Singing is very popular in our school and all classes participate in choral singing. We sing songs during class and we learn songs across a variety of genres. This requires practice and preparation. All the teachers have a lot of work to do to help us have our singing pitch perfect. Simple round singing may be introduced in 3rd class, as preparation for part-singing. Apart from in-class performances, during Seachtain na Gaeilge all classes perform an amhrán Gaeilge for the rest of the school. Children are also given the opportunity to perform in the following school choirs:
Córfhéile is a non-profit making, voluntary organization that aims to provide an opportunity for children in primary schools to perform in a non-competitive music festival. The children that perform in the Córfhéile do so for the enjoyment of singing, for the love of playing music or the desire to participate in a play or drama. Córfhéile is about developing confidence and a feeling of self-esteem for having performed in front of a large audience.
The National Children’s Choir is all-inclusive, non-competitive and takes place every second year. To date, many children have participated in and benefitted from this very worthwhile and challenging experience. The aims of the National Children’s Choir are
· to foster a love of choral singing among primary school pupils
· to enhance the musical education of those involved.
Our school affiliated with the National Children’s Choir in 1987. The children have benefitted greatly from the range of songs that have been taught: amhráin Ghaeilge, songs from opera. operetta, shows and oratorio, art songs, folk songs, spirituals, hymns, partner songs and rounds. Some are sung in unison and others in two and three parts.
At the end of the school year, the children join with other schools in the area to perform these songs in concert at the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght. A small group then performs in the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
The Sunday Choir sings at the 11.30a.m. Mass on the second Sunday of each month. The Choir also performs at school Masses, at religious ceremonies and at parish events throughout the year. Highlights of their performances are at the Christmas Carol Service, the Confirmation ceremony, Christmas and Easter Liturgies.
Children in our school are also given other performance opportunities as follows:
All children are given opportunities to use the percussion and melodic instruments which are available in the school. The music trolley is timetabled for classes on a rota basis and teachers create opportunities for children to perform using a variety of instruments.
All pupils from third class to sixth class learn how to play the recorder as a musical instrument and they perform in class on a regular basis. They also play for the principal and other teachers from time to time. Learning the recorder teaches children the building bricks of music and helps children learn how to read music. It also lays the foundation of knowledge and skills required to take on the challenge of learning another instrument, particularly from the woodwind and brass families of the orchestra. Recorder from the Beginning and Abracadabra are the two main texts used as follows:
Rang 3: Recorder from the Beginning pp.1-20
Rang 4: Recorder from the Beginning pp.15 - 30
Rang 5: Recorder from the Beginning pp. 25 - 40
Rang 6: Rang 5: Recorder from the Beginning pp. 35 - 47
Each year in the final term, children who play musical instruments outside of school are invited to perform for the rest of the school. Ms. Neville co-ordinates this event and selects children who are deemed to be at a standard which will entertain others and will encourage involvement in musical endeavours.
Also in the final term, all classes hold mini-performances during which children display a variety of musical/artistic talents and the acts chosen go through to the next round and are given the opportunity to perform for the whole school at the Summer Talent Show.
Christmas Carol Service & Christmas Singalong:
Our annual Christmas Carol Service is an annual musical highlight during which children tell the Story of Christmas through song and story.
During Christmas Week, the entire school assembles in the hall and joins in a festive singalong. These include the most popular Christmas songs and the occasion provides an enjoyable, fun-filled musical experience for everybody. This is led by Mr. Coughlan in the guitar and children learn that singing in a group can be great fun!
Children in our school are provided with opportunities to listen and respond to music by experiencing a wide range of musical styles, traditions, and cultures. Our teachers provide opportunities for active listening and responding by questioning, prompting, suggesting and listening to musical extracts.
Our main listening opportunities are as follows:
#1 During DEAR time each day, all pupils listen to a variety of musical genres – primarily classical music - from 10.45 – 11.00a.m. Listening to background music at different times, e.g. after break, during art lessons, etc. is strongly encouraged.
#2 Music in the Classroom
Rang 3: CDs 1 and 2
Rang 4: CDs 3 and 4
Rang 5: CDs 5 and 6
Rang 6: CD 7
#3 The Right Note incorporates Listen and Respond elements in each distinct lesson as outlined on page ….
#4 Our Classical Music Library is available to all teachers to use as a standalone resource or integrated with other subject areas.
#5 Listen and Learn is a series of lessons compiled by Music co-ordinator, Clare Neville.
#6 The Interactive Whiteboard can be used as a resource specifically for Listen and Respond Exercises.
All of our teachers are involved in music education in our school and all children are included. Teachers and children enjoy music in our school. However, where individual teachers feel they lack the expertise to deliver aspects of the music programme, they are encouraged to seek help from a teacher who is willing to help them.
Outside music experts are sometimes employed to provide particular opportunities at certain times when available and as financial resources allow. These currently include Simply Music and Drumming Workshops.
It is felt that all three strands and their strand units should be spread out equally throughout the school year for all four classes. Linkage between the three strands is encouraged.
The curricular area of Music has been chosen as the third subject (after Literacy and Numeracy) to be evaluated as part of the School Self Evaluation process.