To inspire and develop musicians and audiences of the future
At Marlborough all our children are musicians. They sing, play instruments, compose and perform regularly. They attend concerts in school and in the concert halls of London, learning how to listen with discernment and to appreciate and appraise a wide range of music. Music is taught by a music specialist.
How we teach music
Pupils in EYFS and KS1 learn about the key musical concepts of pulse, rhythm, pitch and dynamics. They learn to sing with accuracy and control and enjoy a wide range of songs. They explore sound, play percussion instruments, xylophone and, in Year 2, the ukulele. The children improvise their own rhythm patterns and contribute to soundscape compositions.
In KS2 the children develop their musical skills through instrumental ensemble playing, with opportunities to learn wind and string instruments. They learn how timbre, texture, structure and tempo influence and change sound. Composition projects provide the opportunity to experiment, make decisions, perform and notate works. The children are now singing in parts, using partner songs, canons and harmonies.
Our music curriculum has been developed in line with the Model Music Curriculum (DfE March 2021) and draws on resources from Sing Up, Charanga, the Voices Foundation and Groove’n’Play.
Whole Class Instrumental Programme
Our Whole Class Instrumental Progamme enables all pupils to experience learning an instrument. In Year 2, the children play Ukulele, learning to strum open strings and simple chords. In Year 3 they learn the recorder, reading from the stave. In Year 4 the children learn either violin, viola or cello, with a tutor from the Tri-Borough Music Hub, ultimately playing as an ensemble. In Year 5 the children learn guitar, again with a tutor from the Tri-Borough Music Hub. In Year 6, the children focus on using their musical skills in composition projects and using technology to create and record music.
Singing Strategy, including Singing Assemblies
Singing is the golden thread that runs through our Marlborough musical life. We sing in music lessons, often using songs as the starting point for teaching wider musicianship skills. Children take the songs back to class to sing with their teacher, and home to share with their families.
Singing Assemblies are held weekly and provide an opportunity for our school community to come together as a key stage to learn and sing new songs.
There are two choirs – an Infant Voices Choir and a Chamber Choir – providing opportunity for rapid vocal progression for those who are passionate about singing.
The Progression of Skills document on this page outlines how the children progress vocally.
Our performance programme gives all year groups the opportunity to perform to each other and our families. EYFS and Year 1 each present a Christmas or Winter Play, whilst Years 2 to 6 perform in our annual Winter Concert. Years 3, 4 and 5 each present a Spring or Summer Concert and Year 6 perform a musical at the end of the school year. Our choirs perform in school and in our local community including the Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Town Hall and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Our listening programme teaches pupils how to listen to a wide range of music. The children develop musical language to describe what they can hear. In KS2, the children start to place the history of classical music, and begin to recognise the work of great composers.
There are two school choirs: an Infant Voices Choir for pupils in Years 1 to 3, and a Chamber Choir for pupils in Years 4 to 6. Both choirs rehearse weekly at lunchtime, and perform in school and in the wider community.
After school clubs run by our own staff are offered for Ukulele, Guitar and Music Tech and there is a Stay and Play Music club for the younger children.
One to one piano lessons are available and are taught by our piano tutor. One to one brass lessons are also offered and are taught by a visiting tutor from the Tri-Borough Music Hub.
All pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 attend at least one concert a year at concert venues including the Royal College of Music, the Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Centre. We also welcome musicians to school to perform for the children.
We work closely with the Tri-Borough Music Hub (TBMH), attending network meetings and training. We engage TBMH tutors to deliver two of our whole class instrumental programmes and participate in TBMH performance opportunities. Pupils are signposted to the after school ensembles and choirs offered by the TBMH from their base at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. This high-quality service provider enriches and enhances music opportunities for our pupils.
Through links with the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music, targeted pupils receive scholarships to attend the Tri-Borough Music Hub Saturday School for instrumental tuition.
We also work with the Royal College of Music, offering work experience placements to their students and welcoming students to perform in our school.
Further links have been made with English National Opera, the Classical Roadshow, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Inspire-Works.