Skip to content ↓



Music touches the very heart of our humanity and a sense of the wonder of music has touched human societies throughout history (Cross, 2001).

Music, especially singing, is at the core of our creative expression at St Dunstan’s.  Throughout the curriculum, children have numerous opportunities to sing and play instruments. 

The curriculum is designed to develop:

  • Performance skills (both singing and instrumentation)
  • Improvisation and composition
  • Appraisal of music (listening and responding)


In Lower school, children use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.  As they travel through the school, children begin to use their voices with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.

Playing instruments:

Children begin using un-tuned instruments such as bells, tambourines and triangles in the Early Years and Year 1 which provides the foundation for understanding musical elements such as rhythm, pitch, beat and for creating their own sounds.  This readies the pupils for playing the recorder in Year 2 where they learn to hold and play different notes to perform a number of musical pieces.

In Middle School, children develop their musicianship and notation when playing instruments.  They build on the skills of woodwind instruments by playing the clarinet and begin their learning of playing a stringed instrument, the ukulele.  They develop understanding of pulse and rhythm by counting beats and rests and they explore the tempo and dynamics of different pieces of music.

As pupils progress into Upper School, they build on their skills and knowledge of previously learned instruments to compose with greater confidence as they have learnt to read basic notation, they can play notes and chords on a range of instruments.  Teachers build upon these music elements (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo and timbre).

Throughout Key Stage 2, children listen to a range of music genres and from different time periods e.g. classical, jazz, Motown and pop, to both identify the style and to appreciate the wide range of high quality music from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.

During the summer term, the children in Years 2, 3 and 4 perform concerts for their parents and children in younger year groups, to showcase their learning as well as inspire the next generation to want to learn to play an instrument.