4140757Recently I was sent this letter from the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION and I think it is all very positive…this is what it says:

Ministers are committed to giving schools more freedom over the National Curriculum. The New National Curriculum will be developed in line with the Government’s stated principles of freedom, responsibility and fairness – to raise standards for all children.

Ministers are determined to slim down the National Curriculum so that it properly reflects the body of essential knowledge which children should learn. Individual schools should have greater freedom to develop approaches to learning and study which helps us to catch up with high-performing nations.

The New National Curriculum will set out only the essential knowledge that children should acquire, and leave teachers to decide how to teach this most effectively and to design a wider school curriculum that best meets the needs of their pupils.

The National Curriculum will continue to be a requirement for maintained schools, but will also retain its importance as a national benchmark of excellence for all schools, providing parents with an understanding of what their child should be expected to know at every stage in their school career.

There is a lot of talk on freedom and teachers being allowed to decide . I also like the element of not overloading the curriculum with unnecessary protocol.  I think this is good news!!




primarymusicspecialist.comJust to reassure you, ACTIVE MUSIC is totally in alignment with the 2014 Music National Curriculum as it stands.  The content will not change, but we will be bringing out new discs with updated links to the new National curriculum and some extension lesson plans for Key Stage 2 on teaching the stave (as it is a new aspect stipulated).  If you decide to buy Active Music at this point (from November 10th 2013) we will email you when the New Curriculum comes into play and will SEND YOU THE NEW DISCS and EXTENDED LESSON PLANS FOR FREE!

You can BUY and USE ACTIVE MUSIC now and continue using it when the 2014 New National Curriculum comes into play.  The music skills are the same and isn’t it better to get started now on developing your children’s musical skills than to wait for a change in paperwork? Your children will thank you!

2014 New Music National Curriculum – slimmed down and more freedom!

I’m excited about the New National Curriculum because it gives teachers a lot more freedom to pursue music in the way they want to for their school.  There’s less exacting protocol.  All the practical music-making skills are still there of course – as they should be – and Active Music still covers them all. More to come on this subject soon!

Aiming to be the best music teacher ever!

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

interactive drumming

interactive drumming

My aim with this blog is to help you become the best music teacher ever!  There are many free lessons and DVDs to inspire you and get you started, as well as lots of information on report writing, the National Curriculum and assessment.

Let me guess though – the thing you need THE MOST as a Primary Music Specialist is REPERTOIRE!!!  Everyone needs more repertoire, don’t they!  You want games and activities and easy ways to create compositions… You need ways to engage your children and create successful music lessons.

I would like to encourage you to have a FREE TRIAL of ACTIVE MUSIC – you can’t lose and you will be amazed at the amount of repertoire and new ideas that can really help you in your classroom music.

3335292If you are considering the course on 31st Jan in Hillingdon, London, it would be great to see you – the day is very practical and amazing fun!

I would love to know more about you – your job, what you love and what you struggle with – so please feel free to reply to me and share your situation – and I will do my best to help.

Take care,


Great improvisation game…

This is a simple but very effective way to teach improvisation and it can be made as easy or complex as you like, depending on the needs of your group.

Studio shoot for the Interactive Music Club taken on 28/06/09The very easiest version:  The children sit in a circle without instruments.  The whole group chant ‘1,2,3,4’, in time to a steady pulse, then immediately the first child says or claps a 4-beat rhythm.  This is followed immediately by the group chanting ‘1,2,3,4’, then the next child saying or clapping a 4-beat rhythm. The aim is to keep it going without stopping.  The group chanting keeps the performance in time and gives the less confident members a good feel for the 4 beats they need to improvise to.  It is also fun for the group to whisper the ‘1,2,3,4’ as it gives a difference in dynamics between the group and the soloist.

