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In Early years, the children explore how to make a range of sounds with both their voice and with instruments. 



In year 1 the children build upon their previous learning as they begin to apply their learning of long and short sounds, loud and soft sounds, in their own compositions. This composition will likely be using a percussive untuned instrument and display the children's learning through a short sequence of sounds in response to a stimuli. The children will not only compose their own rhythm, but retain and recall their pattern and perform it to others. 


The children use untuned instruments to perform their own rhythm, making loud and soft sounds.

In year 2, the children will move on to working in partners as they improvise simple question and answer phrases, these may be sung or played on untuned percussive instruments. The children will begin to illustrate their compositions using graphic symbols and notation to keep a record of their compositions. It is important in year 2 that the children begin to show greater control when using an instrument in order to create an intended effect.



The children create their own question and answer rhythms using paper plates as a drum.

Loud and soft sounds

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Loud and soft sounds

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Year 2 using simple notation to write their melodies.

Year 2 performing their melodies by following their written notes.

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In year 3, the children become more skilled in improvising, inventing 'on-the-spot' using a limited note-range. At this point, the children have the choice of using their voice, tuned and un-tuned percussion and instruments played in whole-class teaching e.g. ukuleles. The children will begin to structure their musical ideas to create music that tells as story with a beginning, middle and end. The stimuli that inspires their compositions will vary e.g. stories, images, painting, videos, and within their compositions the children will combine all the different inter-related dimensions of music they have learnt so far (e.g. fast, slow, high, low, loud, soft).



Fantasia piano compositions

Jai year 3

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Year 4 brings a greater technicality to the children's compositions as they expand their scope and range of musical skills. The children will be taught the value of different notes (e.g. minim, crotchet, crotchet rest and quavers). They will be introduced to major and minor chords, and 2, 3 and 4 beat phrases arranged in bars.  They will be expected to play and perform short melodic melodies including those using the pentatonic scale (C, D, E, F, G). 


Year 4 ukulele lessons