COVID 19 has had a massive impact on Music – Imagine Primary School without singing! It has also meant a temporary halt to our Yr 4 WCIT of Steel Pan, Year 6 Samba and use of recorders in all classes.
On a brighter and more positive note, we now have a beautiful set of yellow ukuleles and have introduced whole class ukulele lessons throughout the year for Year 3 children. Charanga (the online Music resource we use for some of our lessons) has been specially adapted to be COVID safe with more glockenspiel use and sign language versions of songs being taught!
During lockdown we have made use of Oak Academy Music lessons when the majority of children have been learning at home. These are really good fun (Year 3 went ‘cup song’ crazy and have loved the body percussion sessions) and also incorporate lots of simple music theory continuing the skills taught in our usual curriculum.
‘Music from Around the World’ assemblies have been created to be shared in class giving children a chance to experience music from a range of cultures, eras and genres.
This term the children in Reception have enjoyed online Music and Movement sessions with Miss Helen. The children have explored ‘going into space’ and using their imaginations to explore on the moon as part of this adventure. They also experienced Chinese New Year with fan dancing and listening to instruments from China and pretending to be a Chinese dragon eating cabbages.
The children have also listening to songs and taken part in learning actions to go alongside each week of learning. This has been something the children learning in class and taking part in sessions remotely have enjoyed together, and songs such as ‘Five Little Aliens’ and ‘Old MacDonald’ were very popular.
In Year 1, the children have shared a music assembly each week. This has ensured they continued to experience and share a variety of music from different genres and discuss how different music has had an impact on how they feel. Children across the year group have shared opinions about the music each week and discussed how different people have differing opinions about music. During Children’s Mental Health week the children have discussed how music can make you feel happy or relaxed and children shared some of their favourite songs/music. The children have also experienced online lessons this term where they have learnt about pulse and rhythm.
The children in Year 2 have been learning about South America and exploring the different parts and layers of the rainforest there. As part of this learning they have listened to rainforest linked music and talked about what they heard. Whilst listening they also drew the sounds they heard using whatever pictures or marks that came into their minds.
Children also got to listen to the sounds of different rainmakers and talked about how they could make their own version of these using familiar objects.
During November the Reception children enjoyed taking part in Nursery Week. Every day for a week the children got to listen to, discuss and enjoy different nursery rhymes and songs such as, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, ‘Hickory Dickery Dock’ and ‘5 Little Ducks’.
Although Covid19 has made music slightly different this year as we aren’t singing across the federation it’s important we share that Year 1 and 2 have been taking part in a ‘Signing Assembly’ where the festive spirit has been flowing and the children have learned to sign songs such as ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’.
Finally, at the very end of term the whole federation joined other schools and got to watch a musical pantomime performance starring Rapunzel. This was called ‘Rapunzel the Lockdown Pantomime’ and children from Reception classes right through to Year 6 enjoyed being part of the performance, listening to the songs and enjoying the traditional and quite silly jokes!
Year 2 children all agreed that they loved the panto and gave it a big thumbs up! They enjoyed the interactive parts and especially enjoyed dancing at their tables. Many children agreed that their favourite part of the show was when Gothel the evil sorceress was turning into a baby. They were pleased she got her comeuppance in the end!
Here are some things the children had to say:
Isabella (Y2) – “My favourite character was Rupunzel because she had such a beautiful dress. She has Disney plus and Netflix…I have that!”
Georgie (Y2) – “I liked that it was old but they made it like us with YouTube, Netflix and TikTok”.
Arlo (Y1) – “I liked when her mum turned into a baby.”
Leo (Y1) – “I liked all of it!”
Freya (Y1) – liked when “the boy got married to the girl’
Charlie (Reception) “I like the dance monkey music.”
Esra (Reception) enjoyed “when Rapunzel’s mother was climbing down her hair.”
Even though theatres across the country have had to close this year due to Covid19 it was lovely to be able to share a musical pantomime experience with children across the federation. We know that some children got to experience panto entertainment for the very first time and others didn’t have to miss out due to closures and restrictions.
