W/C 27th Nov 'Canon in D Major' by Pachelbel
Pachelbel's Canon is an accompanied canon by the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. The canon was originally scored for three violins and basso continuo. Neither the date nor the circumstances of its composition are known (suggested dates range from 1680 to 1706), and the oldest surviving manuscript copy of the piece dates from 1838 to 1842.
In the 1970s the piece began to be recorded by many ensembles; by the early 1980s its presence as background music was deemed inescapable. From the 1970s onward, elements of the piece, especially its chord progression, were used in a variety of pop songs. Since the 1980s, it has also found increasingly common use in weddings and funeral ceremonies in the Western world.
W/C 20th November 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' from 'Peer Gynt' by Edvard Grieg
Those that have played in Strings and Things (Year 4+) should recognise this piece! Ms Hayden calls it trolls and orcs but it's real name is 'In the Hall of the Mountain King'.
Grieg's music drew on the Norwegian folk tunes of his homeland. He wrote many songs and piano miniatures. He was a leading composer of the Romantic era and brought the music of Norway to an international audience. Grieg's 'Peer Gynt Suite' tells the story of a young boy – Peer Gynt, who falls in love with a girl but is not allowed to marry her. He runs away into the mountains but is captured by trolls who take him to their King. Peer Gynt tries to escape but is chased by the trolls and runs into the troll King but eventually gets away.
Listen out for: The strings that play the sounds of Peer tiptoeing and running to escape. The tiptoeing sound is an effect called pizzicato where string players pluck the strings of their instrument rather than use a bow.
W/C 13th November Anti-bullying week 'Make a Noise' Andy and the Odd Socks
‘Make A Noise’ is the official song for Odd Socks Day and Anti-Bullying Week 2023. Remember to wear your Odd Socks on Odd Socks Day - November 13th and let’s reach out and unite against bullying! For more information on Odd Socks Day and Anti-Bullying Week please visit: http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org
W/C 6th November 'Autumn' from the 'Four Seasons' by Vivaldi
The Four Seasons is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. These were composed around 1718−1720, when Vivaldi was the court chapel master in Mantua.
The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi's works.
W/C 30th October Overture from 'Royal Fireworks Music' by G.F. Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks is an orchestral suite in five movements by George Frideric Handel that premiered in London on April 27, 1749. The work was composed for performance at an outdoor festival celebrating the end of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48).
W/C 16th October 'Harvest Samba' by Out of the Ark Music, Zane Colquhoun and New Hope.
Today we are celebrating harvest - a time in the year when we remember to say thank you for the food we have and try to help donate to others who are in need. This is a song enjoyed by lots of school children each year at harvest time.
W/C 9th October 'Mambo' from Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor and pianist who had a long and varied musical career. When he was very young, Bernstein first heard someone playing a piano and he was captivated immediately. He decided he wanted to learn the piano too, and started to have lessons on his aunt's old hand-me-down instrument. He went on to have a musical a career spanning over fifty years.
One of his most popular works is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet' called 'West Side Story'. The 'Mambo' comes from this high-energy musical. It's a fast-paced, Cuban-inspired dance that's guaranteed to make you want to move… which is exactly what Bernstein wanted. For him, music wasn't about writing or reading notes on a page, but instead about how it made you feel physically.
Listen out for: The percussion. Bernstein loved rhythm, and you can hear that influence in 'Mambo'. It's certainly a piece that jumps!
W/C 2nd October 'Earth' by Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer is a German composer born in 1957. He has written the music for over 150 films including The Lion King, Madagascar, The Simpsons Movie, Kung Fu Panda and TV series like Blue Planet II.
This piece of music was written especially for the BBC as a piece for children to learn and listen to. The piece is his personal celebration of the planet we live on.
W/C 25th September 'Music for 18 Musicians' by Steve Reich
Steve Reich’s music strips away long, unfolding melodies and complex harmonies and focuses instead on a very few, or minimal, parts: beats, rhythms and pulses, and slowly changing and repeating patterns.
The result is a shimmering, rippling musical tapestry, with instruments, including voices, keyboards, tuned percussion instruments and maracas, creating layers of sound.
Different instruments and rhythms rise to the surface as the musical landscape gradually shifts.
Listening to Steve Reich’s work can be an intense and hypnotic experience!
W/C 18th September Johannes Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor
While playing music in a tavern one evening Brahms met Eduard Remenyi, a famous Hungarian Gypsy violinist. Remenyi taught Brahms all about Gypsy music and Hungarian dances called csárdás.
Brahms was enthralled and used the rhythms and melodies of this music as his inspiration for his 21 Hungarian Dances, which he originally wrote for the piano.
