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Musical Opportunities

Musical Opportunities

Welcome back to the new academic year where at Unsworth we want to offer your children the very best opportunities for music. I will continue to visit school every Tuesday working with individual Year groups and leading full school ‘Big Sing’ assemblies. Today Year 2 had their first Ocarina lesson! The Ocarina is a small plastic instrument with 4 holes, and is an ideal instrument for KS1 children to learn.  Children will also learn about musical notation and elements of music such as ‘Pitch’ and ‘Rhythm.’ Year 3 had their second recorder lesson this morning. The children are already making amazing progress, as they are able to build on the Ocarina skills they developed in Year 2. We are delighted to have on board exciting instrumental teachers offering a super range of instruments from children in Y1-6. In our assembly today we welcomed Dave from ‘Fidler Music’ who gave a fantastic demonstration to the children on learning the Ukulele and Guitar.  The children were spellbound when he started playing ‘ Despacito’ and other popular songs.  I can highly recommend ‘Fidler Music’ as they visit some of the other schools in our Music Collaborative and are very reasonably priced.  Each child in Y1 and Y2 has a letter about how they can sign up for lessons with this organisation.  Interested children in Key Stage 2 chose to take a letter home. Year 5 had their Brass session today. We welcome back Mr Watkins, who is a Brass specialist and will be working with Y5 all year as part of the Wider Opportunities Programme.  Parents will have received a letter asking permission for children to take their instruments home, so please return the reply slip to school as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. Choral group will recommence at lunchtime on Tuesdays for any children in Years 5 and 6 that wish to come and sing. We do request that children who sign up for choir remain in it until the end of term, as we have already been invited to participate in numerous events, particularly in the run up to Christmas.  You may like to ‘Save the date’ Monday 11th December, as our choir will be performing at Bury Parish Church in the ‘Bury Hospice’ annual Carol Service.  This is always a wonderful event, and I know from experience, children do get very disappointed if they rehearse all the songs and carols, and are then unable to sing at the actual event. If you wish to speak to me about any musical matters please call in between 8 and 9 am any Tuesday. We truly value music education at  School and strive once again this year to give your child the very best opportunities to shine. Mrs Geelan   It's only fair to...

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A Musical New Year!

I must start the New Year by congratulating all the children who were involved in the Bury Hospice Carol Service at Bury Parish Church. The Hospice have written a letter of thanks to each school, and the total raised from this event was £2000.  This is an amazing amount of money and thanks go to all the parents and staff who supported this event.  The choral group also sang beautifully when we took them to Spurr House.  The children thoroughly enjoy performing for the elderly people and we will definitely be making a return visit before the end of the school year. This term I will continue to work with Y2 and 3, teaching ocarina and recorder. Brass lessons and Fidler music will recommence from January 10th.  Please remember to bring your instrument to school each Tuesday.  As the weather is due to turn quite cold, please do not leave Brass instruments in car boots for long periods as the valves will freeze up! In our Big Sing we will be learning songs about Technology and Internet safety, not forgetting to celebrate the Chinese New Year through song at the end of January. Always check the school ‘Twitter’ as we often share the children’s singing for you to enjoy. A new singing group will be formed for any interested children in Years 5 and 6 and more information will follow about this in due course. We are hoping to collaborate with some local school choirs before the end of the school year and share our joy of singing with our neighbouring schools. If you have any queries or questions about Music at Unsworth, please feel free to pop in and have a chat, I am here every Tuesday.   It's only fair to...

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Musical Fun!

Musical Fun!

