Music Curriculum Overview

Key Stage 1

Pupils should be taught to use their voices expressively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. They should be taught to play tuned and untuned instruments, rehearse and perform with others and create musical patterns

Pupils should be taught how to:

  • explore, choose and organise sounds and musical ideas
  • explore and express their ideas and feelings about music using movement, dance and expressive and musical language
  • make improvements to their own work
  • to listen with concentration and to internalise and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • combine musical elements of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and silence can be organised and used expressively within simple structures
  • sounds can be made in different ways and described using given and invented signs and symbols


They should experience:


Listen and respond


Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake


  • Key Stage 1
Year 1

Listen and respond

Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf

Music @Malling Festival


Peter and the Wolf

Sounds of the Sea

Sing and perform

Sea Shanties and seaside songs

Songs from around the world

Year 2

Listening and identifying instruments; link to drama

Saint Saens: Carnival of the Animals


Carnival of the Animals

Composing animal songs

Sing and perform



  • a range of musical activities that integrate performing, composing and appraising
  • responding to a range of musical and non-musical starting points
  • working on their own, in groups of different sizes and as a class
  • a range of live and recorded music from different times and cultures


Key Stage 2

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • 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 drawnfrom different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.


Key Stage 2
Year 3

History of Music

Person Study: Mozart


Play and Perform

 Storytelling to music

Improvise and Compose


Year 4

History of music


Playing and Performance


Improvise and Compose

Music from India

Year 5

History of Music

Person Study:  Vivaldi

 (Baroque 1678-1741)

Playing and Performing


Improvise and Compose

Soundscapes: Rainforest

Graphic Scores

Year 6

History of Music

(1900-1990 Modern)

Playing and Performance

 Summer production 

Improvise and Compose