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Brass and Singing

We think our new Brass teacher Mr Dixon is amazing!  After 2 lessons all the children in Year 5 are able to playing simple tunes using notes C D and E and read music from the stave!  What a brilliant start.  Please support your children on their instruments.  Most weeks a sheet will be sent home with music to practise.  By Christmas we are hoping to be able to play Jingle Bells.

Our whole school singing continues to develop and children are enjoying singing ‘Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars.  We have also looked at the song ‘Apples and Honey’ to celebrate the festival of Rosh Hashanah. I have loved popping into Reception with the keyboard and listening to the children sing a variety of Nursery rhymes.  We have played some musical games where the children listen to high and low notes.

Our new choral group have also got off to a great start!  They will be very busy particularly this term in preparation for a large scale carol service at Bury Parish Church on Monday 15th December.  This concert was a sell out last year, so please put the date in your diaries and we will let you know when tickets are available for purchase. I have thoroughly enjoyed the new term to date, and look forward to all the musical opportunities I hope to create for the children this new school year.

Mrs Geelan

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Another exciting musical journey!

Welcome back to all the children at Unsworth. I hope you have returned to school ready to embark on another exciting musical journey.

As parents are probably aware we have a new curriculum so your children may find a few changes to the way music is taught.  The new curriculum wants us to focus more on singing and playing musical instruments, whilst learning to read music from the stave.  We are well equipped to do this at Unsworth having a class set of Brass instruments, plus recorders, a Samba band and tuned percussion.  Children will also be introduced to ‘Ten pieces’ in collaboration with the BBC to explore music from different genres.  There is more information about this initiative on the ‘Ten pieces website’, which you can visit by clicking here.

TEN PIECESThe Big Sing will now become a weekly event, as this assembly is thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Throughout this half term we will be looking at songs about Autumn, Thanksgiving and Harvest. The new Brass teacher Mr Dixon will visit school every Tuesday to deliver the ‘Wider Opportunities Brass Session’ to Year 5.  Children are allowed to take their Brass instruments home but must return them to school for the weekly lesson.

Children in Reception, Y1 and Y2 are timetabled a weekly music lesson with Mrs Geelan where they will have the opportunity to explore the rudiments of music in many different ways. Children in Year 3 will participate in a ‘Wider Opportunities’ recorder session taught by Mrs Geelan – an activity that has proved popular amongst the children for the past 2 years.

I would like to remind you that if your child wishes to learn an orchestral instrument on an individual/small group basis, we can arrange this through the provision offered by the Bury Music Service.  Please visit the school office for more information.

Here’s to a happy year of music making!


Mrs Geelan



Featured Latest News Music Teacher's Blog

Music in May

As we move into the summer term, we have lots of musical activities planned for the children.  Children in KS2 should have received a letter inviting them to join the ‘Samba Band’ which will take place on a Tuesday lunchtime with myself, Mr Rhodes and Miss Ashton.  Samba is a great way of involving lots of children in music making whilst improving their Rhythm and Pulse skills. Year 5 have a new Brass teacher this term.  He is a young, dynamic graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music so I’m sure he will inspire the children during their last term of learning.  If you would like your child to continue with Brass lessons in Year 6, this can be arranged.  Please inform us before the end of term so we can make provision for the lessons to continue.

Mr Rhodes and I will be ‘team teaching’ Music to Year 2 this half term.  We will be learning songs from Australia and around the world to theme in with the World Cup.  Children will also look at the unit ‘Rhythm and Pulse’ and use Minibeast rhythm cards to improve their skills in this area. The choral group are also focusing on the World Cup, learning songs from various countries.  So far we have learnt to sing in both African and Spanish!  They will be involved in various performances this term which we will inform you of in due course.

Year 3 will be taking part in our annual musical afternoon, so they will recommence playing the recorder, and hopefully learn some new notes and melodies. As you can see it’s a very exciting and busy term for music at Unsworth and I’m sure one the children will enjoy.

Miss Geelan

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Singing, Samba and Concerts!

As Easter approaches the children have enjoyed singing about the various festivals and celebrations that have occurred over the past few weeks. To all the mums at Unsworth, you may have been serenaded on Mother’s day as many of the pupils learnt songs to celebrate this very special occasion. In reception where the topic is minibeasts the children have enjoyed learning songs about caterpillars, ants, butterflies etc. We enjoy playing games with “Minibeast” cards where the children have to clap the rhythm of the different creatures! In our big sing we learnt a new song in Latin, which our Choral group performed for us to help us learn the tricky words!

Next term our samba band will recommence and details will follow on how children from years 3-6 can participate in this lunchtime activity. Mr Rhodes is excited about being involved in samba again as he was unable to attend rehearsals last year due to other commitments.

A concert will be organised in the summer term to celebrate the musical achievements of pupils at Unsworth, especially those children who pay for private lessons with Bury Music Centre. Enjoy the Easter break and I look forward to “Singing into the Summer.”



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Haiya Utombia

Today we had a fantastic ‘Big Sing’ where we learnt an African song called ‘Haiya Utombia.’  Year 3 initially learnt this song for their class assembly but because the rest of the school enjoyed it so much, we all decided to learn it. To celebrate St Patrick’s day Reception children and Year 3 had a special music lesson.  Mrs Geelan brought in her violin and performed for the children.  They particularly enjoyed the Irish Jig where they were able to put their Irish dancing skills to the test!  Teaching children about traditions and culture through music is really important as they are introduced to different styles and genres.

