At the Avenue, Music is at the forefront of our curriculum and is regarded by us as the foundation of all learning.
At the end of the Reception year, children are given the opportunity to choose either the violin or the cello as the instrument they will be taught throughout Years 1 and 2. The learning of either of these instruments is included in the fee and timetabled. Instruments are provided by the School for use on the premises. We do not allow instruments to go home or to be practised as this can easily deter children at the beginning. Later on, in the second term of Year 2, some children might wish to own their own instrument and take extra lessons out of school and this we encourage.
Music engages children in a unique way, encompassing all the skills required, not only in the classroom, but in life. Learning a stringed instrument requires each child to fully focus on the task in hand, combining balance and coordination, the interpretation of dots on a stave (puzzle solving), the counting of beats and bars, (Numeracy) the art of communication plus the need to listen intently are all vital components in the playing of an instrument. At the end of each year, the children stage a music presentation where the choir and all the string players perform for the parents and staff. They are joined by invited professional players and singers who perform alongside the children.
String playing is the only activity which engages both sides of the brain so that physical, mental, emotional and social skills are simultaneously encouraged and developed. The childrens’ academic progress has been positively influenced and affected by our Strings Programme, resulting in increased focus, self motivation and reliance being witnessed another lessons in the Curriculum.
The Kodaly method of singing
Singing is a very natural activity for little children to engage in and something that each one can do regardless! LIstening and imitating is the natural way for children to learn to sing and to pitch and is something we regard as being extremely important in the development of every child.
The school has adopted the Kodaly method of teaching singing throughout the school, beginning in the Pre-Nursery and continuing through to the end of Year 2. Our specialist Kodaly teacher spends one day a week working with all the classes and she also trains the Choir.
Staff undertake regular training in this method of teaching singing so that singing becomes a natural part of the day with instructions, register etc being sung and with the children responding imitatively. By the end of Year 2, we expect all children to be able to pitch accurately.
Benefits of singing:
- Encourages enunciation
- Aids stammering
- Aids the development of a healthy chest, lungs and breathing
- Helps train memory
- Aids listening skills
- Helps communication
- Aids self expression
- And above all children are happy when they sing!
- Speech & language
- Develop meomory and exercises the brain
- Listening skills
- Energises the nervous system
- Stimulates neural pathways
- Stress relief
- Self expression
- Encourages responsibility