Music

Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan.
SCHOOL MUSIC PLAN.
INTRODUCTION.
At Kilmacrennan N.S., we feel that music is for all teachers and for all pupils; the three strands of the Music Curriculum (listening and responding, performing, and composing) are equally important; that active enjoyable participation is fundamental to the music curriculum; and that music enhances the child’s life.
STAFF REFLECTION.
As part of the process of posting policies on the school website, staff reflected upon the three strands of the Music Curriculum are (i) Listening and Responding, (ii) Listening and Responding, and (iii) Composing and while we recognise the importance of each strand, we identified Whole School Music Performance as an area that we would like to target.
We feel that all of our teachers are involved in music education in our school; all children are included and that teachers and children enjoy music opportunities in our school. Such opportunities are provided to enhance children’s lives through music. There is a positive musical environment that encourages and values sharing of ideas, skills, and resources among teachers and pupils alike.
Teachers also discussed how they have engaged with each of the strands since our PCSP music in-service seminar, with reference to the relevant pages for each class unit in the Curriculum Statement and related exemplars in the Teacher’s Guidelines/their use of a music scheme.
The school adopts a thematic approach at certain stages of the year: e.g. the seasons of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer; Hallowe’en; Christmas; St. Patrick’s Day; Green Flag Day.
We feel that these occasions provide ready-made opportunities for integration and cross-curricular activities. Music is integrated with other subjects in ways that complement curriculum aims and objectives in both subjects. Seachtain na Gaeilge, leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, gives scope for the integration of music activities with Gaeilge, Art and Craft; similarly with the seasons, Christmas, and Green Flag Day.
We have a good bank of resources built up in the school, due to long-established interest of our teachers in Music.
Teachers refer to the whole school plan and the curriculum documents for music to provide information and guidance for their long and short term planning.
Teachers have access to reference books, resource materials, instruments, equipment, and websites dealing with music and are encouraged with regard to further training.
We entered a number of our pupils this year in a Gaeilge Amhranaiocht/ Song singing contest this year and there was considerable interest in this.
We noted that we had an impromptu music session in one classroom this year during Grandparent’s Day; it is a concept that we could build upon for such future events.
We identified an Action Plan to implement the changes.

