Music-   Vision Statement and intent.



At Marlborough, we aim to encourage pupils to become creative and confident performers who grow in musical skill through their time at school. Through exposure to a wide range of musical stimuli and experiences, children will become inspired and motivated musicians.

Our pupils will be good listeners, composers, singers and performers who develop, through a variety of musical experiences, helping them to appreciate the universal language of music. Through music we will make links to the local community, wider community and beyond.

We aim to grow talented, engaged and skilled musicians who push themselves to connect to their audiences’ through being self-critical and being able to evolve. Music objectives and outcomes, like all subjects, form part of a meaningful and relevant learning journey. Through their time at Marlborough, we aim for our children to develop musical knowledge of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and notations. They will develop the skills to perform independently and co-operatively, communicating ideas well through the pieces of music they create.

At Marlborough, we believe that the music children make should be performed to audiences, some small and some much larger. Our school thrives because we create confident, energetic and passionate performers who engage with the music they are making and who grow in confidence and enthusiasm during their time through school. We have a wide range of music teachers who individually develop the skills in our musicians and allow them to grow at their own rate. We have concerts through the year to showcase our musicians and highlight their talents.

Through our investment in music and performance at Marlborough, we create children who are extremely unique, proud, decision makers, well rounded, passionate, confident and diverse individuals. We link performance and music largely to emotions and current situations that the children are facing. This is a safe way of ensuring we discuss feelings and worries, helping the children to feel balanced and better equipped to deal with their emotions.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm to life and to everything.”


At Marlborough, we develop a love of music and understanding of this subject through play, song, exploration and encouragement. The children link music with dance and explore which sounds are associated with various emotions, colour, animal, environment etc. They begin to learn about the universal language of music and can make their own suggestions about the music they like or dislike. They can discuss their own choices, stating how and why music makes them feel like this and how to make music using their own decision making.






In foundation stage, children will listen to music and respond with hand and body movements. They will sing a song and join in with a chant that gradually gets louder (First steps into looking at dynamics). Explore loud and quiet instrumental sounds and how we can play these.

Children will listen to poems and explore hand percussion sounds, which grow louder and quieter (dynamics). Children will compose a piece of music for a dance performance, exploring quiet and loud instrumental and vocal sounds to create a mood. Through performance they will make simple choices about what they like and dislike and what sounds they wish to produce. They will learn to work in small teams and create performances that ensure they grow in confidence and as musicians.

There will be opportunity to create and perform actions and play instruments to a steady beat or pulse. Children will select sounds and movements and use them expressively within a steady beat, following variable speeds. Children will learn to chant and sing ‘call and response’ patterns and join in with an African passing game using a strong beat that will start them off considering rhythms and repetition through song.

Year 1

During year one, children will build on skills learned in Foundation stage, considering how to listen and respond to the music made. Children will continue to give opinions about music, stating what they hear and how they respond.

Children will use more complex vocabulary and musical terms that link to what they are learning. During the year, the children develop an understanding of pitch through using movement, voices and instruments. They will develop their understanding of their knowledge of the instruments they used in reception and discuss which are the quiet and loud instruments.  Children will have the opportunity to discuss which instruments are higher or lower than others, identify contrasts of high and low pitches, and create chants, sounds and sequence of various pitch.

The children will explore beat further, and begin to look at more complex rhythms, linked to movement, body percussion and untuned instruments. They will combine steady beat with word rhythms, with various syllables, that combine to create their own repeated phrases that they can perform. Children will maintain a steady beat that enables them to layer these ostinatos (repeated phrases) in time. They will then continue to explore changes in tempo. This will show progression from last year when they learned about simple rhythms, pulse and establishing strong beat in isolation.

Towards the end of year one, the children will explore ways of using their voices expressively and develop skills of singing while performing actions to create an expressive story. They will begin to use pictures to remind them which sounds appear where and in which order when re playing a composition. The Children develop their performance skills and learn songs from around the world that incorporate skills in rhythm, pitch and dynamics that they have built up through year 1 and reception. Through this performance, they will make more choices, chose rhythms and work more as a team to make music that others will enjoy listening to. Through festival on the field and other performances too, such as Christmas celebrations, the children will be expected to work on producing pieces that an audience (small or much larger) engage in.


Year 2

During year 2, the children develop an understanding of pitch that builds on their basic understanding from year 1. The children will not just state if a sound or noise is lower or higher, they will begin to use tuned instruments and can learn a repetitive ostinato to independently play. Using their listening skills they will learn to order several sounds relating to pitch. Through movement, songs and listening games, the children will become familiar with pitch shapes (visually representing the sounds as a sketch when writing down their own compositions) and perform them in a variety of musical arrangements.

During year 2, children will explore steady beat that allows them to independently create rhythmic patterns that are linked to a theme. This will build on their skills established in year one and allow them to make their own choices with regard to beats, durations and speeds. They will learn to play unique patterns in time, from a range of sources, and create pieces using their own ideas. Opportunities will be provided to listen back and evaluate their work so the children can learn to be critical and discuss how to improve with support.

