Subject leader

Miss Stock is responsible for Music. This means ensuring there is an ambitious curriculum set, supporting teachers to implement it through high-quality lessons and checking that everything is helping children to know more, remember more and do more.

If you would like more information in addition to that published on this page, please email:

Purpose of Study

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.


The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

    • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians

    • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence

    • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Oakfield's Approach


We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Inquisitive - Pupils should ask questions about different genres of music and be curious about composers from different time periods.

  • Creative - Pupils should create content that is worth sharing, as well learn from and enjoy the content from others.

  • Resilient - Writing compositions can be frustrating, and takes time to master.


We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children are encouraged to ask questions and listen to music from different eras.

  • Content is taught progressively through 8 ‘threshold concepts’ these are the ‘big ideas’ we want all children to know.

  • A range of musical resources are used to help children develop their own musical compositions that they are proud of.


We will have made a difference when ...

  • All pupils ask questions - they are inquisitive about deepening their musical knowledge and skills further, and to gain an understanding how music has developed through several centuries.

  • All value and enjoy the curriculum we offer - they tell us this.

  • All pupils understand the sequence to creating their own music, therefore demonstrating a clear understanding of the ‘threshold concepts'.

Threshold Concepts

These are our big takeaways called ‘threshold concepts’ - an overview of what we want pupils to know. They are the same for every year group and help us to ensure we build learning on the same ideas, that way we help children to be able to remember more meaningful connections rather than remembering isolated facts.

  1. Singing - Singers perform music that can be sung alone or with others, often with musical instruments to accompany them.

  2. Performance - Sharing your music with an audience is called performing, it comes with lots of practice.

  3. Pulse & Rhythm - A pulse is steady beat. Rhythm is a pattern of sounds.

  4. Composition - People who create music are called composers.

  5. Notation - Composers write their music on a score using special symbols which tell musicians how and what to play.

  6. Music Appreciation - When listening to music, musicians can pick out specific parts and explain why they might be there.

  7. Listening - Listening to different types of music helps musicians to understand what they might or might not like.

  8. Significant People - A composer is a person who writes a piece of music, their music is still famous today.

Progression on a Page ...

Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.

Year R

  • Children will sing songs daily to develop their language and listening skills and to practise matching rhythm and pitch.

  • They will learn a new song every week which is linked to their learning.

  • Children will have continuous access to the' Music and Movement' trolley with a number of instruments and resources to explore and to create their own music. These instruments will be changed half termly with teachers demonstrating how to use the instruments over the half term, giving the children a strong foundation of knowledge of how to use different instruments.

  • They will listen to different music everyday when coming in from lunch and will have different music to help calm down after a busy time learning.

Year 1

  • Children will learn to sing traditional songs, nursery rhymes and chants clearly.

  • They will play and sing pieces of music, starting and finishing together.

  • As well as copying a simple rhythm by clapping or using percussion.

  • Finally they will be taught to listen to a piece of music, identifying basic features.

Year 2

Children will be taught to ...

  • Sing simple songs and chants with a sense of melody and shape.

  • Play tuned and untuned percussion instruments and use your voice with awareness of others.

  • Play a range of rhythms and pulses and identify the differences between them.

  • Create, select and combine layers of sound and vocalisations with awareness of the effect.

  • Recognise and respond to simple notation.

  • Listen and respond with movement, words and pictures to a range of high-quality live and recorded music that tell a story.

  • Describe how an instrument has been used to represent a sound, animal or object.

  • Describe the lives and music of composers studied.

Year 3

Children will be taught to ...

  • Use their voice in different ways, including using a loud or soft voice, and identify simple repeated patterns.

  • Play or sing a part with increased control, fluency, expression and accuracy on tuned and untuned instruments.

  • Identify a pulse in a piece of music, realising that two, three, four or more beats to the bar can be counted.

  • Improvise and compose sequences of sounds and vocals and record them using notes or pictures.

  • Recognise and respond to invented musical notation and symbols.

  • Listen and respond to pieces of music written around the same theme.

  • Recognise and describe sounds and changes in a piece of music using musical vocabulary.

  • Describe the lives and music of romantic composers.

Year 4

Children will be taught to ...

  • Sing songs accurately, both solo and as part of an ensemble.

  • Play or sing music from notation and memory, with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and protect themselves.

  • Play and create repeated rhythmic patterns.

  • Improvise and compose a sequence of sounds and vocals for different instruments and record them using standard or invented notation.

  • Play or sing simple melodies from standard and invented musical notation and symbols.

  • Compare and evaluate different genres of music using appropriate musical vocabulary.

  • Describe how different instruments are used throughout a piece of music to add interest and meaning.

  • Describe the lives and music of famous popular musicians from the late 20th century.

Year 5

Children will be taught to ...

  • Maintain a part within an ensemble when singing in a round or in harmony.

  • Maintain their part in a performance with confidence, accuracy, fluency, control and expression, and with an awareness of what others are playing or singing.

  • Compose and perform a short piece of music, using a range of musical techniques, including an ostinato.

  • Create a composition that combines layers of sound and vocalisations and shows an awareness of pitch, tempo, rhythm, melody and dynamics.

  • Use musical notation to perform and write music.

  • Use descriptive words and relevant musical vocabulary when talking about the elements of live or recorded music within a piece.

  • Explain how pitch, tempo, rhythm, melody, dynamics and major and minor tonality have been used to create particular feelings in the listener.

  • Describe the lives and music of famous Baroque composers.

Year 6

Children will be taught to ...

  • Use gesture and expression to create a finished, polished performance.

  • Take the lead in instrumental or singing performances and provide suggestions to others.

  • Play and create pieces of music with a clear understanding of pulse and rhythm.

  • Compose and perform a group score using a wide variety of timbres, textures, rhythms and motifs.

  • Use features of musical notation when composing.

  • Identify and explain patterns and motifs in live and recorded music that provoke feelings in the listener.

  • Listen to and comment on a wide range of genres and musical styles using a broad musical vocabulary.

  • Describe the lives and music of famous classical composers.

Detailed Progression in Music

1e - Threshold Concepts - Music.pdf