chapter  6
21 Pages

Composing pathways

Children aged 8–12

During the later primary years, or as pupils move from first into middle schools, provision for music may be organised in different ways. Music may be taught by class teachers, each working with their own class across a broad range of curriculum areas, or it may take the form of a weekly lesson with a teacher who takes responsibility for music across the age-range or throughout the school. From the point of view of composing, the class teacher model has the potential for more effective practical provision, although time pressures can prevent this being fully exploited. It allows at least some flexibility of time, and opportunity for individual, paired or group work. It also enables the teacher to make productive cross-curricular links more easily – with language, for example – and it makes the tracking of pupils’ accumulating work more straightforward. These possibilities add considerably to the quality of the composing that children do. By contrast, trying to compact all composing work into a short weekly slot, together with the rest of the music curriculum, can be a tall order. As a specialist faced with this model, some liaison with the class teacher is almost essential, particularly for the younger age groups. Once pupils reach the stage at which the whole curriculum is delivered in subject lesson slots by different teachers, other strategies have to be found for the independent work so important to composing development.