During the first half term back the children in Years 1 and 2 have enjoyed our regular ‘Music Assembly’. This takes place each Wednesday and the children listen to a different piece of music that can range from modern pop to classical, movie soundtracks and music from different parts of the world. After listening to the music children spend ‘reflective time’ thinking about how the song made them feel. Sometimes, the music provides a virtual ‘live performance’ of a song. In the photograph below children are listening to music from the Harry Potter movies. This experience allowed the children to see and hear the instruments involved in the piece.
Year 1 and 2 have also enjoyed continuing their music learning using Charanga! They have developed their listening skills and have focused on beat and rhythm. Feeling the pulse of music and clapping alongside the beat.
In Reception classes the children have enjoyed listening to and singing along to many simple songs. They have also been enjoying exploring and experimenting with instruments across our learning environment.
A variety of music is played in the class environments and outdoor classroom for the children to experience. The teachers make sure this music provides a variety of musical experiences and the children are often seen moving to the music, playing the instruments alongside it and developing dances.
This term began with children
being introduced to the history of classical music starting with the Baroque
period in Year 3, moving through the Classical and Romantic eras in Years 4 and
5 and arriving at the Modern period in Year 6. Children have listened to and
reflected on music from a variety of composers from their chosen era both in
music lessons and at other times when music can accompany their learning.
Children have continued to
develop their singing and playing of glockenspiels and recorders, with Year 5
children learning more about reading stave notation while learning to play
The Singing Club performed for the first time in public, braving the elements to go carol singing in Dereham (read more about this in the special events section).
This term children across the
federation took part in the ‘Get Singing’ event which was part of the national
BBC Music Day. In Year 1 and 2 children used advice from a professional singer
about how to relax their bodies and warm up their voices before singing as part
of the event and sang with children from over 1000 schools across the country
via a web event.
The children also experienced a
live music event at the Junior School. This was arranged through the Norfolk
Music Hub. Please see the update about this event on our Special Events Page.
This term children took part in the ‘Get Singing’ event which
was part of the national BBC Music Day. In Year 1 and 2 children used advice
from a professional singer about how to relax their bodies and warm up their
voices before singing as part of the event and sang with children from over
1000 schools across the country via a web event.
In Reception classes the children have enjoyed learning and
singing nursery rhymes with a modern twist.
In Autumn 2 the children also experienced a live music event at the Junior School. This was arranged through the Norfolk Music Hub. Please see the update about this event on our Special Events Page.
Christmas Music 2019
In the EYFS children have been practising the Christmas songs, ‘We
wish you a Merry Christmas’, ‘Santa Shark’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. The
children all worked hard to remember the words and actions to the songs
and looked great in their festive hats as they performed to Year 1 and
Year 2 and their adults.
Key Stage 1 Performance:
Children in Key Stage 1 worked very hard to perfect and perform their
‘Aladdin Trouble’ Musical Pantomime in December. The panto shared the
adventures of Aladdin, a princess, a magical lamp and a genie who could
grant 3 wishes. The children did a great job remembering their lines,
acting, dancing and singing some very catchy and intricate songs! Staff
and families were very proud of the excellent performance. Well done to
During the Autumn Term children from Year 1 and 2 were able to join a
regular singing club and be part of our ‘Christmas Choir’. The Choir
were excited to learn several traditional songs and carols as well as
some modern songs and took part in two special performances for the
whole school and their grown ups.Songs included in the performances
were: ‘Jingle Bells, ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’, ‘Rudolph the Red
Nose Reindeer’ and ‘Deck the Halls’. Well done everyone!
What better way to end a week than being entertained by talented and engaging musicians?
On Friday 15th November, the children of Toftwood Infant and Junior Federation were treated to an amazing performance of music from the movies played by musicians from Norfolk Music Service to celebrate Live Music Week.
Over the whole afternoon, our visitors gave two concerts (first for the Infant pupils and then for the Juniors) which were not only entertaining but also educational. By blowing through a straw and cutting bits off the end, the children could hear how the length affected the pitch. Brass instruments were stripped down to their most basic form of mouthpiece, tube (hosepipe), and bell (plastic funnel) and then this was used to play the theme tune to Superman! A violin bow was opened up to show the horse hair and reeds removed from oboes and saxophones to bring home that all sound comes from vibration.