He loved performing them for his friends and would later orchestrate three of the dances himself, with other composers arranging the remaining pieces.
The Hungarian Dance No.5 transforms the intimate drama of the Gypsy band into a big orchestral party – with wild string melodies and brassy foot-stomping rhythms.
W/C 11th September - 'Finale' (From 'The Little Mermaid') by Alan Menken
This piece of music is from the final section of the newly released 'The Little Mermaid' film. In music, the final section is called a 'Finale'. If you listen carefully you will hear parts of some well known songs from the film but also other music too. There is not singing in this music and it is known as 'underscore' - which means it is meant to be heard 'underneath' the action you are seeing on the screen to help set the mood.
W/C 4th September - Horn Concerto No.4 (Movement 3) by Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer and performer who could play and write music from the age of four! A concerto is a piece for a solo instrumentalist and orchestra. A concerto shows off the skill of the soloist. Mozart’s friend Joseph Leutgeb was a famous horn player. Leutgeb inherited a cheese shop in Vienna and might have become a cheesemonger if Mozart hadn’t written such fabulous concertos for him to play.
Horns of the time were very difficult to play because they didn’t have valves (buttons) to press. Mainly horns were used to play hunting fanfares but being a horn player on a hunt was hazardous - you had to ride a horse and play at the same time!
Listen out for: The times when the orchestra 'answer' the horn by repeating the same tune.
W/C 17th July - 'Hoe-Down' from the Ballet 'Rodeo' by Aaron Copland
Originally composed in 1942 for a ballet called Rodeo, the Hoe-Down features two American square dance tunes.The music is full of vigour and energy as the cowgirls and boys pair off. This is music about real people and their folk tunes and customs; it's full of a sense of adventure and the American pioneering spirit.
W/C 10th July 'Bolero' by Ravel
Boléro was composed by a Maurice Ravel in 1928 - almost 100 years ago! It is for a large orchestra by French composer Maurice Ravel and is his most famous piece. It uses a repeated rhythm throughout called an ostinato. It introduces different instruments from the orchestra one by one and builds up into many layers by the end.
How many different instruments can you hear?
W/C 3rd July
'Tropical Bird' by Trinidad Steel Band
W/C 26th June - KS1 Sing-a-thon Selections
KS1 did a fantastic job with their singing for the PSA Sing-a-thon. Here is a selection of the songs that they enjoyed singing.
W/C 19th June
This week is National School Sports Week so I have chosen a famous piece of music associated with running. It comes from the 1981 film 'Chariots of Fire' which is about track runners. The composer is called Vangelis.
W/C 12th June 'Jin-Go-Lo-Ba' (Jingo) by Santana / Babatunde Olatunji
'Jin-Go-Lo-Ba' means 'do not worry' and was a piece of African drumming music by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji. This version is an arrangement by a famous guitarist called Santana in 1969.
Some classes in KS2 have been learning about 'syncopated' rhythms. This music features lots of them!
W/C 5th June - 'Here Comes the Sun' by The Beatles
I hope that you have been enjoying the sunny weather recently. This song was named as a favourite song of Year 4 and it seemed appropriate given the current weather. It is by The Beatles - one of the most successful British Pop/Rock Bands - and was released in 1969.
W/C 22nd May Baris - Gong Kebyar of Peliatan
This style of music is called Gamelan and it comes from Indonesia. It sounds very different to our Western music because the instruments and pitches are different to ours. The instruments of their orchestra are mainly drums, gongs and metallophones but sometimes it features flutes and string instruments. The music is made up of layers with each instrument having a specific role to play.
There are also lots of rules about how to play the instruments as they believe they are connected to the gods in heaven. These include not stepping over them or wearing shoes.
W/C 15th May - "Brighter Days"
This song was originally released by Emeli Sande in 2022 as a response to life getting back to normal after Covid-19. It was chosen to be the song sung by the Coronation Concert Community Choir (made up of community choirs all around the UK) when they performed at the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle. Towards the end there is an instrumental section where all the performs use sign language instead of singing the words.
W/C 8th May - 'Pomp and Circumstance March No.4' by Sir Edward Elgar.
This is a very famous piece of British music that gets played at the last night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. I have chosen it this week because it was played as the exit music at the Coronation Service on Saturday. Also our choir performed at the Royal Albert Hall last Sunday - perhaps they can spot where they were sat?
W/C 1st May 'I was glad' by Sir Hubert Parry
This piece is traditionally sung in the Church of England as an anthem at the Coronation of the British monarch. The text (lyrics) consist of verses from Psalm 122 (from the Bible). Numerous composers have set the words to music, among them Henry Purcell and William Boyce; but its most famous setting was written in 1902 by Sir Hubert Parry.