The children are introduced to famous pieces to stimulate compositional ideas and their own starting points when using tuned and untuned percussion. Later this year, year 2 will create a storyboard that links to famous pieces of music to pictorially explain what happens and how the music is interpreted. To apply these skills they will create a piece that contains sound effects, and develops their own ideas using voices and percussion to retell the story.

Children will build on their pictorial, graphic score notation in year 1 and begin to use simple methods to score rhythms in their compositions. They will look at the beat values and show rhythms, linking these to syllables in words. The children play, create and combine rhythms using percussion and other instruments to create a performance to playback and evaluate.

During year 2, the children’s performance skills will be developed further, through taking the lead in the KS1 play and taking part in their third festival on the field. The year 2 children will build on performances in music by using percussion instruments through the range of units they are taught. The children will grow in confidence and independence, making their own choices and embracing the stage showing more of their personality.


Year 3

In year 3 the children learn to sing and compose music to build into a performance. They will create accompaniments in small groups and develop sound pictures, so they can all see their own individual performance as part of a piece that reflects sounds in their local environment. This builds on the knowledge gained through KS1 where children link images and syllables into musical motifs.

They will learn how sounds are produced and classified and discuss the way the various rhythms, pitches and instruments build on each other as a performance. This develops their understanding from year 2 as they are modifying their initial ideas and thinking of the performance piece as a whole. The children explore timbre and structure through the pieces they make. They will make changes to their pieces in response to the other performers in their group.

During year 3, children will learn to engage in musical conversations. When they listen to the music each group produces they will begin to use correct vocabulary such as pitch, rhythm and dynamics to express their feelings about another group’s work. They will listen to various pieces of music from around the world and again, discuss their thoughts and feelings about these.

Children will learn to create their own expressive performances that explore the pentatonic scale and learn about different ways of notating pitch through these performances. They will continue to listen to a variety of traditional world music, specifically music from China (Pentatonic scales are a 5 note scales which is a good introduction to scale) to inspire them. Following this, they will create their own music that uses pentatonic scales and various instruments of pitch. It is during this year that the children are introduced to the names of notes, how to draw these and to develop an understanding that each note relates to a length of time and rhythm.

The children develop their understanding of beat, metre and rhythm using more complex patterns and notation than the rhythms used in year 2, using combinations of quavers and semi quavers. They combine melodic and rhythmic patterns together instead of in isolation, and use staff notation as part of a final performance. Tuned and untuned percussion instruments are used to improvise, create word rhythms, and build to a final piece that is modified by the children consistently. This performance will show the children’s growth from year 2 as they now incorporate pitch in their performances. The children will be able to perform considering the style of the piece and the audience they perform for. This will also be the first year that the children will go to the church and experience performing for a large audience on a stage.

In year 3 children have the opportunity to join our choir. The choir often sing in the community to support our local dementia charity, sing at various locations during the year in the Macclesfield area and have the opportunity to attend “Young Voices” at the MEN arena in Manchester. This sense of belonging is necessary for a lot of our children and they feel supported in this group.


Year 4

During year 4, children learn to make their own instruments from things they find in the classroom so that they can build on the work they started in year 3 on timbre. In groups the children will use their knowledge gained in previous years to select instruments with differing sounds and organise their instruments so that their sounds are all different. They will reflect on the sound they all make, individually and together, and refine this.

During the year they will have the opportunity to listen to a variety of Jazz pieces and use the repeated jazz phrases as ostinatos for their own musical compositions. This builds on previous learning in year 2 and 3 when children create their own rhythms. The children will then use these short phrases to improvise, compose and play junk jazz music in a variety of different musical styles. Building on their prior skills, children will further develop their ability to evaluate and modify their pieces and the performances of others. The children will discover ways to create new ostinato accompaniments to enhance their performances.

Later in year 4, the children will make descriptive accompaniments and discover how the environment has inspired composers throughout history. Building on experiences in year 2, the children will begin to use more complex vocabulary to specifically describe the pieces of music in terms of rhythms, pitch, timbre and dynamics. The children will develop their understanding of a variety of genres during this year. They will use their voices to make beatbox sounds, sing four-part songs, and perform a jazzy round.

Building on the knowledge from year 3, children will learn to explore pentatonic melodies,. They will recall and use the correct scales and create their own melodies incorporating syncopated rhythms from the Chinese culture. The children will learn that the fundamental dimensions of music are the same all over the world and will use the same conventions.

Building-themed songs allow the children to explore how music can be structured to provide different textures. They use layers and rondo structure to combine rythms played on body percussion and tuned instruments. These units will encourage children to be independent in their decision making and will ensure they use their listening skills to hear which sounds are better than others.

