Progression in the Classroom
The principles of musical learning in the CMA whole class programmes at Key Stage 2 can be continued across Key Stages 3 and 4. Through CMA, secondary schools can have free access to the Musical Futures Just Play training and materials. Teachers can construct a scheme of work using Just Play as a continuing strand of instrumental and vocal development where students apply those skills to improvisation and composition activities as well as performance. Schools can use CMA parts for other instruments to enhance their students learning and make the most of support from instrumental teachers.
Students who have completed the Just Play materials will be able to use lead sheets with melody and chords to create their own arrangements of music. This allows secondary teachers to combine the systematic development of skills in instrumental and vocal performing and composing with the exploration of different styles and genres. Young musicians can then decide which particular forms of music making they wish to pursue.
Personalised learning in music can be through informal learning as well as through support from teachers. Students can have access to the CMA on-line learning materials as a stepping stone to using resources across the internet.
Through a combination of classroom and informal learning it is possible to achieve the highest grade in GCSE music without the need for additional specialist instrumental or vocal lessons. At the same time the experience of a diverse range of styles and genres leads to the development of students’ musical identity and their own artistic voice.
The Music Mark Framework for Progression in Musical Learning includes a model progression framework covering all stands of learning with support for planning and assessment.
Specialist Instrumental and Vocal Lessons
Classroom music with a strand of instrumental learning will continue to provide a stimulus for students to have specialist instrumental lessons. To extend instrumental learning in this way we offer projects in secondary schools across two terms, together with a strategy for engaging the pupils in classroom lessons or ensembles in term two.
Instrumental teachers’ reports can provide evidence of the attributes gained through music which research has shown contributes to academic achievement (see Professor Sue Hallam’s, The Power of Music). Where schools support instrumental learning with Pupil Premium this provides the evidence of impact.
Progression in instrumental / vocal lessons is offered by the opportunity to move from group and paired lessons to individual Merit Award lessons.
Progression routes in our Saturday morning, and Tuesday and Friday evening centres cater for pupils developing musical tastes and all instruments through to Grade 8 and beyond. The Student Council is critical to the development and articulation of these opportunities.
Beyond CMA, pupils are signposted to additional opportunities, such as Croydon Bloco and the choral training at Croydon Minster. Students have recently attended the National Youth Orchestra, the BRIT School and other specialist music schools, and gone on to higher education to study music.
Senior students also have opportunities to volunteer at the Croydon Young Musicians (CYM) centre, to carry out work experience at CMA which includes assisting teaching staff in schools and also to work as instrumental teaching assistants at CYM and in our Star Classes. They can use this experience for the leadership element of Arts Award Silver and Gold.