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Music – Year 1


Download our Year 1 Music curriculum here.

Listening and understanding

Elements of music


Pitch: recognise and respond to high and low sounds

Duration: recognise and respond to steady beat in music heard and performed, and long and short sound patterns.

Dynamics: identify and respond to loud, quiet and silence

Tempo: identify and respond to fast and slow

Texture: recognise and respond to one sound and to may sounds combined

Timbre: identify wooden, metal, skinned and electronic instruments and their properties by sound

Structure: understand and identify musical echoes, repeating patterns and beginning, middle and end

Applying understanding

  • Identify how musical elements can be organised and used expressively within simple structures
  • Identify how sounds can be made in different ways, eg: sung, body, instrumental, environmental, electronic
  • Develop own signs or symbols for musical ideas linked to understanding of elements.


  • Lullabies
  • Signals
  • Game songs
  • Greetings
  • Farewells
  • Holst – Planet Suite
  • French songs
  • Nutcracker
  • Star Wars
  • Space Oddity

Non-musical stimuli

  • Stories
  • Pictures
  • Poems
  • Rhymes
  • Chants
  • Patterns
  • Number sequencing
  • Movement
  • Dance
  • Environment


  • Control vocal pitching (use C-A’ as a guide)
  • Develop control of diction and dynamics when speaking, singing songs and chanting
  • Build and develop rhythmic and melodic memory through extending repertoire of songs, rhymes and chants
  • Use body sounds III Use dominant hand with untuned percussion; begin to use correct tuned percussion techniques  (chime bars)
  • Maintain a steady beat on untuned percussion instruments; copy simple rhythm patternsTake account of musical instructions when rehearsing and performing
  •  Rehearse and perform individually, in pairs and as a class


Use acoustic sounds and ICT to…

  • Explore and enjoy how sounds can be made and changed
  • Create and choose sounds in response to a range of given starting points e.g. iPods, iPads and Story Phones

Responding and reviewing

  • Respond to changes in mood and character within pieces of music through movement, dance and art work
  • Build an appropriate musical vocabulary and use when talking about music and developing the ability to express an aesthetic response See vocabulary list in the appendices
  • Improve their own work

February 2014 reviewed


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