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What your child learns in Key Stage 2 music

Find out what your child will be taught in music lessons and how to build on that at home with your budding musician.

In Key Stage 2 music, your child will be contributing to group or class performances as pupils are encouraged to be aware of how sounds are combined and how they relate to each other. Teachers will offer a variety of music and stimuli to help pupils to improvise and develop their own musical compositions with increasing independence and creativity.

Children explore their thoughts and feelings through responding physically, intellectually and emotionally to a variety of different kinds of music from different times and cultures.

Lesson examples

Here are some of the kinds of things your child might get up to in music classes:

  • Year 3 children combine movement and sound by creating sounds and movements to describe an animal.
  • Year 4 children learn to improvise simple tunes by using chime or tone bars to make up and play simple five- or seven-note melodies.
  • Year 5 children discuss differences in timbre (open and closed), duration (long and short) and dynamics (loud and quiet). They listen to the recordings of drumming from India, Africa and other parts of the world and talk about the way these sounds are made.
  • Year 6 keep a diary of phrases they hear each other say often which they later use to write their own songs. The teacher reminds them that it’s fine to repeat and change the order of the words.

Help your child at home

  • Try to expose your child to as wide a variety of music as you can. Attend music concerts of all types.
  • Ask your child to listen to the music played while you are out in shops, restaurants and other public places. Do they notice any differences between the types of music played in different places?
  • Play music while your child is doing homework, chores, completing a puzzle or other similar activities. Ask your child to choose what they think is most appropriate for each type of activity.
  • Encourage your child to learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Suggest your child rewrites the words to a favourite song. The process involves the same composition skills they will use at school.
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