I always look forward to the start of a new term, thinking about all the exciting opportunities and events the new school year will bring. One of the most enjoyable activities I like to engage in during the holidays is to look for new resources, particularly songs for the children to perform either in class, Big Sing or Choral group. Mr Geelan has often commented ‘Why are we listening to Christmas songs during August?’ I like to be well planned so when a festival or celebration is upon us I have the necessary repertoire for the children to learn and enjoy. I will continue this academic year to visit Unsworth every Tuesday, leading the whole school singing assembly and working with individual classes. Year 2 will be learning to play the Ocarina and Year 3 the recorder.  I will be responsible for the Year 5 Brass Wider Opportunities project across the year.  In the past we have many problems with the maintenance of these instruments.  If a problem does occur, please parents do not be tempted to fix the instruments yourselves.  We have an expert on instrument repairs who has the necessary tools and appliances to do the job!  Please encourage your children to practise their instruments, the sound may not be too pleasant initially but that’s all part of the learning process. Choral group begin rehearsals in the next couple of weeks and you will receive additional information about this activity. Fiddler Music will continue to visit school on a Tuesday afternoon, so please remember your guitars and ukuleles. It is great to see we have some new recruits this year who have been added to the list. Bury Music Service are also willing to provide tuition if there are additional instruments your child may like to learn. Please visit the school office where information can be obtained. The Bury Young Voices choir directed by myself is an out of school activity, however children from Unsworth Y5 and above are welcome to join, if they have an avid interest in singing. We meet every Tuesday at the Derby High School Inspire Theatre at 4 45- 5 45pm (Price £1 per session) We want your children to enjoy music at school, so if you have any questions or queries, please pop in and have a chat.     It's only fair to...

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Musical Impressions

Musical Impressions

Today I had the pleasure of shadowing the talented and charismatic Mrs. Geelan at Unsworth Primary School. As an NQT about to start his career as a secondary music teacher, I was astounded by the level of understanding of key terminology and musicianship that Mrs. Geelan instills in her pupils across all age groups. This, coupled with the respectful and inclusive nature of the school, provided a thoroughly enjoyable and welcoming day. I would recommend a visit to all who are thinking of getting into teaching, or anyone else for that matter. Thank you! James Withington It's only fair to...

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A Musical Masterpiece!

Our next large scale musical event will take place in July at Bury Parish Church. I have been asked to organise a ‘Youth Prom’ style concert which will obviously involve the choirs from the 5 schools in our Collaborative, alongside the Bury Young Voices Choir, and the Derby High School Band. It is an exciting task to find repertoire for such events, challenging the children and introducing them to different genres of music. With great anticipation the Choral Group today began the task of learning the ‘Manchester Mash Up.’  This is a selection of songs all associated with Manchester that are ‘mashed together’ to create a 10 minute musical composition.  I have ensured the children mums, dads and carers will remember songs from the 80’ s and 90’s such as James ‘Sit down’ and Oasis ‘Don’t look back in anger.’ This fantastic musical masterpiece culminates with Elbow ‘A day like this.’ The thought of over 100 children performing this medley with a live band I’m sure will be another memorable night for our pupils, teachers, parents and carers.  To help the choral group familiarise themselves with these songs I have included a link for them to listen to and follow their lyrics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOR00dOS-do Our instrumentalists are continuing to make super progress particularly in Wider Opportunities where we have classes learning Ocarinas, Recorders and Brass. Now we have entered the season of Spring, I look forward to our weekly ‘Big Sing’ where the theme of our songs will be the festival of Easter and New Life. Mrs Geelan   It's only fair to...

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The Merits of Music

The Merits of Music

It always gives me a great buzz when I arrive at Unsworth on Tuesdays to see children walking to school carrying guitars, ukuleles, violins and Brass instruments. I often think Tuesdays at Unsworth should be renamed ‘Tuneful Tuesdays.’ We really are very proud of the amount of music we manage to pack into the timetable each week, and the benefits music has across the curriculum.  I am usually greeted on a Tuesday by pupils who ask, ‘Miss, is it ocarinas today or ‘Is it Big Sing?  Music is so important to the children and on the odd occasion Big Sing doesn’t happen, they quite rightly express their disappointment, and demand an explanation as to why it hasn’t happened! Our Music Collaborative has now been in operation for over ten years, and it is evident how music has developed across 5 schools building confidence amongst pupils as well as musical skills. Our visiting music teachers thoroughly enjoy working at our school, particularly Mr Dixon who even visits us from a different authority. When asked about his visit to Unsworth Mr Dixon said he ‘thoroughly enjoys coming to work with such talented and committed pupils in Year 5, and the musical skills they develop lower down the school certainly benefit them when they start to learn a musical instrument.’ Today we have recorded many extracts of the children’s musical talents and hope you can take a moment to listen to and maybe even comment on some of our performances on Twitter. Tomorrow is National Sing Up Day, and we constantly remind pupils that we have been awarded the ‘Gold’ Sing Up award for the quality of our singing! It's only fair to...

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