Widening the access to sound at KS2

tumblr_inline_nink9an2gK1qchgbh-2Name: David Holland

Position: PhD Student & Part-Time Lecturer
Faculty: Technology

Research Topic:
Music, Technology & Innovation

About David Holland
David Holland describes his work as ‘Widening access to sound-based music with Key Stage 2 children’, writes DMU Graduate Champion, Harry Mullet. His PhD research explores where music sounds are the basic units rather than musical notes. These sounds could be environmental or electronically synthesized sounds. David work primarily focuses on Key stage 2 children which referrers to children aged  between 7-11 years.

Why did you choose this field of research?
I am interested in this field of work as I believe that it is similar in type to some of the outreach work produced and supported by the Square Mile team here at DMU and so it may be a possibility for each party to help further the work of the other.

What is the aim for your thesis?
I aspire that one day my research will make it into the national curriculum and so a good place to begin with my background research would be to look into the current national curriculum for key stage 2 music. This will give me an understanding of the foundations with which I desire to build my research work around.

How will you achieve this aim?
In order to do this I am organising case studies in different Primary schools that consist of a series of workshops where children create sound compositions from sounds they have recorded around their schools. To help children explore imaginative associations with sounds, creative writing exercises are used to facilitate the development of themes and narratives that form the basis of sound compositions, which are created using audio editing software.

The following information regarding Key Stage 2 music education is taken from the Government website which explains what is currently expected from the national curriculum – Further information can be found here: www.gov.co.uk

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and
manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical
  • Instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related
    dimensions of music
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music.


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