At the recent London Music and Drama Expo, I gave a presentation on a special document that I devised and use successfullyin my borough of Enfield: The Music Transition Passport (MTP).
The MTP is a document that I send to Secondary Heads of Music, providing information on the musical experiences, opportunities and attainment of Year 6 pupils leaving my school and transitioning to Year 7. My hope is that this information will assist Heads of Music to prepare a relevant, challenging, and engaging curriculum/extended curriculum building on pupils prior experiences and attainment, to prevent regression and to enable pupils to continue and progress as developing musicians.
I wish that I had such a document when I started my career over 23 years ago as a Secondary Music Teacher. Instead I relied on inadequate pupil questionnaires that I asked my new year 7s to complete. What I discovered was that children are reluctant to divulge their musical accomplishments. At the time I had very little experience of music in primary schools, so I assumed that children received very little if any primary music. I therefore chose to start the year 7 curriculum at ‘ground zero’ similar to drama, art and languages. Now, as a primary music specialist myself, I know better.
Today, I use my MTP to inform Heads of Music in advance of the year 6 pupil
transitioning with Grade 6 violin, of their aspiration to join the school orchestra,
of the singer who has been the member of the award winning Chamber Choir, who can sing comfortably in four-part harmony and hopes to join the school choir, of the pupils who can use Garageband to compose, or who can improvise within a classroom Jazz orchestra and would like to join a school ensemble, or the pupil with autism for whom music will make a new school more accessible.
No starting at ‘ground zero’ for these pupils!
Sam Ojokor is the Lead Practitioner for Music, a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and a certified trainer for the Jolly Music Programme at the Raglan Schools in Enfield. She is also the Primary Music Representative on the Enfield Music Hub Advisory Board. Samantha is responsible for the unique design of the music curriculum at Raglan Schools where every child in KS2 learns to play a musical instrument as part of their weekly music tuition and where the principles of Kodaly are embedded from the start – every child is considered to be a developing musician.