We believe that Music should be an integral part of every child’s education throughout primary school. It should be taught through a pedagogy that unites the key musical processes of performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating. Whilst instrumental programmes such as Wider Opportunities have much of value, Music should be fully integrated within the broader curriculum offering that the primary school offers its pupils.
The Love Music Trust Primary Music Curriculum has been written to help primary schools fulfil the National Curriculum for Music. This is an important framework and is the starting point for our curriculum.
The key principles of our curriculum are:
- Every child is inherently musical and can develop their musicality through active participation in a range of musical activities;
- Music should be taught in an active and experiential way. In other words, music should be taught musically;
- The key learning processes in Music are performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating;
- The key learning processes in Music should be taught in an integrated way. In other words, musical activities in the classroom should include a blend of the key learning processes; they should not be taught in isolation from each other.
It is our strong contention that Music can be taught in this way by every primary school teacher. This curriculum has been written for primary school teachers with no specialism in Music.
We agree with Janet Mills, HMI for Music, when she wrote the following:
Some of the finest music teachers that I have observed, particularly, but not only, in primary schools, have no qualifications in music, and teach many subjects—in some cases the whole of the primary curriculum. They may never have learned to play an instrument, and they may not read staff notation well, or at all. What they bring to their music teaching is their ability, typically developed in other subjects, to diagnose where students are, and work out ways of helping them to learn, frequently coupled with a degree of humility about their music skills that leaves them continually questioning how well their students are learning, and whether there are approaches that would enable them to learn more rapidly. They also often bring particular musical skills, interests, and knowledge that are additional to those of the teacher in charge of music at the school, and that enrich the music curriculum of the school. (Mills 2005, pp.28-29)
As Lawrence Stenhouse once wrote, there is 'no curriculum development without teacher development'. In order to teach Music effectively, teachers will have to develop their subject knowledge and pedagogy with support. This is what the Love Music Trust Primary Music Curriculum is designed to do.