This half term, we have really enjoyed our samba topic. We have learnt the different types of instruments that make up a samba band as well as were the music originates from. We have played a variety of beats and have become competent at playing as an ensemble.
Today, our brilliant samba band took part in a Leeds wide event called Big Samba. The event brings several schools together to play as part as a large ensemble which the children all throughly enjoyed. We also got the chance to showcase the piece we have been working on with Miss Rivers. A special mention has to go to Armands (6A) and Madeleine (4H) who led the ensemble through some call and response pieces.
This half term, Year 5 have been using bandlab (which is an online music making software) to create pieces of music to soundtrack a sci-fi movie. We started the project by creating two contrasting drum patterns and then added a synth section to go over the top of the piece. Here is Kael’s space song alongside the film clip that inspired us.
This month in school, we’ve been enjoying the sunny sounds of reggae pioneer, Bob Marley.
We highlight different musicians each month so that the children are exposed to, and can begin to appreciate, a wide range of music from across the world.
This month, Sameer in our reception class, RWC, got into the groove of Bob Marley.
But, if he had to give an honest answer, it’s David Bowie who’s been his favourite musician of recent months. At parents evening last week, his mum proudly recalled a recent family visit to Leeds Corn Exchange.
Whilst there, Sameer noticed a music stall. He spotted a picture of Bob Marley and asked the stall-owner whether they had a Bob Marley t-shirt for sale.
The stall-owner was taken-aback by this precocious 4-year-old, and had to apologise: they didn’t. Would you like a different t-shirt?
“David Bowie?” answered Sameer without dropping a beat. Again, the stall-owner was overwhelmed by our ACE musician, but could only scrape together a timid apology: no Bowie tees either.
Well done Sameer for joining in with that music discussion and making comments about what you’ve learned at school!
Today, a group of Year 5 children were treated to an afternoon of music. We heard several different youth orchestras perform allowing us to be exposed from a variety of types of music drawn from different traditions from folk to jazz. We even had a pupil starring in one of the groups. Lola (6A) played in the Leeds Silver Steel Sparrow band – which was as the title suggests a steel pan group. Here is a sound clip from their performance.
This half term, Year 3 studied the music and life of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. They listened carefully to his piece ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and used it as a jumping off point to identify different instruments. They then placed these instruments into the different orchestral families as well as looking at the composer’s life.
On Monday, 6A took part in a workshop led by The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre. We discussed different artefacts and why they might be precious to someone. We looked at the story of Trude, who was a Jewish refugee, we learnt that she had been forced to move from Czechoslovakia during the war and now lives in Leeds.
6K joined us to watch a matinee performance of the opera Brundibar performed predominately by children. The opera focused on two children Aninka and Pepicek who needed milk to help their sick mother. It was written by the Czech composer Hans Krasa and was intended to be enjoyed by children. Krasa was Jewish and premiered the piece secretly at a Jewish orphanage in 1942 during German-occupied Prague.
Björk has become famous for trying out and experimenting with pop music, orchestras, technology, instruments, fashion and spectacular videos. She has challenged what people think a musician should do and has become an ‘artist’ in her own right.
Björk’s work is linked to her Icelandic upbringing. Her album Homogenic was packed full of songs inspired by the country. She stated that she looked at the rough nature of Iceland and its love of technology, and that she wanted to combine strings with electronic music to show this.
Over this half term, we have been looking at Tony Johnston’s picture book ‘The Harmonica’ during our reading sessions. We have also used the book as a stimulus for our music lessons. First, we listened to the music of Franz Schubert and discussed the difference between major and minor chords. Following this we created a 4 chord progression on bandlab using a combination of major and minor chords adding complementary notes over the top. Finally, we added a voice clip of us reading the text to create an audibook.
We wanted a cinematic start to the year with our Musician of the Month. As we drummed our fingers on the table we noticed the coffee in our cups start to ripple. Was a dinosaur walking down the school corridor?
NO – of course not; it was the vibrations from our table drumming, but it did turn our attention to the composer of countless hummable scores, John Williams.
Watch Steven Spielberg praise John Williams’ accompaniments:
Topic for discussion: what difference does it make when a film is backed up with music?