What is Music?

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.

Our definition for KS2- Music is the creative understanding and composition of sounds.

Our definition for Foundation and KS1- Music is exploring and experimenting with sounds.

Musical enquiry allows children to become immersed in a language that we can all speak, providing us with an alternative way of communicating. Exposure to music enables children to develop an appreciation of what they hear, how it makes them feel and how it can increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Music exercises the brain in a different way to other subjects and yet compliments the rest of the curriculum beautifully. It enables every child to take part, succeed and most importantly enjoy. Music can be enjoyed individually yet can bring people together, connecting us, creating bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”


Through our music curriculum we aim to widen our children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of music by listening, singing, playing, composing and evaluating through a variety of genres, historical periods, traditions and the work of great composers and musicians. We are committed to ensuring our children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and are able to use their musical skills and experiences to immerse themselves in music, in a variety of contexts. We want our children to develop their own appreciation of music and, through the opportunities we provide, enable their curiosity to grow. We do this through the three main concepts of music; performing, composing and listening and responding.

Through our teaching we consistently aim to raise awareness of music as a subject and as a potential career option for the future. The children should leave our school knowing the many different career pathways for musicians.

They should become excited and curious by music and eager to learn more, questioning what they have learnt so far. They should be able to discuss how pieces of music make them feel and how music can be used as a form of expression. The children should be fully invested in the purpose of their learning and engaged through the use of instruments, technology, and making links to their experiences. Through using Charanga Music School, the children will access and become expert in playing specific instruments, predominantly the recorder and glockenspiel. Our children should not be limited by their starting points or life experiences. We will make music make a difference.

How do we teach Music?

Music is taught for the duration of 18 hours a year, using Charanga Music School alongside our own detailed subject unit plans created by the music subject leader. We allow the children to develop their own ideas and develop their skills through carefully posed questions and the sources we use. We conduct a pre-assessment before a topic to understand their knowledge and skills on a subject. We begin each lesson by listening to the work of a musical composer. Each year group will be exposed to a different composer, allowing a deeper understanding of historical musicians, leading to more current musicians. To enhance our learning and to stimulate the imagination we try to relate our lessons to the children’s own experiences and interests in our topics.

Our topics are structured so that the children can work through 3 key concepts of music;

Performing, Composing and Listening and Responding. This is how we define them:

Performing- using music to convey artistic expression.

Composing- the creation of music through the medium of sound.

Listening and Responding- expressing our appreciation of the sounds around our world.

We structure our curriculum using whole school topics and we focus on specific subjects in blocks over a number of weeks. This enables us to go deeper into subjects and to make meaningful connections with other subjects.

In the Foundation Stage children develop crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world and form the foundation for work in Key Stage 1. They will:

  • be introduced to a wide range of music and begin to explore the differing sounds of instruments.
  • build up a repertoire of songs and dances.
  • listen carefully to music and tap a simple repeated rhythm.
  • anticipate changes in music, identifying when sounds get louder, quieter, faster, slower.

In Key Stage 1, Music continues the understanding begun in the Foundation Stage. Children will:

  •  use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.
  • play tuned and un-tuned instruments musically.
  •  listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

In Key Stage 2, pupils build on the exploration and experimentation of music in Key Stage 1 and further this by growing a deeper understanding of musical elements. Children will:

  • 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.