Extensions can easily be made by chanting 1 – 8 and individuals improvising 8-beat patterns.  A great variation is then for the group to chant a regular 8-beat rhythm pattern instead of just chanting the numbers – or for the soloists to have instruments. The varieties are endless…

Extension activities for the gifted and talented!


Multi-tasking! Pulse with one hand and rhythm with the other!

Multi-tasking! Pulse with one hand and rhythm with the other!


Have you ever thought about one of your favourite songs and tried tapping the pulse with one hand and the rhythm with the other?  WHY NOT TRY IT?!!

It comes more naturally to some than others.  It’s an excellent activity to give to a particularly talented child if he or she has covered the tasks you had planned for them and is hungry for more…

NEW! Primary music course – 13th JUNE 2014 BRIGHTON



‘Brilliantly useful’


‘It’s mindblowing how many games there are to use in the classroom’

Come along for:

  • Increased confidence in music teaching
  • Discussion about the NEW Music Curriculum in 2014
  • How to teach music skills progressively
  • 100 + of activities – songs, singing games and practical musical activities to teach immediately in the classroom
  • Tips on how to work towards outstanding music lessons
  • A refreshed love for music teaching

Receive a FREE singing games book and DVD of your choice – worth up to £34.99!

We have an ever-expanding repertoire of over 500 singing games and musical activities – but don’t worry, we don’t teach them to you all at once! We teach:

Singing game with xylophones

Singing game with xylophones

circle games,   name games

rhythm games,  pitch games

puppet games, instrumental games

Turn-taking games and many, many more! 

We then USE the games to teach musical skills such as notation and composition


‘Brilliantly useful – it’s mindblowing how many games there are to use in the classroom’ – ‘very engaging and practical’ – very enjoyable music course – great subject knowledge and pace – thank you’ – ‘excellent pack of resources and ideas’ – it has inreased my bank of songs, rhymes, games etc and improved my confidence’ – I like the many ways of using one song to develop musical skills’ – ‘I now have an overview of developing musical skills stage by stage’ – a practical approach to learning just as the children do’……

Course run by Sally Wagter, an experienced music specialist of 15 years, music trainer of 10 years and creator of 6 Primary Music Resource books and the Active Music Primary Music Teaching Scheme. Sally has a B/Ed (Hons) and a Professional Practice Certificate in the Kodaly Concept of Music Education accredited by Roehampton University.

Call Sally on 07963 431405 if you would like to attend or have any questions about the course,

For LASTING RESULTS IN YOUR CLASSROOM MUSIC, please join us on this fantastic one-day course.  Cost £99.00 per teacher.  FREE SINGING GAMES BOOK AND DVD. Call Sally on 07963 431405 or visit our contact page and send us an email.


Brighton& Hove Music & Arts Centre

There is free parking at the centre and it is 5 minutes walk from the nearest train station…


10 am until 4pm

Active Music is fully in alignment with the NEW 2014 Music National Curriculum

Hello! I just wanted to clarify for people who are unsure, that if you buy Active Music now, or are currently using it, it will still be fully in line with the NEW Music National Curriculum in 2014.

Active Music covers the MUSICAL SKILLS element of the Music National Curriculum:

The 2014 Curriculum for Key Stage 1 states that:

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play tuned and unturned instruments musically
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

We cover all of these in Key Stage 1.  Because we are focused on the specific music-making skills we do not cover the listening element or the ICT element, although many skills learnt within Active Music can be transferred to ICT.

The 2014 Curriculum for Key Stage 2 states that:

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

We cover all of these in Key Stage 2.  Again, because we are focused on the specific music-making skills we do not cover the listening element, the historical element or the ICT element, although many skills learnt within Active Music can be transferred to ICT.

Additions to Active Music with the New 2014 Curriculum will include activities to teach staff notation, which is not a requirement of the current National Curriculum.  These will be extensions of current lesson plans.

I hope this is helpful and gives you clarity.  Any questions, please phone me on 07963 431405 or email me at

Best wishes,  Sally…