The use of notation becomes more sophisticated in year 4. They will begin to use crotchet, quaver and semi quaver notation and will ensure their notes add to a 4 beat bar when creating their rhythms. This extends their understanding of duration of note from year 3

During this year, the children will lead a dance and arts performance as part of our Multi Academy Trust. This extends the performance skills from year 3 as the children are a huge part of our annual arts week. During this week, they represent the school in a large multi school performance at a local high school. The children work, during this week, with the rest of the schools to create music, dance, art and drama pieces that combine to a large performance. This enables the children to make a variety of decisions and ensures they consider what their final outcome will be.

Year 5

During this year the children will explore how our universe inspired composers, including Claude Debussy, Gustav Holst and George Crumb. The children listen to, discuss, and compose pieces linked to space. This links to the science topics the children are completing during this year and will support their deeper learning about space.

Building on previous learning, the children will begin to use more complex rhythmic phrases that use a variety of note lengths. They will select the correct notes for the pieces, taking ownership of which rhythms and notes to use to recreate the images from space. Year 5’s will learn to combine together and fit rhythms, making a piece that incorporates a multitude of rhythms. Building on previous understanding of how the composers create music, the children will discuss the various ways composers create space music and how they are similar and different. This will build on discussion they have previously had about music in other years (such as year 3 and 4) as they will compare and contrast a variety of musical pieces.

The children will consider how to make their own pieces, using tuned and untuned percussion. The piece will incorporate features contained in a variety of the music they have heard. The use of pitch in their own performances will be a new added element and will allow the children to consider how the use of pitch can be used to create a feeling of space and the universe. This allows the children to draw on prior learning about pitch as the children will be making their own choices and decisions. They will select the notes using their names not just stating if a note is higher or lower than another. Children will be encouraged to refine their choice of note until they create a melody that matches their intended mood, theme or style.

The children are given opportunities to compose and perform music inspired by their local community, both past and present. They will explore the other musical themes such as  the human life cycle with music by Johannes Brahms, Luciano Berio, Franz Liszt and Claudio Monteverdi. This is another opportunity to listen and be inspired by a variety of composers who create music around a common theme. The children will be specifically listening for features of the musical pieces such as the rhythms contained, the pitches used, what instruments and features (staccato, off beats, dynamics).

During the last term of year 5, the children will listen to a variety of musical moods, styles and genres, singing performing and composing using new techniques and structures. They will have chance to listen, model and create their own examples too. During year 5, the emphasis will be on combining the elements of music, developing their listening ear and modifying, changing and perfecting their own compositions.

Year 5 children take part in the Macclesfield Music festival which is a concert combining music from a variety of schools from our local area. They have the opportunity to sing in unison with children from a great many other schools from the Macclesfield area. This will extend their performance skills as they learn to be an element in a large performance and consider the other performers who are taking part.

Year 6

During year 6, the children use rhythm, pitch and various instruments to create their own compositions. Throughout this year the children will build on their knowledge of these skills both in isolation and combine them, requiring the children to be independent in their decision making.  This will be through a variety of large musical projects that build on skills developed from previous years, using all the elements and skills of music.

Children will use tuned instruments, such as xylophones, that consist of an 8 note scale. This builds on the  previous skills taught  in year 4 where they used pentatonic scales (5 note scales) to create music. The year 6 children will use notation and staff notation (this displays the pitch of the notes) to build on their knowledge gained in year 4 and 5 where they used notation for rhythm. Children will now create notation for pitch as well as rhythm for their compositions.

Building on the rhythms created in year 4, children will use semi quavers, quavers and crotchet beats independently to create longer rhythm phrases. The rhythms they create will be linked with other children’s rhythms in their group and modified so they sound good together. Children will explore complex rhythms in modern music and melody in singing. They will link these to movement and dance.

The children with continue to learn about other conventions of rhythms and progress further to use features in their own compositions. They will use up beats, syncopation (interruption of the regular flow of rhythm) and canons (phrases which, when the performer arrives at the end, goes back to the beginning and repeats it again). Building of skills developed from year 5 in pitch, children in year 6 will use harmony to ensure their pitches are correct and accurate. The various short motifs the children create will layer and link to each other harmoniously.

During this year, year 6 students will explore Ravel’s ‘Bolero’. They will listen and recreate rhythms and develop their own songs to include instrumental accompaniments. This will build on the first terms exposure to music making and dance. They will discover how music leads to movement. During this year the children will complete musical performance about the effects of the slave trade on a West African village, continuing their journey around the world listening to African music.

Year 6 will take the lead role in all the performances in school throughout the year. They will sing and respond to music during various occasions, such as “festival on the field”, Christmas celebrations and Easter. They produce, act, sing and organise their end of year concert and play too. The children take much more ownership this year and their skills are combined to independently recall all the elements that they have learnt throughout their time at Marlborough. They have become fully ‘Marlboroughfied’ musically which, in short, means they are confident, capable and charismatic enough to leave and experience everything high school has to offer.

Here are some links to songs from the choir on our soundcloud: