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Eaton Primary School

Learning Together through Challenge

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Our Music curriculum

Our Curriculum Drivers: To promote resilience, develop communication and ensure all pupils have access to all learning possibilities both in and out of the classroom.


Our Curriculum Intent is for pupils to learn more, do more and know more.


The Music curriculum has been purposefully built around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that there is a focus on high-quality development of children as musicians. The curriculum is carefully designed to build pupils’ musical knowledge and develop their competency and confidence as musicians.


Each block includes the study of significant musicians and musical works, with the intention of exposing pupils to a wide range of music that will inspire them and connect them to the world around them.

Core areas of study include singing, listening and appraising, composing and improvising and instrumental performance. These are built cumulatively throughout the curriculum to ensure that all pupils develop their engagement with, and knowledge of, music over time. This includes a focus on learning to play a range of instruments confidently.


The Music Curriculum aims to build a strong and rich musical culture in our school, so that pupils can thrive.


There is a strong emphasis on the language that pupils need to explore their own musicality. This is carefully and deliberately planned so that pupils revisit and embed

this knowledge over time. Clear structures and learning routines underpin the Music curriculum. This allows pupils to direct their cognitive attention to the core content in each block.

Knowledge Notes are used to support instruction and the revisiting of new concepts.

This strong focus on cognitive science provides the framework for pupils to deepen and broaden pupils’ knowledge of music and become confident, inspired musicians.

Year 1:

• Exploring emotions through singing and performing as a choir.

• Exploring pitch, tempo, rhythm, pulse and dynamics by playing tuned and untuned percussion instruments.

• Using graphic notation to record simple compositions.

• Responding to different music by listening carefully.


Year 2:

• Singing as a choir by learning to control voices (pitch and dynamics)

• Composing using tuned and un-tuned instruments, exploring tempo, dynamics and ostinato.

• Using stick notation to record simple compositions.

• Listening carefully to a range of music from different genres


Year 3:

• Singing in parts as an ensemble (such as rounds)

• Singing a variety of songs from different genres, focusing on The History of Music.

• Mastering the glockenspiel: introducing musical staff and using it when composing.

• Exploring time signatures and mastering rhythm.

• Performing as ensembles with a range of instruments.


Year 4:

• Introducing texture when singing, by using harmonies.

• Learning about the history of music when singing for entertainment (in musicals / opera / film etc) • Using standard musical notation to follow beats in a bar when playing percussion instruments

• Using musical staff to compose and then perform using a glockenspiel.


Year 5:

• Identifying the structure of songs when performing (verse, chorus, bridge)

• Using technology to alter and/or improve a singing performance

• Playing the keyboard – following musical notation, improvising using short, repeated patterns, performing compositions

• Playing and composing with a range of other musical instruments


Year 6:

• Singing a range of songs with cultural and social lyrics, using all of the skills learned in previous year groups.

• Playing the keyboard – composing, improvising and performing (solo / ensemble) thinking about timbre, duration, texture and structure

• Using music technology to alter tempo and rhythm and to create effects


Pitch: High and low sounds

Pulse: A steady beat

Rhythm: Patterns that happen over the beat

Tempo: The speed of the music

Dynamics: The volume of the music

Texture: How layers of sound are put together

Structure: How a piece of music is built

Timbre: The sound quality of certain instruments

Duration: The length of sounds – how long they are sustained for

Solo: One person performing

Ensemble: A group of people performing

Staff: The five horizontal lines and spaces where musical notes are written down

Graphic notation: Pictures and diagrams used to represent particular musical sounds

Bar: A small segment of music that holds a certain number of beats

Time signature: How many beats there are in each bar

How do pupils learn?

Students develop an understanding of themselves as musicians through listening, playing, analysing, performing and composing music across a variety of musical styles, periods and genres. Music lessons are spaced out weekly to allow for repetition and retrieval of learning. 


Students have opportunities to attend performances in school and in wider cultural settings as well as to perform themselves.  We also have a mixed-age school choir and provide opportunities for pupils to attend musical instrument tuition.   Pupils in Year 4 learn to play a musical instrument under the tuition of the Norfolk Music Service.

How does the curriculum progress?

Progression within the music curriculum allows children to build on their musical experiences and tacit musical knowledge through frequent opportunities to hear, play and perform music. Children build on their skill playing instruments and singing as well as their knowledge of music history, styles and composers.

Links to other learning

Singing, songwriting and composing are linked to learning in other subjects where appropriate for example Year 1 use songs such as The Continent Song and The Oceans Song which helps embed knowledge in the children's memory.