W/C 24th April 'The Lark Ascending' by Ralph Vaughan Williams
This is a very famous piece of classical music by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was inspired by a poem called 'The Lark Ascending' and started to be composed just before World War I broke out and was finished after.
Can you recognise which string instrument plays a solo at the start (and throughout)?
How would you describe this piece in 3 words?
You can find out a lot more information about the piece of music here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces/primary-classical-music-ks3-vaughan-williams-lark-ascending/z6dqxyc
W/C 17th April 2023 'Sahela Re' by Kishori Amonkar.
Kishori Amonkar lived 10 April 1932 – 3 April 2017 and was a leading Indian classical vocalist. Amonkar received several of India's national awards and civilian honours.
W/C 27th March 'Hallelujah!' from Messiah by George F Handel.
This piece of music is one of the most famous by the composer George F Handel. It is part of an Oratorio (like an opera but it tells a story from the Bible) and was composed in just 24 days in 1741. It is usually performed by a large Baroque orchestra (not all the instruments we know today had been invented yet) and a massed choir of adult singers.
This Sunday Christians celebrate Palm Sunday. This is the day which they remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey where He was greeted with shouts of praise. 'Hallelujah' means 'praise the Lord'.
W/C 20th March
'Take the A Train' by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra was originally written in 1939 (when World War 2 started) but this video is from a performance in 1962. It became a popular Jazz Standard and is still performed by Jazz musicians frequently today.
Can you spot the different instruments from listening or watching the video? The 'rhythm section' is made up of piano, drums and double bass. The saxophones, trumpets and trombones are known as 'frontline' instruments in jazz and they usually play the melody and solos.
W/C 13th March 2023 - St Patrick's Day
On Friday 17th March it is St Patrick's Day (the patron saint of Ireland) so this week the music is by a famous Irish composer, pianist and teacher called John Field. He lived 26 July 1782 – 23 January 1837 and is known as the inventor of the 'nocturne'. A 'nocturne' is a type of romantic classical piece that has a singing melody over an arpeggiated accompaniment.
W/C 6th March 2023 - Waste Week / Science Week
To fit in with Waste Week I have chosen a video that features recycled objects as the instruments. Can you use your scientific knowledge to work out how different pitches are created with the long tubes so that a small tune can be played?
World Book Day - 2nd March
This is a great song from 'Mary Poppins Returns' about not judging a book by its cover.
W/C 27th Feb
Women's History Month:
'Runaway Blues' by Ma Rainey - Released 1930
Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey lived from 26th April 1886 until 22nd December 1939. She was an American blues singer and influential early blues recording artist. She was known as the 'Mother of the Blues' and had a 'moaning' style of singing. In 2023, she was honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
W/C 20th Feb 2023
'Mars' from 'The Planets' by Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst was a British composer best known for his orchestral suite ‘The Planets’. A suite is a group of individual pieces. There are seven pieces in 'The Planets' and 'Mars, the Bringer of War' is the first one.
In ancient Roman religion Mars was the god of war. Holst composed this piece in anticipation of the outbreak of World War One. It’s a march but an unusual one. Normally a march has 4 beats in a bar so you can say "left, right, left, right" but Mars has 5 beats in a bar; tricky to march to!
Listen out for: The opening two harps, strings playing with the wood of the bow (col legno), timpani using very hard-headed sticks and the gong. There’s also a solo from the euphonium (brass instrument).
W/C 6th February
This week we will have a focus on being safe online. Listen to the song Online Safety and see if you can hear any hints and tips which we should follow when going online.
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W/C 30th January
This week we are going to be thinking about Time To Talk Day, which is a day which recognises the benefits of talking to others about our problems as a way of protecting our mental health. This song, written for children, has a great message about the benefits of sharing our problems rather than keeping them all bottled up. Think about who you can talk to if you have a problem or feel sad.
This week marks the start of Chinese New Year. 2023 will become the year of the Rabbit. This song is a celebration song, listen to the lyrics of Gong Xi which means Celebrate! I hope that for all our school community who celebrate Chinese New Year that you have a wonderful time celebrating with your friends and family.
W/C 16th January
This week we reflect on our key school values - Positive, Caring, Inclusive. We all go through times and have moments when we want to give up, but no matter how hard things get, we’ve got to just keep going and get through it, we are stronger than we think. This song 'Hold On' by Shawne Mendes helps remind us to help and be there for each other
W/C 9th January
This week as we start are new term we are thinking about our dreams and goals and how we can make our dreams come true. This song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, possibly the most famous musical composer in current day. He wrote this song 'Any Dream will Do' for his musical of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.
