At Reservoir Views Primary School, our practical, interactive music program provides rich experiences for every child to listen to, explore, create, practice and perform music.
Songs are the basis from which we begin music education. Students at Reservoir Views Primary School learn a broad repertoire of songs from a range of cultures and times, and they find great joy in singing the songs when they know them well. When learning songs in Music, students make links with cultural themes, languages, and current events. Students sing all their songs from memory, and these songs become the basis of later conscious work on music theory and literacy.
Every Music class includes games, which encourage social interaction, physical movement and a great deal of enjoyment. Games require students to remember long sequences, take turns, move around the room, observe and interact with classmates, all while performing the correct lyrics and actions. This makes games very complex musical tasks that give the brain a real workout, but nobody notices because they are having fun!
Movement and Dance
Physical movement is an integral part of music learning. Students move their bodies in time with the music, and perform specific actions according to the words in the song such as bouncing a ball, passing an object, or standing on one leg. Students learn choreographed dances and improvise their own dances as a way of interpreting the music they hear. Moving with music frees students to feel the music instead of thinking about it, it deepens their understanding of different kinds of sounds, and helps them make links between the aural and physical aspects of music.
The music room at Reservoir Views Primary School is equipped with a wide range of musical instruments, including percussion instruments, ukuleles, xylophones, djembes and keyboards. Playing a musical instrument trains students to precisely control the accuracy and timing of their physical movements, and promotes teamwork skills. All students have the opportunity to use instruments. In the younger years, percussion instruments are used to develop gross motor and fine motor control, and to tune in their eyes and ears to musical cues such as hand gestures from the teacher or specific words in the song. In Grades 3-6, students complete units focusing on each instrument, such as the ukulele unit where they learn ukulele chords and strumming patterns which they use to accompany their singing.
Music literacy is the process of linking what students hear and remember with what they read and write. At Reservoir Views Primary School, the journey towards music literacy is scaffolded by beginning with musical experiences such as songs and games. When these songs and games are well known, students are invited to listen closely and identify what they hear. The inner ear and musical memory are crucial tools for this process and are practised in every music lesson. Once students can identify what they hear, they use visual aids to represent sounds, which lead to traditional music notation.
In Music, students are offered frequent opportunities to perform for their peers, individually or in a small group. This allows students to share their learning, develop their resilience when performing, and also to practice how to be a good audience. Students assess their own performances and suggest ways to improve themselves and provide feedback to classmates to help them improve. Students also present musical performances at school assemblies to link with whole school events. These performances invite students to make their voice and perspective heard, and provide opportunities for extra challenges such as auditioning for instrumental roles.