The music itself was amazing and the children were thrilled to recognise the themes from James Bond, Frozen, Star Wars and many more. For year 5 children it was doubly exciting as they had been having Viking Day, and the musicians even played some Viking music with bells, drones and the oboe demonstrating circular breathing (a technique where you can breathe in through your nose while still blowing out through your mouth, so creating a continuous tone).
Here is what some of the children said:
“I like when they are playing the instruments. I like Wallace and Gromit.”
“I like the sounds because I wondered what sounds they made, cause all together they made one sound.”
“I like it because it made me laugh because it was so much fun.”
(from Junior School)
“It looks like it takes a lot of practice to play an instrument.”
“It was brilliant! They made the instruments vibrate to make the noises!”
“It was fabulous! The instruments were loud and perfectly in tune!”
“Film music – it was really nice – we could sing along!”
“I wish we could see musicians every Friday.”
“I liked the different instruments of the orchestra.”
“It was inspiring! Now we could do what they do!”
We would like to say a massive thankyou to the Norfolk Music Hub for offering us this fantastic opportunity.
If your children are feeling inspired why not have a go at making your own instrument from recycled materials? With ideas from simple shakers to a copper glockenspiel, here are 27 projects you can try at home.
During the second half term children across the Federation took part in Arts Enrichment Week. The week allowed the children to experience lots of activities revolving around the arts. You can read all about this week on the Special Events section of the website.
On Thursday and Friday there was a greater focus on music and children from both the Infant and Junior school had the opportunity to look at and explore different types of musical instruments, including some the children hadn’t encountered before! A string quartet also came into each school to perform and the children really enjoyed being part of this experience.
At the end of the week we held a family Open Morning and parents, carers and other family members were able to joint their children and participate in making musical instruments out of found materials. Each year group focused on creating a different type of musical instrument and children used their imaginations and got creative! Plenty of fun was had by everyone and children and grown ups alike were up for the challenge!
At the end of the week we had “The Arts Showcase” where children from each class got to show off their talents to the whole school. We had singers, dancers, comedians and even dinosaurs! It was a lot of fun and we were lucky enough to have a number of children from the Junior School come to perform for us as well!
In Nursery the children have been exploring instruments, such as drums, cymbals, rain makers, rhythm sticks and the glockenspiel. They joined in and played their instruments in time to lots of songs and nursery rhymes. The children experimented with using the instrument by playing them slowly, quickly, quietly or loudly. They had a close look at the instruments and discussed how they made their sounds (vibrations) and what material they were made of.
Reception children have been enjoying exploring the musical instruments in the outside area, singing songs they know as well as making up their own. Some of the children worked as a group to try to make their own tunes and rhythms. Children have also had the opportunity to make instruments from other items found in the learning environment.
Year 1 have really enjoyed listening to different types of music on Charanga this term. They have listened and discussed music from a variety of genres including blues, jazz and big band. They have learnt how to sing the songs ‘In the Groove’ and ‘Round and Round’ and performed these as a class. They also used our new chime bars to play these songs and began to learn about musical notes.
Year 2 have also enjoyed learning to play on our new chime bars! This term their theme has been ‘Zootime’. The children have enjoyed listening and singing to Reggae songs such as ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ and ‘Kingston Town’.
During Spring 1 pupils across the Federation have been busy learning how to sign to the song ‘The Greatest Day’ by Take That as part of our This was to raise awareness for deaf health in school and part of the national Sign2Sing event. The event was a huge success and children from Toftwood Infant School and Toftwood Junior School shared participating in the main halls. The local newspaper also came to see our performances – please see the published article through the link below:
In Nursery and Reception classes children have had an exciting week learning about Chinese New Year and had a visit from Miss Helen who came into school to do a dance workshop. Children enjoyed listening to music, learning how to use a gong and boomwhackers and also had the opportunity to dance to Chinese music. Some of the children even became Chinese dragons for the dance!
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