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My Music is the spiritual expressions of what I am – my faith, my knowledge, my being….when you begin to see the possibilities of music, your desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity from its hang ups---I want to speak to their souls.   John Coltrane


Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy  Ludwig van Beethoven


Music is a world within itself. It’s a language we all understand.  Stevie Wonder


What is music?

  • Sounds are all around us, from birds chirping and waves lapping against a coastline to cars honking in traffic, but sometimes sounds are put together in purposeful ways to create a specific atmosphere or to express ideas or emotions. Such organized sounds are called music. Music is a collection of coordinated sound or sounds. Making music is the process of putting sounds and tones in an order, often combining them to create a unified composition. People who make music creatively organize sounds for a desired result, like a Beethoven symphony or one of Duke Ellington's jazz songs. Music is made of sounds, vibrations, and silent moments, and it doesn't always have to be pleasant or pretty. It can be used to convey a whole range of experiences, environments, and emotions.
  • An art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour.
  • Art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythmmelody, and, in most Western music, harmony.
  • a pattern of sounds made by musical instrumentsvoices, or computers, or a combination of these, intended to give pleasure to people listening to it:


Why do we study music?

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. It connects us through people and places in an ever-changing world. Music can bring communities together and can feed the soul of the school community. (Model Music Curriculum 2021)


Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. Modern music is heard in an enormous range of styles, some contemporary, others from past eras. Music lends itself easily to alliances with words, as in song, and with physical movement, as in dance. Throughout history and across cultural traditions, music has had an important role in ritual, ceremony and events and has been credited with the capacity to reflect and influence human emotion. According to Confucius, great music is in harmony with the universe, restoring order to the physical world through that harmony. Music, as a true mirror of character, makes pretence or deception impossible. (Britannica)


Whilst other creatures within the animal kingdom are able to process individual components of music, as humans we are uniquely able to combine components such as tempo, beat and pitch to create and appreciate music as we know it. Our human experience of music is evidenced far back in prehistory, with instruments featuring in cave paintings dated 42 000-43 000 years ago. Music has medical and social benefits such as supporting the recovery of lost speech, aiding motor control in patients with Parkinson’s disease and enabling us to connect deeply with others in social relationships. (‘Explained’, Netflix)


Pupils are enabled to perform the sublime creations of others, to explore their own creative potential and, through wider listening, to come to a broader understanding of musical culture and meaning. Our musical inheritances, as citizens of the UK and citizens of the world, stand among the great wonders of humankind. Our pupils deserve to engage richly with this tradition. (Ofsted)


The National Curriculum states the purpose of musical study as:

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.


Through their study of the Opossum Curriculum, we intend that pupils will:

1.Develop an understanding of the importance of music as a central building block of culture

Pupils gain cultural capital that comes from a shared knowledge of music from their own experience and traditions across the world. They develop knowledge of composers, musicians and musical styles from across time and place.


2.Develop into musicians who confidently create, appreciate and celebrate music

We intend that our school environment provides space and opportunity for pupils to engage with, create, listen, perform and express themselves musically.


3 .  Access and make progress on a musical instrument.

We intend that pupils experience and explore a range of instruments as part of their music curriculum but focus in depth on specific instruments, on which they can become proficient musicians.

4.Gain knowledge beyond their experience 

We intend that pupils experience, know and be able to recognise, identify, discuss and have opinions on a wide range of musical styles and instruments from across time and place. This breadth will expose pupils to musical traditions they may otherwise not have the opportunity to hear in their everyday lives.


5.Acquire musical vocabulary

Through our music curriculum, pupils gain an increasingly sophisticated musical vocabulary that includes technical terms, notation, vocabulary relating to musical periods and the emotive vocabulary to enable them to express their feelings and opinions. Pupils will share language in common with other musicians, enabling them to increase their musical ability and collaborate with others.


6.Become inspired

Through exposure to musical genres, periods and instruments, we intend that pupils gain pleasure from musical experiences and feel inspired to make a commitment to continuing their musical journey as they enter the next phase of their education.  


Opossum Values

Through their engagement with the Music curriculum, Opossum values are realised.


Being Respectful - demonstrating respect for the views and cultural traditions of others.

Being Aspirational – holding an expectation and belief that pupils can and will achieve and succeed in musical pursuits

Being Caring – recognise and understand the role music plays in helping people express and process emotions and experiences.  

Having Integrity - Showing support and encouragement for others, offering constructive feedback

Being Creative – nurturing pupils to develop their creative and expressive skills     

Being Community Minded –understanding that music is a powerful means of connecting groups of people through shared experience.


Scope and Sequence

The quality of what children hear is crucial for developing their understanding, interpretation, self-expression and response to  music. In the Early Years, pupils are encouraged to participate in familiar rhymes and songs to develop vocabulary and expression. As they progress through the early years, pupils engage with music from around the world, therefore developing cultural capital and an appreciation for sound. Pupils explore a variety of instruments; they are encouraged to experiment with sounds and recognise a variety of instruments. By the end of EYFS, pupils are expected to have a repertoire of familiar songs and rhymes and be able to perform alongside others. Teachers plan units of learning using a range of resources, including the Charanga Musical School topics.


The Opossum Federation Curriculum for KS1 and 2 is structured and resourced around the Charanga Musical School programme (Model Music Curriculum Scheme V2).  Units of learning are structured around a key question each half term with specific musical elements emphasised in each study. The key questions are devised in themes with musical content developed progressively in each year group. Specific detail about progression of musical knowledge and skills can be found in the Charanga Music Progression documents.

Each topic includes music from a range of musical styles, creating  a wide repertoire of musical experience.


Each study includes opportunities for:






Opportunities to learn detail about musical styles, history and the importance of music in cultures of the world.


From Year 1 pupils transfer the musical theory knowledge they have gained such as dynamic, pitch and rhythm. Pupils spend one term learning to play a popular instrument such as the descant recorder or glockenspiel. Pupils focus intensively on learning a musical instrument to develop proficiency in playing.


Year 1 Tuned percussion- Glockenspiel Summer term

Year 2 Tuned percussion- Glockenspiel Spring term

Year 3 Wind- Recorder Autumn term

Year 4 Wind- Recorder Summer term

Year 5 Strings- Ukulele- term to be allocated by Waltham Forest Music Service

Year 6 Develop singing, particularly two or three part harmony. Consolidating music knowledge