Music National Curriculum levels explained – level 1


Music curriculum level 1





RECOGNISE AND EXPLORE HOW SOUNDS CAN BE MADE AND CHANGED – children to explore voice, body percussion and instrumental sounds and  to experiment with how they can do things differently to make different sounds.

KEEP A STEADY PULSE – Play a steady drum beat for the child to clap to or listen to music with a steady pulse and ask the child to hear the pulse and show you with actions. If their pulse is steady and regular they have mastered it.

REPEAT SHORT RHYTHMIC PATTERNS – Clap a short rhythm pattern for the child to clap back.

RECOGNISE HIGH AND LOW NOTES – Play high and low notes on various instruments for the child to listen to. Ask him to demonstrate his recognition by holding his hands high or low – or using his whole body to stand up or crouch down.

RECOGNISE LOUD AND SOFT NOTES – Ask the child to think of a signal for loud and soft. Play or sing some music changing the volume and ask the child to demonstrate what you are doing by moving his hands accordingly.

SPEAK, SING, CHANT – keep notes on the child’s ability to do all 3. Speaking is obviously the easiest, unless the child has a specific developmental issue.  Chanting requires a feeling of rhythm in the words, which is more of a musical skill. This needs to be heard and felt. Singing requires knowing the difference between speaking and singing and demonstrating a pitch level in the voice. A good exercise for this is to take a chant, speak it, sing it on one note, then two notes etc.

CREATE AND CHOOSE SOUNDS – Depending on the remit, the child chooses instruments to represent specific sounds and uses them – or their voices – creatively for an intended effect.

PERFORM WITH AWARENESS OF OTHERS – Keeping a steady pulse, singing at the same time as the rest of the group, listening to each other, starting at the same time, etc.

RECOGNISE DIFFERENT MOODS IN MUSIC – Play a variety of different recorded music and discuss the differences – how the music makes the child feel – Children can discuss emotions, move to the music or even draw in response to a variety of musical styles.

TAKE ACCOUNT OF MUSICAL INSTRUCTIONS – Follow your symbols of when to start and stop singing and how loud or soft to sing, for example.

Music teaching can be easy!


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