At Shirley Heath, we believe that the opportunity to engage in musical experiences is crucial for the development of the whole child. It is our intent that every child adopts an understanding and love of music which they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Music is an essential part of life; integral in the development of the whole person. Learning music develops all aspects of a child’s learning, from the physical action of using an instrument to the mathematical skills needed to keep a pulse. These abilities are directly transferable to other areas of the curriculum, allowing them to flourish, and will be invaluable in their future life.
At Shirley Heath, all children have weekly class music lessons which follows a structured and balanced programme, giving a progression of musical skills, repertoire and knowledge from Year 3 to Year 6. The lessons focus on practical music making through listening, performing, composing and appraising. A wide range of music from different cultures and genres provides a rich experience of music in a range of contexts. Children are encouraged to enjoy music and gain confidence in expressing their musical ideas and feelings. Technology is also used to support the development of musical skills, knowledge and understanding; encouraging the creative process and enabling pupils to compose record and listen to music in a variety of ways.
For children who wish to develop their musical skills further, instrumental lessons are provided from Year 4 (subject to availability and passing a musical aptitude test) by the staff from Solihull Music Service and a termly charge is made for these lessons. The instruments taught include: brass, woodwind, violin, classical guitar and drums.
In addition, all children in Year 4 learn a brass instrument free of charge for one term under the ‘Whole Class Ensemble Tuition’ scheme, in which the government pledges ‘over time, all pupils in primary schools, who wish to, will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.’
Two brass specialists from Solihull Music Service teach the whole class one of a range of B-flat instruments: cornet, trumpet, trombone or baritone. Once the teachers are satisfied that the children are confident about how to set the instrument up and take care of it, they are permitted to take them home to practise. At the end of the tuition, the children will have the option to take up small group lessons at the usual termly charge.
There are many opportunities for all our pupils to perform music, including assemblies, Christmas and Summer concerts, borough musical events and in the local community. This year, we have had the opportunity to perform at the Warwick Arts Centre. We also have a very successful Rock Band which have also been successful in performing at Solihull Moors Football Club, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, the O2 Academy in Birmingham, the National Rock and Pop Festival, West Warwickshire Sports Centre and Birmingham’s NEC.