ABOUT ACTIVE MUSIC
This series has been created to help primary staff teach music in the classroom.
Our teaching resources are packed with songs, singing games, exercises and musical activities all designed to develop children’s inner musicality. This material has been tried and tested on hundreds of primary-age children from a variety of schools for over a decade – and only the songs, games and activities that remain solid favourites with the children are used in our lessons plans.
Our child-centred musical approach is derived from many years of teaching and research and is inspired by the teachings of Zoltan Kodaly. Musical skills are taught progressively, moving from the simple to the complex in small, logical steps. Children will be learning the musical elements of pulse, rhythm, and in-tune singing using solfa through a wide range of musical repertoire, including chants, songs, rounds, canons, circle games, name games, rhythm games, action games, turn-taking games, puppet games and more. They progress to instrumental activities, arrangements, compositional work and notation as the children gain in experience and confidence.
The songs have been specifically chosen to be within the children’s pitch range – which is an important consideration when children are learning to sing in tune. Most of the songs are short, repetitive and easy to learn. Repetition is vital as repeated practise enables children to internalise their musical skills, such as the use of Goodbye Everyone, the closing song throughout the series. During Year 5, the children sing it to solfa, analyse the rhythm content, and create a musical composition from it – something they would not be able to do with a less familiar song. Children also derive great enjoyment and confidence with the fun of singing a firm favourite.
The lesson plans are written in an easy to follow, step-by-step style, in half-termly blocks, providing clear direction and progressively building on the children’s musical experience and understanding from one lesson to the next. The ideal order for teaching these half-termly blocks of plans is:
1) Rhythm and pulse
2) Pitch – songs, games and musical activities
3) Singing games
4) Instrumental activities
However, the blocks can, if necessary, stand alone and be taught independently. We have chosen to provide you with four half-termly sets of skill-based lesson plans to allow time for your own topical work and Christmas/Summer performances.
The entire series includes 168 lesson plans, each one designed to last between 30-45 minutes, although timings can vary according to teaching pace, ability level and class size.
Objective overview sheets accompany each set of lesson plans for teachers to assist in their mid-term planning, if they wish.
This series supports the Music National Curriculum and with each of the 28 sets of lesson plans, the NC objectives that are covered are clearly highlighted to further help teachers in their planning. The musical notations are provided for all the songs and games within the lesson plans.
Our ‘Watch it! Learn it! Teach it!’ approach has been especially created to help busy classroom practitioners. Being able to watch the games and songs performed by children gives teachers confidence to use the material in this series to best effect.
This resource can be used in a variety of ways. While a number of teachers use the DVDs as a self-teaching aid, some classes sing along with the children on the DVD tracks and others even play the singing games this way. Other schools put the tracks up on the interactive whiteboard in the hall and use them to sing with whole year groups. In this way, the children on the DVD tracks are leading the singing, which greatly assists the teachers who believe they can’t sing.
ACTIVE MUSIC can also be used as a training resource. The class teachers can learn the repertoire and musical skills alongside the children. For music coordinators, whose job it is to support non-specialist teachers, the simplicity of the lesson plans and the clarity from the DVDs can be very helpful in spreading best practice uniformly across their school.
We hope you enjoy learning from the DVDs, while appreciating that the children taking part are from local primary schools, rather than specialist stage schools. So you’ll spot the odd mistake – that was OK with us, as they were enjoying themselves while demonstrating what to do. May your children have fun, too!
.For details of the content of each set, please click on the following link – Active Music Lesson Plans