Subject leader

Miss Lycett 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 - children ask questions about different genres of music and are curious about composers from different time periods.

  • Creative - children love to compose and enjoy compositions from others.

  • Resilient - writing compositions and learning notation can be frustrating, and takes time to master.

  • Practical - children use physical instruments and are given time to explore the different sounds these make.


We will do this by ensuring ...

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

  • Children have a broad and balanced curriculum and learn about the process of music and what other composers have gone through to be successful.

  • Children are given time to create, edit and reflect on their compositions.

  • 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 ...

  • Children are curious - they want to learn about a range of musicians from different cultures and eras.

  • Children are inventors - they enjoy the process and create meaningful compositions.

  • Children can create purposefully - they reflect and consciously evaluate what they do to improve and be their best musical selves.

  • Children can use the resources confidently and can explain why they have chosen certain instruments in their compositions, as well as why other composers have used certain instruments.

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.

Year 1 - Autumn

Call and response

Children will sing the response melody in time and learn how to sing a response melody with awareness of pitch.

Year 1 - Spring

Graphic scores

Children will learn that notation can be represented by pictures and symbols. They will use this to write their own graphic scores based on the seasons.

Year 1 - Summer


Children will experiment with their voices and body percussion to compose a short piece of music that portrays an animal. They will build on this by using a range of instruments to portray their chosen animal.

Year 2 - Autumn

Singing / Composing

This term children will learn to sing songs using different pitch, volume and tempo. We will listen to different pieces of music to pick out different features, and begin to compose our own music.

Year 2 - Spring

Instruments - Percussion

Significant People - Composers

Linking to our learning about the coast, children will learn about key composers and how they use percussion. Children will create their own rhythms using beats and percussion.

Year 2 - Summer

Listening / Performing - Animals

We will use our learning about animals to think about the carnival of the animals. We will listen to music and think about the composer's choices in regard to the dynamics of the music. We will create and perform our own music based on animals.

Year 3 - Autumn


Inspired by the composer Steve Reich, children will be composing their own minimalist songs using rhythm and layers.

Year 3 - Autumn


Linking to our geography topic, children will listen to and appraise music from around the world.

Year 3 - Spring


Linking to our book study, The Iron Man, children will improvise and compose a soundtrack to go with the story.

Year 3 - Summer

Performing Roman Songs

Children will play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control. Children will learn and perform Roman themed songs.

Children will appreciate music from great composers and musicians. The children in Year 3 will be listening to The Planets by Holtz.

Year 3 - Summer


Children will appreciate music from great composers and musicians. The children in Year 3 will be listening to The Planets by Holtz.

Year 4 - Autumn

Pulse and Rhythm

Children are to listen to a piece of music and identify the rhythm

  • To internalize pulse

  • To develop ensemble skills to compose rhythm to a piece of music.

Year 4 - Autumn


Singing songs using their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.

Year 4 - Spring


The children will perform with confidence, accuracy, fluency, control and expression to an audience.

Year 4 - Summer

Composition and Notation

Children are to compose their own type of music. They are to experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Year 4 - Summer

Music Appreciation and Listening

To listen to different genres and discuss their personal music choice. The children are to listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.

Year 5 - Autumn

Pulse & Rhythm

In this unit, children will learn about the pentatonic scale and how this was used during ancient civilisations to create music. The children will compose their own pieces, using the glockenspiel, considering rhythm.

Year 5 - Autumn

Composition and Notation

The children will learn to compose and write notation for a soundtrack that could be played as part of the upcoming Hindu ‘Holi’ festival. Children will explore how different sounds can represent spring and record their notation using some musical notation symbols.

Year 5 - Spring

Significant People

During this term, the children will study significant composers from the Baroque period, such as Vivaldi. The children will apply their listening and appreciation skills to compare the composers, as well as explore why they were significant in the composition of music during this time period.

Year 5 - Spring

Music appreciation and listening

The children will learn to sing in rounds and to use different harmonies when performing together. This will form their singing parts for the end of year production.

Year 5 - Summer

Singing / Performance

In this unit, children will focus on their performance techniques and how they can project and change their voices when performing as a group. This will link with their performance in the end of year production.

Year 6 - Autumn


In this unit, children will focus on their performance techniques and how they can project and change their voices when performing as a group. This will link with their performance in the end of year production.

Year 6 - Autumn

Rhythm & Pulse

Linking to our science learning, listen to and perform a range of rhythms and pulse, matching our circulatory system.

Year 6 - Spring

Singing & Performance

Create a piece of music to perform and sing, accompanied by musical instruments. This will be introduced through our topic of the Titanic.

Year 6 - Spring


Write a piece of music using the correct notation, focusing on an electronic & techno genre.

Year 6 - Summer

Music appreciation and listening

Perform a piece of music to an audience, adopting a call and response technique to engage the listeners.

Year 6 - Summer

Significant People

Identify and appreciate significant musicians and explore their impact on societal change.

Detailed Progression in Music

1e - Threshold Concepts - Music.pdf