The UK Government’s National Curriculum for Music and how it differs through the Key StagesLike all academic topics, music has been greatly influenced by the alterations that have occurred with respects to the national course of study in recent old ages. Get downing with the Great Educational Reform Act ( 1986 ) and go oning through to the educational reforms that have been enacted under the New Labour authorities, the school system in the UK has been capable to huge structural alterations – both in the composing of the national course of study every bit good as the value ascribed to non?vocational topics such as music. Basically, this means that the new revised national course of study clearly differentiates between nucleus and non?core topics with the overall purpose that instruction is better suited to bring forth a new coevals of school departers who are equipped with what the authorities footings as ‘key skills’ in order to derive employment in a quickly altering planetary employment environment. In this manner it can be seen that “school reform has been carried on the tide of globalisation” ( MacBeath and McCall, 2001:22 ) .This is peculiarly true of the secondary sector of the province educational system where a move from the school system to adult engagement in society is at hand. This alteration of position at a policy doing degree has needfully impacted upon the value ascribed to numeracy topics such as mathematics, literacy topics such as English and new engineering topics such as design and IT, in the procedure educationally devaluating the educational value of artistic topics such as art and originative topics such as music. This, in bend, has needfully impacted upon the daily occupation of learning in both the primary and secondary sectors. At the same clip, the authorities has presided over a new legislative model that requires instructors and schools to rate each student as they move through the ‘key stages’ of this revised national course of study.
This has been translated into an rush in bureaucratism, ruddy tape and paperwork pertaining to supervising “programmes of survey and terminal of cardinal phase descriptions” , which “has influenced the manner in which instructors plan their strategies of work” ( Philpott, 2003:50 ) . As of all time, more clip dedicated to paperwork agencies less clip dedicated to instruction, which has besides impacted upon the day?to?day occupation of learning music. With this indispensable background in head attending must now be turned towards the different Key Stages for the topic of music within the national course of study in order to to the full appreciate the deep-rooted structural alterations that have beset instructors in recent old ages.
Key Stage OneArguably more than any other topic in the national course of study, music is the 1 that undergoes the most pronounced development through the cardinal phases. This is wholly due to two of import facts. First, music is a extremely specializer topic that research suggests is normally the merchandise of external societal, cultural and economic factors such as whether or non the kid is capable to music at place and whether or non the kid is from a fiscal background that is able to offer the support to purchase the indispensable equipment and tuition that is so indispensable to the ultimate success or failure of any given instrumentalist. Second, and because of this first factor, the size of the category by and large becomes discernibly smaller as the cardinal phases progress so that, by cardinal phase four, the figure of pupils taking music is far lower than, for case, the figure of pupils taking Gallic or scientific discipline.
This needfully and clearly impacts upon the attainment degrees of music pupils as they make their manner through the cardinal phases of the national course of study.The attainment degrees are divided into eight clear and concise degrees of trouble. For cardinal phase one, kids are expected to be able to expose music accomplishments runing from degree one to level three and to achieve an norm of degree two by the terminal of this cardinal phase. As it is to be expected, this is a really basic degree for kids of this age, affecting the usage of sounds and tune through vocalizing, intoning and talking at different tones.
Key phase one can hence be seen as indispensable foundation for the more complex key phases that come subsequently on.Cardinal Stage TwoCardinal phase two begins to gestate the thought in the pupils’ minds thattheyare able to impact the pitch, sound and tone of music through vocalizing and through playing instruments. This is a important patterned advance as it will supply the first touchable chance for the music instructor to adequately measure the differing single accomplishments of the kids. In kernel, as the students begin to get the hang certain instruments, natural aptitudes for musical acquisition within the schoolroom will go evident. At this phase, the degrees of attainment become lupus erythematosus of a benchmark for the patterned advance of the category and more of an index as to the single abilities of each pupil.
This, in bend, means that single demands must be taken into consideration because some pupils will be working towards “programmes of survey from cardinal phase 2 while others will necessitate to work at degrees more kindred to identify phase 4” ( Philpott, 2004:123 ) . Therefore, the ability to efficaciously measure and distinguish between single pupils is the most urgent concern for music instructors of cardinal phase two. As Wellington ( 2006:107 ) declares:“The chief challenge for the secondary school topic instructor is to place the most able students in their categories and to utilize instruction schemes which challenge these pupils.”Key Stage ThreeKey phase three looks to prosecute students in the first case in the devising and response to music. The intent of the national course of study for music at this degree is to promote pupils to develop the relevant accomplishments, properties and attitudes to win in construing music both as a agency of doing music as an single calling every bit good as utilizing music as a guideline for the acquisition of cardinal accomplishments in life such as achieving listen and communicative accomplishments, intuition, aesthetic sensitiveness and originative concentration.
In this manner it can be seen that music has responded to the educational reforms of the New Labour authorities by going more vocational in composing so that the pupils who do non take music further in the cardinal phases are at least still able to utilize their experience of being taught the topic to get cardinal accomplishments that can be transferred to other topics across the national course of study and, finally, to the work topographic point.By cardinal phase three pupils should be able to clearly show an apprehension of how music is made, how music is influenced by the infinite and clip in which it was created and how music is produced. This concluding acquisition demand revolves upon the usage of learning via ICT ( Information and Communication Technology ) , for case in order to make their ain alone personal “music databases” ( Russell, 2001:19 ) . The incorporation of ICT into the music schoolroom is yet another illustration of the manner in which vocational instruction has superseded academic instruction in the modern-day national course of study.Key phase three and GCSE degree music aims to do certain that the pupils are able to achieve degrees six, seven and eight of the cardinal phase degree descriptions. This means that students ought to be able to show critical opinions over musical signifier, content, manner and genre and to execute music in a assortment of manners that reflects this patterned advance. In add-on, students who are disposed plenty to achieve flat eight of the national course of study must be able to demo how different musical manners are influenced by the cultural context in which they originated every bit good as acting, improvizing and composing drawn-out pieces of music.
It should be noted that the revised national course of study does do particular dispensations for pupils who display an exceeding ability to execute music – at a degree over and above any of the cardinal phase attainment degrees. While this may be rare, it is surely a consideration for the music instructor who is able to turn up any pupil who can expose empathy with other performing artists in add-on to a “consistency of manner and a grade of individuality.” ( National Curriculum in Action Website ) Thus, in the concluding analysis, it can be seen that the alterations to the national course of study and the cardinal phases, while clearly impacting upon the day?to?day occupation of instruction, do non needfully restrict the instructor to stiff readings of the national course of study. This is an particularly of import point for music instructors who teach a topic that in many ways can non be taught along such narrow conceptual, originative and artistic lines.MentionsMacBeath, J. and McCall, J. ( 2001 )The Policy Context, in, MacBeath, J.
and Mortimore, P. ( Eds. )Bettering School EffectivenessBuckingham: Open University PressPhilpott, C. ( 2004 )Learning to Teach Music in the Secondary SchoolLondon: Routledge FalmerRussell, T. ( 2001 )Teaching and Using ICT in Secondary SchoolsLondon: David FultonWellington, J. ( 2006 )Secondary Education: The Key ConceptsLondon: Routledge FalmerMusic: The Level Descriptions, in, National Curriculum in Action Website ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ncaction.org.uk/subject/music/levels.htm