ACTION PLAN.
1. Teachers felt that we would like to work together as groups to develop group music/communal songs/School Choir groups. We will agree core songs which teacher’s will prepare in class groups.
2. We are in the process of introducing primarywhistleonline.com in the school as an additional music resource for the teacher’s and pupils. Some staff reported favourable initial sentiments in this regard.
3. The School Music Co-ordinator, Mrs Gallagher will oversee children who have expressed an interest in instrumental tuition; time will be afforded for this.
4. We will set aside an Assembly Block for School Music. We feel that such an approach will improve group performances in the school and expose a greater number of pupils to a wide range of instruments and songs. We feel that this emphasis will benefit school concerts etc
5. We have in the past produced/launched a school CD. We will seek to do this once again-to explore for the next school year.
6. We will apportion time at staff meetings to develop whole staff approach on how best to communicate information with parents, in line with the school policy, about the programme in music and the child’s progress. We participate in listening, singing, playing, and improvising activities.
7. The Cuntas Míosúil will play a part in reviewing and developing the whole school plan and individual planning, by the Principal’s monitoring of work completed by individual teachers and suggesting improvements.
8. Opportunities are also provided for children to perform for an audience, in their own class and for other classes.
Strand Integration: Opportunities of Strand Integration include Gaeilge (le amhráin, rannta, scéalta); English (oral language, new music vocabulary, stories); Mathematics (number songs and rhymes); History (development of music and instruments through the ages, lives of famous composers, different traditions); Geography (origins of instruments, music from different countries, cultural links); P.E. (dance: appreciation of various genres of music and dance styles).
Approaches and Methodologies: The Role of our Teachers: Our teachers establish a musical environment that embraces the approach to music in the school and that links naturally with other areas of the curriculum. We devise a programme of work that seeks to meet the needs of all the children in the class. We provide a range of musical experiences through a variety of approaches. We provide linkage between the three strands. We facilitate, motivate, and respond to the children’s work. We evaluate the programme and assess the children’s work. The teachers have taken responsibility for the general organisation of the teaching of music in the school. Their co-ordinating roles include functions such as: creating a positive musical environment; assisting colleagues in the preparation of schemes of work and in subsequent implementation; collecting and communicating information about in-service training, school visits and tours and musical events; maintaining and monitoring resources in the school.
Listening and Responding to Music Strand Unit: Children in our school are provided with opportunities to listen and respond to music by experiencing a range of musical styles, traditions, and cultures.
Children are given opportunities to respond to music in a variety of ways which include: moving, talking about it, listening for specific instruments and/or specific features, drawing and painting, following/creating a pictorial score of music, writing in response to music, composing, singing or playing along with music, musical games and action songs.
Children are provided with opportunities to work in different groupings: whole groups, small groups, pairs, and individually; children are especially encouraged to work collaboratively and co-operatively.
During these activities, children are provided with opportunities to offer varying and creative solutions to presented problems. Opportunities for live performances are provided in class, at School Assembly, School Concerts, and other occasions.
Listening Materials: A broad range of listening materials are provided: Audio tape, C D, recorded music on video, music technology ;Tuned and untuned percussion instruments; Environmental objects, e.g. assortments of metals, wood, fibres; Instruments of children in the class; Melodic instruments—tin whistles, pianos, guitars; Instruments of teachers on staff—e.g. keyboards; Performance of a group, individual, band, orchestra visiting the school or at another venue—e.g. local concert, Carol Service
Performing: In the Performing strand, the following are emphasised: Active enjoyable participation; Development of skills, understanding, and knowledge; Fostering of children’s attitudes and interests; Development of creativity.
Song –Singing: Because the voice is everyone’s first instrument, it forms the key to access to music education in the classroom. Song singing is seen by our teachers as an ideal way of engaging large groups in enjoyable and fulfilling music making. Our teachers are aware that the range of notes of a song should be within the range of children’s voices. Some of our teachers teach a song by ear—i.e. using their own voice—which is seen as the best method. Others use a melodic instrument, which also works very well. Some teachers use a recording to teach songs. Teachers are aware of the fact that some of the songs in the Alive-O Religion programme are pitched too high for the children’s voices.
In teaching song-singing, teachers keep in mind the recommendations of Teacher Guidelines pp.70-73, and 76-80. When teaching singing with the musical elements in mind, teachers refer to Teacher Guidelines pp.74-76. Simple round singing may be introduced in 2nd class, as preparation for part-singing (see pp.84-85 of Teacher Guidelines)
All children are given the opportunity to use the percussion and melodic instruments which are available in the school.
Composing: Children are encouraged to improvise, discuss, evaluate, and record music as part of the Composing Strand. Opportunities are provided to improvise and/or compose in a variety of contexts—e.g. to accompany a rhyme, song, poem, or story; to explore the musical concepts/elements; to experiment with sound; to portray a character, mood or setting; to illustrate events; to convey an abstract concept; to explore melody. Children are given opportunities to compose/improvise using vocal sounds, body sounds, instruments, and environmental sounds.
Assessment: The assessment tools that our teachers use include: teacher observation, teacher-designed tasks and tests, projects, curriculum profiles, recording of the children’s work. Our teachers understand the importance of having clear learning objectives for each music class. Teacher’s observations feed directly back into the teaching and learning process, emphasising areas of weakness or strength in the children’s achievement, providing useful summative information and guidelines for future planning..
Children with Different Needs: Our teachers adapt and modify activities so that all children can participate meaningfully in classroom music, and they refer to pp.40-41 of Teacher Guidelines.
Equality of Participation and Access: In planning and implementing the music programme, our teachers promote equal access to music-making among boys and girls. They work in accord with our school’s Equality Policy, and Teacher Guidelines p. 41.
Resources: Mrs Gallagher oversees the inventory of resources, equipment and instruments/ music box has been supplied to every teacher.
Health and Safety: When planning for music, consideration is given to the following: the hidden dangers if children are moving about the classroom; Storage facilities; Access to, and transport of, equipment/instruments; Ventilation of the classrooms; Amount of space for children to sit or stand when doing choral or instrumental work; Appropriate volume levels when using audio equipment and instruments.
Parental and Community Involvement: Parents are asked to give support to their children’s music activities by encouraging active listening, discussing attitudes towards and taste in music, allowing time and space to practise or improvise on an instrument, and by encouraging positive attitudes to music in general and to school-based activities in particular.
Parents are invited on occasion to attend school or classroom music events. We attend at community events, such as Concerts, Young at Heart group, Glenveagh Castle Christmas Carol group etc
Success Criteria:We will know that the plan has achieved its aims when children have a positive attitude and appreciation of music; Children have an interest in expression through music; children engage in listening and responding, performing, and composing music; children have explored sound, including vocal sound, body percussion, instruments, and environmental sounds; Children have listened and responded to music from a wide range of genres and cultures in a variety of ways; Children sing songs appropriate to their vocal range, from a wide variety of genres and cultures; Children play a variety of instruments; Children experience a variety of ways of recording music, which may include graphic, pictorial, I C T, and traditional music notation; Children improvise and create music using a variety of sound sources; Children talk about, evaluate, and record their work.
Implementation: The plan will be implemented and developed by the teachers, supported by the Board of Management.
Review: It will be necessary to review this plan on a regular basis to ensure optimum implementation of the music curriculum in the school.
Next review; April 2016; with interim reports at staff meetings.

  • School Holidays

    • Halloween Break 2017
      Closing on Fri 27th Oct; re-opening on Mon 6th Nov
    • Christmas Holidays
      School closes on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 and will re-open on Mon 8th Jan 2018.
    • Feb Mid-term 2018
      Closed on Thurs 15th & Fri 16th Feb 2018
    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.