This week, we are set to enjoy our Year 2 Christmas Production of Baubles and so it seems fitting to listen to a song sung by Michael Buble which is called it is beginning to look alot like Christmas. Perhaps as you listen to this gentle music you can think about what clues you have seen around school, home or even the shops that let you know it is getting close to Christmas.
W/C 21st November
This week we are thinking about kindness and how we can make sure that our words reflect this kindness. As you listen to the song think about a time when someone has said something that made you smile. Use this time to think of something you could say to make each person you speak to smile.
W/C 14 November
This week I have chosen a piece of music from the Baroque period called Canon in D by Pachelbel. Listen to how the music gradually builds up and adds new/more layers of melodies and harmonies. Do you have a favourite part of the piece?
W/C 7th November
At the end of this week we will observe Remembrance Sunday, a chance for us to remember all those who have fought and died in war. Music can be a powerful tool in helping us focus and think about people who have lost their lives in order to fight for a cause. In this song called Remembrance child it really highlights in the words how we have been given opportunities to live our best life, thanks to the sacrifice of others.
W/C 31st October
With Diwali celebrations last week and Bonfire night happening at the end of this week, I have chosen to listen to Katy Perry's Firework song. As you listen to the music, think about what lights up your life. Perhaps it is the people you are friends with, perhaps it is a special hobby. Take this moment to be thankful and grateful for the positive things in your life.
This week we have a focus on being Proud. This song is so good at making us question 'what have you done today to make you feel proud?'. I wonder whether you can answer this today? Feeling proud is such a great feeling, lets see what reasons you can think of to be proud of yourself or even other people.
W/C 10th October
This week we are thinking about Harvest. It is the time of year when we celebrate and give thanks for all the food we have. Perhaps as you listen to the words you might think of foods which you are really grateful for. There are many people who are involved in getting the food to you, from farmers, to pickers, lorry drivers, shop assistants to cooks. Make sure you take the time to give thanks for the food you have, there are some people in our world, and even in our community, who may be hungry today.
W/C 3rd October
This week we are really thinking about our wellbeing and this song by Rachel Plattern really thinks about staying positive and looking after ourselves. What could you do to make sure that your wellbeing is a focus this week?
W/C 26th September
This week we are thinking about the theme of Teamwork! This song we are listening to, is called 'We are the Champions' by the band Queen. If you listen to the lyrics you will hear the message about never giving up, working to achieve our goals with our friends and celebrating our successes.
W/C 19th September.
This week we are listening to Pachelbel's Canon in D. This is often performed by a string quartet which usually consists of 2 violins, a viola and a cello. It is a delightful piece from the Baroque period. There is an extra instrument playing called a harpsichord which makes a twangy sound, I wonder can you hear when it joins in?
We are listening to Lester Lanin's medley. When the Queen was interviewed by the BBC a few years ago, she revealed her top 10 favourite musical pieces. This upbeat, fun song was one of her favourites. It was released in 1958, shortly after she came to the throne and hopefully will help us celebrate what a wonderful life of service she lived.
w/c 4th July. On Thursday this week it is national chocolate day, so I have chosen a song called 'Pure Imagination' which was written for the original film of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', based on the book by Roald Dahl. Perhaps let your imagination think of a world of wonderful treats to eat!
W/C 27th June we are thinking about helping each other and what better way than helping your friends? This song was written and performed on the album 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club' by the Beatles in 1967 and I still think the lyrics are relevant to everyone today.
W/C 13th June. With all the pageantry from the Jubilee celebrations I thought that this piece would be most apt for our celebrations this week for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
W/C 21st May. This week we are thinking about sustainability and sometimes in order for sustainability to happen, we need to make changes. I have therefore chosen this beautiful piece of classical music, called Moonlight Sonata, and in this version there is a big twist! It is played by a very talented pianist, however, at about 3mins into the track he changes it up and adds some dub step. What do you think, do you like the original or prefer the changed version?
W/C 17th May
This week I have chosen an 80's classic for us to listen to, Dance with somebody by Whitney Houston! Pick up your dancing shoes and see the positivity in everything!
W/C 2nd May
Make You Feel My Love is a ballad written by Bob Dylan in 1997.It has since been covered by recording artists such as Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson and Adele.
In 2008, Make You Feel my Love was recorded by Adele for her first album called 19. Listen to the words and think about how they make you feel.
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W/C 25th April
Ramadan will be ending this week with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. This is a special time when Muslims fast during the day for a whole month to show their devotion and love to Allah. We have children and staff in our school who been be fasting throughout Ramadan! This R&B track has been written and performed by Maher Zain and is called Ramadan. Listen to the words of reflection that he sings about, I wonder if any of it applies to you?
