Music National Curriculum levels explained – level 2

Music level 2





RECOGNISE HOW SOUNDS CAN BE ORGANISED – how rhythms can be notated in stick notation and melody added etc. How sounds can be chosen for specific remits and put into an order – beginning, middle and end, creating compositions.

SING WITH A SENSE OF SHAPE OF THE MELODY – This does not mean singing completely in tune, but being able to follow the basic direction of the melody as it rises and falls.  Some will obviously be able to sing in tune at this stage but most should be able to follow the shape of the melody to differing degrees. It’s worth asking children to sing solos and keeping notes.

PERFORM SIMPLE PATTERNS AND ACCOMPANIMENTS KEEPING TO 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. They ideally need to show they can do this without you leading. To play patterns to a pulse they can repeat rhythm patterns you give them to the pulse of the drum.

REPEAT RHYTHMIC PATTERNS – Clap a short rhythm pattern for the child to clap back. If they achieve this accurately, make the pattern longer. Most children should be able to clap back a 4-beat pattern at this stage although a few will not ‘get it’. Depending on the amount of practise they have had, many should also be able to clap back 8-beat patterns.  Again, it’s worth keeping notes.

ORDER SOUNDS WITHIN STRUCTURES – Choosing sounds for specific remits and deciding when to play them, to create effective compositions. (Creative Curriculum)  Giving children blank graphic scores and asking them to fill in different patterns for different sounds also works well as they have the outer structure and are ordering the sounds within it.

REPRESENT SOUNDS WITH SYMBOLS – Rhythm names, a few note names – C D E F G or solfa symbols for pitch,  – S L M, depending on which they have learnt. Alternatively they can make up patterns within graphic scores or make up their own notations.

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

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.


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