How We Teach Music


‘Music lessons should be musical. That means pupils and students should make music in them, just as they should mainly do active physical activity in PE, or speak French in French lessons. So, in your school’s music lessons, when does the music start? How much practical music making is there?’ (Music Mark, 2014)

At Crosslee Community Primary School, we ensure all children have access to a music curriculum which engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and gives them the ability to grow their talent as musicians. In doing so we increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement 


On entry to school, most children will have an awareness of rhythm, pitch and sounds around them. These schemas are built upon throughout their time at Crosslee with new learning connecting to prior knowledge, creating long term memories. Children are taught Music through: essential knowledge (fact-based), procedural knowledge (skills-based), and tacit knowledge (experiential-based).


We use the Charanga Musical School Scheme which supports all the requirements of the National Curriculum and promotes an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. The interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through listening and appraising, differing musical activities (including creating and exploring) and performing.

Lessons are carefully sequenced and progressive from Early Years to Year six. Each unit of work comprises the strands of musical learning which correspond with the National Curriculum for music. Lessons have the same repetitive structure in order to manage children’s cognitive load. The structure is as follows :

  1. Listening and Appraising
  2. Musical Activities
  3. Warm-up Games
  4. Optional Flexible Games
  5. Singing
  6. Playing instruments
  7. Improvisation
  8. Composition
  9. Performing

The units of work enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills.  Throughout their time at Crosslee Primary children develop their skills by performing, composing, appraising and listening with a focus on exploring the range of genres to enhance their cultural capital.  


In EYFS children are taught to: 

  •  develop the singing voice
  •  play instruments
  •  respond to music

In KS1 children are taught to:

  •  develop singing/chants/rhymes
  •  play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  •  listen to and appraise live and recorded music building on the vocabulary of music
  •  Experiment with and create sounds building a cognitive structure of musical composition.

In KS2 children are taught to: 

  •  increase accuracy/fluency in singing – develop two-part singing
  •  play instruments in ensembles/solo/have opportunities to perform
  •  Listen to and appraise live and recorded music building on the vocabulary of music through previous year group’s schemes. 
  • 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.
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music related to cross curricular subjects Art, History etc.  

We believe that all children have a right to a good quality education (Art. 28 UNICEF Charter) and should have an opportunity to access the curriculum of their year group so they can become well-rounded citizens. We adapt our curriculum and pedagogy to meet the needs of all of our children, inclusive of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We have developed a toolkit of strategies to support children with difficulties in Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health; Communication and Language and Physical impairments in order for them to access and progress in Music lessons alongside their peers. We also provide an additional ‘Anyone can Play’ scheme to children in our Incredible’s room.


 Find out more on your child's Musics Units using the following links:

Inclusion in Music

KS1 Music styles and Cross-Curricular Links 

KS2 Music styles and Cross-Curricular Links

Contact us

Crosslee Primary School

Crosslee Road


Manchester, M9 6TG

0161 795 8493