Characteristics of a Musician  

We believe that children who excel in Music have these essential characteristics:

• A rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
• A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of
technical expertise.
• Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
• An excellent understanding of how musical provenance – the historical, social and cultural origins of music – contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
• The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
• A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.


In order to excel in Music, we believe that children throughout our school must achieve the following learning objectives:

•    To perform
•    To compose
•    To transcribe
•    To describe music

Specifically, the children should master the skills below:

Learning Objectives

Key Stage 1

Milestone 1

Lower Key Stage 2

Milestone 2

Upper Key Stage 2

Milestone 3

To perform • Take part in singing, accurately following the melody.

• Follow instructions on how and when to sing or play an instrument.

• Make and control long and short sounds, using voice and instruments.

• Imitate changes in pitch.

• Sing from memory with accurate pitch.

• Sing in tune.

• Maintain a simple part within a group.

• Pronounce words within a song clearly.

• Show control of voice.

• Play notes on an instrument with care so that they are clear.

• Perform with control and awareness of others.

• Sing or play from memory with confidence.

• Perform solos or as part of an ensemble.

• Sing or play expressively and in tune.

• Hold a part within a round.

• Sing a harmony part confidently and accurately.

• Sustain a drone or a melodic ostinato to accompany singing.

• Perform with controlled breathing (voice) and skillful playing (instrument).

To compose • Create a sequence of long and short sounds.

• Clap rhythms.

• Create a mixture of different sounds (long and short, loud and quiet, high and low).

• Choose sounds to create an effect.

• Sequence sounds to create an overall effect.

• Create short, musical patterns.

• Create short, rhythmic phrases.

• Compose and perform melodic songs.

• Use sound to create abstract effects.

• Create repeated patterns with a range of instruments.

• Create accompaniments for tunes.

• Use drones as accompaniments.

• Choose, order, combine and control sounds to create an effect.

• Use digital technologies to compose pieces of music.

• Create songs with verses and a chorus.

• Create rhythmic patterns with an awareness of timbre and duration.

• Combine a variety of musical devices, including melody, rhythm and chords.

• Thoughtfully select elements for a piece in order to gain a defined effect.

• Use drones and melodic ostinati (based on the pentatonic scale).

• Convey the relationship between the lyrics and the melody.

• Use digital technologies to compose, edit and refine pieces of music.

To transcribe • Use symbols to represent a composition and use them to help with a performance. • Devise non-standard symbols to indicate when to play and rest.

• Recognise the notes EGBDF and FACE on the musical stave.

• Recognise the symbols for a minim, crotchet and semibreve and say how many beats they represent.

• Use the standard musical notation of crotchet, minim and semibreve to indicate how many beats to play.

• Read and create notes on the musical stave.

• Understand the purpose of the treble and bass clefs and use them in transcribing compositions.

• Understand and use the # (sharp) and ♭ (flat) symbols.

• Use and understand simple time signatures.

To describe music • Identify the beat of a tune.

• Recognise changes in timbre, dynamics and pitch.

• Use the terms: duration, timbre, pitch, beat, tempo, texture and use of silence to describe music.

• Evaluate music using musical vocabulary to identify areas of likes and dislikes.

• Understand layers of sounds and discuss their effect on mood and feelings.

• Choose from a wide range of musical vocabulary to accurately describe and appraise music including:

• pitch

• dynamics

• tempo

• timbre

• texture

• lyrics and melody

• sense of occasion

• expressive

• solo

• rounds

• harmonies

• accompaniments

• drones

• cyclic patterns

• combination of musical elements

• cultural context.

• Describe how lyrics often reflect the cultural context of music and have social meaning

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