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Curriculum – Music


The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
  • Be taught to sing, create and compose music
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.

Across The Durham Dales Partnership the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music and an unbiased respect for the many ways that music may express itself in a person’s life. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.  Every child has the opportunity to play an instrument and we aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.


The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, create, play, perform and evaluate.  This is embedded in classroom activities and lessons as well as weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments and partnerships with outside agencies, including the Durham Music Service.  Our curriculum is planned upon the model of a progressive spiral as advocated by Durham Music Service’s Music Curriculum Progress Map to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding of the different elements of music.

The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use, with growing fluency, the language of music: to dissect it and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.  In the classroom children learn how to play the chime bars, recorder and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create music, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion, vocal sounds, un-tuned and tuned instruments is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements.  In Durham Music Service sessions, students learn how to play a range of instruments, e.g. recorder, djembe or violin. In doing so they also grow to understand the different principles of each method of creating music, as well as how to read basic music notation.  Middleton Silver Band also offers brass tuition to pupils at Butterknowle and Woodland schools.


During their time in our schools, our children enjoy access to a diverse and progressive curriculum that builds upon existing musical skills and develops them further so that they can engage with music confidently throughout their lives, whether this be as creators, performers or listeners.  They will also develop an understanding of how music enriches lives; expressing and reflecting the wide spectrum of human experiences.  Our music curriculum allows our children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to their own cultures, as well as those from other communities and places.   Our children will be able to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They will be able to dissect music and comprehend its parts. They will be able to sing and feel rhythm and pulse.

The Dales Partnership Federation schools provide children with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include welcoming visitors with a musical talent, visiting concerts and producing school productions.  External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assembly, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience. Children will understand how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.

Our music curriculum also allows children to develop fundamental abilities such as: self-expression, self-reflection, self-confidence, recognising and celebrating as well as allowing interaction with and awareness of others.


Gallery of Music