Free Music Lessons Key Stage 1

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Here are 6 of the 168 lesson plans from Active Music and 14 of the 500+ activities given to you with notations and explanations. I have chosen to give you Rhythm and Pulse for Year 2 as a Key Stage 1 example. I have also provided you with the National Curriculum targets covered when teaching them. All the activities with track numbers are provided on DVD when Active Music is purchased. DON’T FORGET YOU CAN START YOUR FREE TRIAL TODAY – WWW.ACTIVEMUSICDIGITAL.CO.UK.

Objectives overview Rhythm and Pulse Year 2

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 1

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 2

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 3

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 4

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 5

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 Lesson 6

Rhythm and Pulse Year 2 – National Curriculum


Boom chick-a-boom

Who has a brother?

Hi, my name’s Jo

Grandma, Grandma

The drum game and Copy me

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea

Tony Chestnut

Pease pudding hot

Diddle diddle dumpling

Ding dong

Bow wow wow

The Echo man

The cookie jar

Goodbye everyone



 Pulse in music is the same as the beat. Pulse can be explained as being like a regular heartbeat. It may be fast or slow but it remains regular throughout the piece of music. The best way for children to understand it is to have it demonstrated practically with an action, such as tapping your chest to the pulse while singing or chanting.   Most of the activities within this set of lessons involve the children actively keeping a pulse as part of a game.

Pulse needs to be practiced continually with all children because it serves as a foundation for all musical skills.

 One way to describe rhythm is that it follows the pattern of the words. This is very simplisticand many pieces of music do not have words, but if the children think of a songand clap along with the words they will immediately see that what they are clapping is different to the pulse. Many of the activities within this set of lessons involve clearly experiencing the difference between the rhythm and the pulse so that the children gain a clear, practical understanding.

In these lesson plans we use rhythm names rather than conventional names for rhythms.  Rhythm names work well as each note value has a name that fits with its duration. See ‘teacher notes’ for examples.

In the majority of these games and activities the children are continually interacting and involved. The games, by nature, are also very inclusive and lend themselves well to diverse ability levels.

All the songs and games within this set of lessons contain many different musical elements, but each has been specifically chosen with the focus of working on pulse and developing rhythmic skills.

Taken from the inspired musical approach derived by Zoltan Kodaly, the children first learn and play the songs and games repeatedly. They then use the rhythm patterns from chants and songs they already know to begin to learn the rhythms and their names.

I recommend that teachers start with Rhythm and Pulse because it lays a secure foundation for further musical development. The musical skills learnt in this set are carried forward into the Pitch for Key Stage 1 lesson plans and the Instrumental for Key Stage 1 lesson plans.

The skill levels develop from one year group to the next, so progression is even and visible. It is beneficial to keep revisiting the games and activities from these lesson plans throughout the year.

Some teachers like to follow the plans to the letter and others like to use them as a foundation, adding ideas of their own as they become more confident. Whichever approach you adopt, I hope these plans will be helpful to both you and your children.

Sally Wagter

 For more information on further lesson plans and other resources, INSETS, courses etc, please visit


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