At Rook’s Nest Academy, class music is taught on a weekly basis. Nursery and Reception children have access to different kinds of music, including playing instruments and singing, and a big emphasis is placed on singing for routines, such as lining up and tidying up. KS1 classes have a half hour weekly lesson, and KS2 classes have a 45 minute/1 hour weekly lesson taught by music specialists. Whenever possible, music is incorporated into the topic but this is not always possible, and is sometimes a standalone subject. Children who receive extra music tuition are given opportunities to use their skills in the class lessons.
Within the music lessons, there are always opportunities for singing, listening to a variety of different musical styles, playing instruments and composing. The lessons are often videoed so that pupils can appraise their work and improve on it.
There is a weekly singing assembly for all children where they sing traditional and popular songs. These songs are sometimes sung in a Monday assembly and it is also an opportunity to practise songs for occasions such as Harvest and Christmas. Children are often given opportunities to lead songs with actions or conduct one part in a two-part harmony song. Children also listen to a piece of music, and are asked questions about it, such as which instruments they can hear. This focuses their listening, which can have a big impact on other areas of learning.
The Rook’s Nest Academy Choir meet every Friday after school. At present, there are around 60 members! There are regular opportunities for performance, including Harvest Festival, Christmas Carol Concert, Musical Talents Concert and the “Nest Fest” outdoor Summer Music Festival. The choir often sing in two-part harmony and children enjoy singing solos.
The recorder group meets every Tuesday lunch time and there are currently 8 dedicated members. They learn pieces in two-parts and perform in assemblies and concerts.
The ukulele group meets every Tuesday after school and there are 11 children from years 4 and 5. They learn chords and follow the course on the Charanga website. They also play along to popular songs and perform in concerts.
Currently, there are around 85 children who receive instrumental tuition, either on a one to one basis or in small groups. These include guitar (taught by Mr Williams); trumpet/cornet (taught by Mr Rowe from Wakefield Music Services); violin (taught by Ms Bentley from Wakefield Music Services); drum kit (taught by Mr Paley); piano, keyboard, flute and clarinet (taught by Mrs Wilcox). These lessons are at extra cost to parents and take place within the school day.
The musical company “Rock Steady” provide band lessons every Monday morning and children play drums, keyboard, guitar or sing within a band setting. They put on a termly concert to show everyone what they have learnt.
At lunch time, children from Year 6 lead singing in the playground, using a tablet and a portable speaker. Other children come to dance and sing.
Sometimes, music lessons take part outside. In the past, Samba lessons have been taught in a large circle on the playground. There have also been lessons involving composing outside, making use of the space and outdoor sounds.
There are many opportunities for children to perform:
- musicians perform in Friday achievement assembly in front of children and parents
- Harvest Festival at church
- carol Concert at church
- musical talents concert
- Nest Fest summer music festival
- singing assembly
- class assemblies