Year 5 Brass were amazing this morning!  We played non stop for 1 hour and are now brilliant at reading C,D and E from the musical stave.  Please do remember to bring your Brass instruments every Tuesday so you are able to make as much progress as possible for the remainder of the school year.

Our ‘World Cup’ singing extravaganza is being planned.. This will be an exciting event seeing 4 school choirs join together for a fun afternoon of singing.  Further information about this event will follow in due course.

Mrs Geelan


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Singing, Brass and Samba

Thank goodness Spring has finally arrived. In our Big Sig we are enjoying celebrating Spring through song. Children enjoyed learning “Flip it, Flop it” for Pancake Tuesday, “Spring is in the Air” and next week they will learn a special song to celebrate Mothers Day. Being a violinist I enjoy celebrating St Patrick’s day with the children. I usually play them a couple of Irish jigs and we learn some traditional Irish songs.

The children in Y5 continue to make steady progress on their Brass instruments. They have been learning to read music from the stave, which has been quite tricky! Please encourage your child to have a little blow in the week as this stops the valves from sticking and will also speed up the process of learning to read music.

Today I have been to visit the music teacher at St Bernadette’s to arrange a “World Cup/Brazil” singing afternoon for our choral group. Any ideas for football songs can be sent into school via the comment facility below. Last week the choral group sang “Let it Go” from Frozen. They were amazing and that was without any rehearsal!

Reception class continue to have their weekly music lesson. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be singing songs about life cycles and new life. Incorporated into the lesson, children will do “music and movement” to music about flowers, growing and eggs hatching.

Lets hope the sun continues to shine-it won’t be long until our Samba Band reforms, so I’m sure you’ll hear us as on sunny days we like to practise outside on the grass.



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Miss Geelan’s Thoughts on Young Voices!

Young Voices

Well done to all the children in the ‘Singing Club’ who performed at the Arena last.  We had a long, but brilliant day.  Watching over 8000 children all singing in unison is always an amazing experience, and I’m sure parents, you will agree.  I hope you managed to spot us singing and dancing in the upper tier!  The behaviour of the children was as always outstanding and once again they represented our school magnificently.  A big thank you to Miss Ashton, Miss Dooley and Miss Mullineux for accompanying the children on the trip, and making numerous trips up and down stairs to the infamous toilets!!  Thank you to all the parents who came to support the children, even though they can’t always spot you, knowing you are there makes it all worthwhile!

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Our Big Sing Sessions!

Every other Tuesday at 10 00am, the children and staff join together for a ‘Big Sing.’  During this session we learn songs to celebrate being part of our school community.  Often songs are linked to festivals and celebrations. For example this week we sang ‘Gung hey fay choy’ to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  We also sing songs from a book called ‘Sing Out The Values’, which contains songs to inspire both children and teachers to work with positive values in their lives so that they become living values.

I am always amazed at how well our youngest pupils perform in this session; by hearing the older children singing with such enthusiasm and gusto they soon are able to join in with all the songs. Songs are often sung in unison, but we also do part singing, where the children can sing in up to 4 parts which sounds very impressive. Action songs are a favourite of the children (and the staff!) and Mrs Reynolds will often choose teachers and children to be action leaders! Have a look at our gallery below.

If your child has a favourite song, suggest it to Mrs Geelan who might just be able to include it in the ‘Big Sing.’

I am looking forward to the day when we can start singing songs about the Spring and Easter, but that seems a long way off at the moment………….

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Sing First Choir

It has been another busy day today at Unsworth. I have been working with a variety of different classes and groups. If you would like to see some of the children in action, go to the curriculum tab, scroll down to music and click on the “Music in Our School” page. Here you will be able to see some galleries of what different musical activities have been happening in school. Also, it may be of interest to parents, especially those with older children that I have started a ‘Youth Choir’ in Bury for children between the ages of 10 and 16.  The choir meet at the ‘Derby Schools Inspire Theatre’ every Tuesday evening in term time from 4 45-5 45 pm. If any current Y5/6 pupils or past pupils from Unsworth would like to join this choir, please contact school who will provide you with further information. The choir is funded by Youth Music therefore it is free to attend each session.

Mrs Geelan

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Music in the New Year

Firstly, can I congratulate the children in our ‘Choral Group’ for a fantastic performance at the Parish Church. We helped to raise approximately £1500 for the Bury Hospice which was very gratefully received.  I hope you all managed to see the article in the Bury Times about this event and the lovely picture of the children.  The children were that amazing, we have already been asked to take part in this year’s carol service which will take place in December 2014.

I was amazed by the standard of the work the children produced for the RE Enquiry at the end of last term, culminating in the service where the school hall was wonderfully transformed into a church.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this service which truly was one of the highlights of my Christmas!

Now we have moved into the New Year, music continues to be vibrant and exciting.  The ‘Young Voices’ choir are busy perfecting songs for the event at the Arena on 4th February.  Parents, please support your children by encouraging them to listen to their CD’s and learn their lyrics for this event, so they really do get the most out of the day.  The ‘Choral Group’ will continue to rehearse, and I am hoping to plan some events for the choir to perform at this term.

Brass lessons continue in Year 5, whilst Year 3 will combine learning the recorder with other musical activities, where they will learn about Rhythm, Pulse and Ostinato patterns.

I look forward to welcoming the Reception class to the Music Room where they will have a block of 6 lessons.  The children will be playing our lovely new percussion instruments and learning songs about Winter.  Chinese New Year takes place at the end of the month so our activities and songs will help us to celebrate this important festival.

Finally, if your child does wish to start learning a musical instrument this year, teachers from the Bury Music Service visit our school weekly and welcome new pupils.  Please contact the school office for more information.