What is the importance of the subject? Why should pupils be studying it? Why should they care about it? How might the subject link to the real world / real life scenarios?

Music is a form of communication inherent in human beings that has formed part of our social identity for millennia. As individuals we are exposed to music and songs from the day we are born, forming an important part of our emotional memory as we progress through life. Scientific studies of the past 10 years have shown that listening to music and more important playing an instrument engages and exercises multiple areas of the brain in a way that cannot be paralleled by any other activity. Learning an instrument and discovering how to listen to and analyse music are important life skills which can be revisited at any age.

‘Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children's education.’ - Yo-Yo Ma

With a growing knowledge about how information survives in the brain into later life, many therapies have emerged which use music to stimulate our memories and form strong neural pathways in the brain which can help prevent the onset of diseases such as Dementia and Parkinsons. Developing musical skills at an early age assists
our cognitive development and fine motor skills, and developing an appreciation of music helps pupils to be creative and form a strong sense of identity and individuality. In the words of Plato; ‘Music is a more potent instrument that any other for education’. 

Music is a powerful universal language that has the ability to transcend geographic, racial and religious boundaries through the human instinct to create and perform together. It connects and unites people regardless of difference through a shared appreciation for what musicians bring to our daily lives through listening to our favourite recordings and attending festivals and concerts. It is important for pupils to recognise these links and to be given the opportunity to engage fully with all that the Music curriculum has to offer.

What are the key concepts or big ideas underpinning the subject?

The key concepts underpinning musical learning are performance, composition and the ability to listen to and appraise music. The foundations underpinning these three disciplines are knowledge of music theory and the elements which form the building blocks of all music that is composed and performed. Within this learning framework, Music provides opportunities to develop the following;

  • Fine Motor Skills and Co-ordination
  • Geographic, Historic, Cultural & Religious awareness
  • Responding to a brief
  • Creativity
  • Theoretical knowledge
  • Instrumental skills
  • Technique
  • Knowledge of Music Technology
  • Aural perception
  • Broad subject knowledge with links to other subjects
  • Musical identity