage Two Choir we place an additional emphasis on developing our skills in listening, singing in tune, phrasing and musicality. The Choir performs at both the Canonbury Christmas and Summer concerts as well as the Highbury Grove Christmas Concert and events organised by Music Education Islington.
Both choirs are open to anyone who wishes to join from the appropriate key stage.
Recorder Ensemble takes place weekly. The ensemble is open to anyone in Years 4, 5 and 6 who would like to progress further in their recorder playing. There is a focus on the skills of ensemble playing e.g. listening, playing in tune with each other. As well as providing the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a smaller group, the children develop their performance skills as well as offering the chance to move on from descant to treble and tenor recorder.
The Brass Ensemble is open to pupils in Year 6 (all year) and Year 5 (summer term onwards). The ensemble performs a range of repertoire and offers participants the opportunity to perform in a smaller group in which they develop their musical and performance skills. There is also the opportunity to play the euphonium should any children express an interest.
Apollo Music Project
Year 4 takes part in the Apollo Music Project supports children in gaining a deep appreciation of music. Through six in-school workshops and two live orchestral concerts, the Apollo Music Project takes children on an inspirational journey as they gradually introduce them to the instruments of the orchestra, the musicians who play them and the music they play.
For more information about the Apollo Music Projects, please visit their website: https://www.apollomusicprojects.org/
London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Concerts
Each year Key Stages One and Two go to schools concerts performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, a fabulous opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest orchestras perform live.
The Key Stage One concert is usually based around a story book and the children learn songs to perform with the orchestra, written specially for the concert.
The Key Stage Two concert is usually based on a well-known piece of classical music. Prior to the concert the children have the opportunity to create their own compositions based on the work.
Violin and Piano Lessons
Beyond the universal music provision, parents have the opportunity to pay for piano and violin lessons offered by Artistiv, a music tuition company who operate at Canonbury during one school day and two evenings per week. Lessons can be individual or shared and are for children in Year 2 or above. There is always a waiting list for places, so they are subject to availability. Parents are advised to put their names down as early as possible to have the best chance of securing a slot. This can be done by contacting Sarah Ouldcott, Senior Admin. Officer in the school office.