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Teacher helping student with work

Class Music Lessons and Singing

Every child at TPA receives a weekly music lesson with their class peers; lessons include singing, work on rhythm and pitch using percussion instruments, and learning instruments. Furthermore, all the children sing together regularly in our weekly assembly.

In addition to their regular singing and music making on percussion instruments, every child at TPA gets the opportunity to learn a musical instrument as part of their class music lesson. The recorder (year 3), keyboard (year 4) and guitar (year 5) is learnt through an introductory course of around 10 lessons. This is followed by further opportunities to play these instruments for at least one Learning Block in a subsequent year.

Children who have already started these instruments are given suitably challenging parts to play within the whole class ensemble. During Years 5 and 6, other topics include African Drumming, Gamelan using tuned percussion, beatboxing, looping and rapping, film composition, and composing using IT and music technology.

Since 2015, our Year 6 children have represented the UK in the annual Global Science Opera project, broadcasting two scenes in the opera live on Norwegian television and online; the films of the operas, made collaboratively with children from around 35 countries, are to be sent to the moon as part of the Lunar Mission One project in the 2020s. We are a pilot school in the Lunar Mission One’s Education Programme. Through this, and our Global Science Opera work, the children are able to communicate with similar-aged children from other countries to share their music making and stories about their daily life. This has included Skype calls to Australia, Norway and Spain, and a welcome video from children in Iran. As a result of this work, TPA was short-listed for the International Award in the 2017 TES Schools’ Awards.

In May 2017, TPA attained the Sing Up Gold Award for our strong emphasis on, and high standard of, singing throughout the academy. In January 2016, we were awarded the Primary Schools’ Quality Music Mark for our all-round excellence in music provision.

Choirs and Extra-Curricular Music Clubs

  • Year 1 Music Club – this takes place at lunchtime on Wednesdays and is open to any child in Year 1. The Music Club involves singing, playing percussion instruments such as chime bars, and learning to play the recorder. 
  • Year 2 Music Club – this takes place at lunchtime on Tuesdays and is open to any child in Year 2. The Music Club involves singing, keyboard playing and learning to play the recorder. 
  • Year 3 Music Club – this takes place on Mondays between 3.15 & 4.30pm and is open to any child in Years 3. Activities include singing, music ICT, learning the keyboard and guitar, African drumming and playing tuned percussion such as xylophones.
  • Year 4, 5 and 6 Choir – this takes place on Wednesdays between 3.15pm & 4.30pm and is open to any child in Years 4, 5 or 6. From September to January we prepare music to perform at the O2 Arena in London as part of the Young Voices Festival. After that we prepare songs to perform in the Performing Arts Showcase in May.
  • Year 5 and 6 Performing Arts Club – this takes places on Thursdays between 3.15pm & 4.30pm. We put on a production of The Wizard of Oz in 2017. Our Year 6 Performing Arts children are preparing for a 2018 production of Matilda. Throughout the sessions we aim to improve drama, dance and musical theatre skills.
  • Premier Choir – this is our elite choir, consisting of 15 of our best singers in Years 5 and 6, selected by audition. The Premier Choir sang live on BBC Three Counties Radio in May 2017 and represented the schools of Milton Keynes by singing at the Armed Forces Celebration Day in June 2017. They take part in the annual MK Festival of the Arts competition and they rehearse on Tuesday lunchtimes.
  • Year 5 Brass Club – this is open to any child in Year 5 interested in learning to play the trumpet or French Horn. It takes place on Monday lunchtimes.
  • Violin Club – this takes place on Tuesdays between 3.15 & 4.30pm and is open to any child from Year 3 upwards who is learning the violin. It gives the children the opportunity to play to each other, to practise, to learn pieces as a group and to improve their note reading and general musicianship.
  • Year 3 and 4 Instrumental Practise Club – this takes place on Friday lunchtimes. Any child in Year 3 or 4 learning an instrument can practise in the Music Room at this time.

The music clubs and choir perform regularly in assemblies and concerts. The Year 4, 5 & 6 choir performs at the 02 Arena in London every January as part of the Young Voices concert. Our Year 2 children sing at the town’s Christmas Lights Switch On in December and next December our Year 3 children will be singing in the shopping centre at Centre MK. Many of these groups perform in our Performing Arts Showcases which take place once or twice per year.

To sign up for a club that runs after school, please ask in the Atrium for a letter. Children can just turn up to the relevant lunchtime clubs.

Instrumental Lessons
Specialist instrument teachers give lessons on the Keyboard, Guitar, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Violin and Flute. Lessons take place during the school day. Although the school subsidises these lessons there is cost attached; please ask in the Atrium for details.
The ideal time of year to start instrument lessons is in September, although it may be possible to start at other times. Currently, the starting age for the different instruments is:

  • Year 2 upwards: Violin, Keyboards;
  • Year 3 upwards: Flute, Guitar;
  • Year 4 upwards: Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone.

If you have any specific questions regarding instrumental lessons (e.g. getting an instrument or music) please contact Jonathan via the Atrium.

Music Practise & Performances
Children learning an instrument have the opportunity to practise in the Music Room before school from 8.30am until registration on the following days:












These sessions are supervised and give children a chance to practise between lessons. All children learning an instrument are encouraged to practise and play their instrument regularly between lessons to help them make progress. Children in Years 3 and 4 can also practise on Friday lunchtimes in the Music Room.

During their time at TPA, children receiving instrument lessons will be given the chance to perform to others in their class, in concerts and occasionally in assembly. We hold informal concerts in the Music Room which give parents the opportunity to meet their child’s instrumental teacher and hear their progress. Many children perform as part of a group in the Milton Keynes Instrumental Festivals in February/March. We take groups to all three Festivals – Strings, Woodwind and Brass.

If you have any questions relating to music at TPA, please contact Jonathan via the Atrium at any time.