W/C 28th March
This week is our final week before we break up for Easter so we are listening to this gospel celebration song. This version was sung in the film Sister Act and although it starts off slow and gentle it soon builds to fill the room with celebrations including a rap!
W/C 21st March 2022.
This week as St Peter's we are joining lots of other schools by taking part in Reach out for Refugees. This week we are listening to a horn Concerto (this means the french horn has a solo over the orchestra) by Reinhold Glière who was born in Kyiv in the Ukraine. Can you hear how quickly the music changes, perhaps reflecting how quickly things can change for refugees? This is part of a much longer piece of music which lasts over an hour!
W/C 14 March 2022
This week is St Patrick's Day. The Irish observe the day for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green. As such listen to this Irish Anthem, it is called the Fields of Athenry and performed by the Dubliners. What instruments can you hear?
W/C 7th March, whilst thinking about waste, and how we can help the environment around us, I have chosen this piece from the production STOMP. Every 'instrument' you can hear is made from something that would ordinarily be thrown away. I wonder can you listen hard enough to work out what the materials are used to make this music?
(*A clue - look at the name of the piece!)
W/C 28th Feb. This week we will be celebrating World Book Day and as such the music I have chosen is from the musical Matilda. Inspired by the book of the same name, written by Roald Dahl. The song's lyrics detail all the things that Matilda could wish to do when she is an adult. I wonder, what would you love to do when you are a grown-up that maybe you can't do whilst you are a child?
w/c 21 February. To welcome us back from our half term break this week we will be listening to Dave Brubeck, Take 5. This fantastic piece of music has just 4 instruments so is a jazz quartet. See if you can hear the saxophone playing the tune, the drums driving the pulse, the piano playing a simple accompaniment and the Double Bass giving it a the tones in the lower register, similar to the piano. Amazing JAZZ!
w/c 7th Feb This week we are thinking about ways to keep ourselves safe on the internet and so this song has been chosen with that in mind. What do you know to help you stay safe online? What lyrics would you put in a song about staying safe online?
W/C 31 Jan 2022 This week we are listening to a song by Katy Perry called Resilient. Do you know or understand what that means? She sings about growing through the cracks. Not letting the concrete hold you back. I wonder what things try to hold you back and how you can still pass through to be the brilliant you?!
W/C 24th January
With the Holocaust memorial day this week the music that we are going to to listen to is called Danny Boy. It is a Celtic hymn, the tune being called Londonderry Aire, the lyrics were written in 1913, just a year before WWI. Listen to the smooth gentle music and the beautiful lyrics which describe the longing for someone to come home.
Spring Term 2022
w/c 17th January. With Chinese New approaching in early February, the music that we are listening to this week is a traditional Chinese piece of music. For all our students with Chinese heritage we wish to celebrate this special time with you and wish you great luck for this coming new year.
AUTUMN TERM 2021
This week we are listening to a piece by the modern day composer Hans Zimmer. This piece is inspired by the beauty of the world around us and is called 'Earth'. Try and reflect on something incredible that you have seen in nature. Perhaps the changing colours on the trees...
What other awe and wonder does nature bring?
This week we are listening to Florence Price – Symphony No. 1 in E minor.
As an African-American woman, Florence combined the traditions of classical music with the sound of spirituals and West African rhythms and dance from her own culture.
In 1933 she overcame prejudice to become the first black female composer to have her work performed by a major orchestra. Have you ever heard of anyone having to overcome prejudice?
This week we listen to a piece by a composer called Heitor Villa-Lobos. He wrote this in Brazil after taking a train ride which travelled through the Amazon rainforest. Can you hear the sounds of the train chugging along the tracks?
Music we have listened to in assembly in the past:
In recognition of the Festival of Diwali, this week we are listening to a traditional Indian Folk Flute song. If you want to see the video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF9SeYts8zs
Listen to the beautiful runs of the flute and the prominent words that are spoken.
This week we are listening to a piece of contemporary music which has some strong lyrics. It was first written by the Beatles but this version is sung by a band called Wet Wet Wet. What do the lyrics mean to you?
This week we will be listening to a piece of reggae music from Jamaica by an artist called Bob Marley. Do you notice any similarities to the piece we heard last week?
Each week pupils will be listen to a piece of music each day in assembly. The chosen piece will be introduced in their weekly singing assemblies and will expose them to a wide range of musical genres.
This week children will be listening to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'. His gentle Hawaiian tones compliment the laid back off-beat ukulele strumming.