Strategic Lead of Performance: Mr M Osborne |

Mission Statement

Music is a universal language which gives pupils the opportunity to express themselves and be creative through a variety of musical genres.

Music teaches pupils to work collaboratively, develop confidence and high self-esteem.  It encourages pupils to be sympathetic, sensitive and compassionate, whilst encouraging a love of music, engaging with music and appreciating music from a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.

Music forms a foundation for a fulfilling and interesting life. For some it is the beginning of a specialised career and for others it enriches their life as a leisure activity and promotes personal well-being.

All pupils have one lesson of Music each week and lasts approximately 55 minutes.

Lessons are entirely practical and involve developing the FOUR main areas of study, which are Performing, Composing, Listening and Evaluating.

Pupils are encouraged to understand the nature of music, communicate through creative music making and evaluate their learning to inform good practise.

Lessons focus on listening, singing, presenting class and group performances, creating music in groups (or using music technology), watching and listening to their own work and the work of others, by making observations about the different parts of their work. They suggest successes and suitable targets of improvement for future situations and development.

Pupils receive instrumental and vocal lessons through Musica Kirklees.  Pupils are offered free taster lessons on various instruments and voice at various times during the school year.

Music staff and Instrument Lessons

We have one full time music class teacher, Miss S Kaye and 9 peripatetic staff from Musica Kirklees who offer lessons on the following:

Tutor Instrument
Mrs L Pearson Piano and Keyboard
Mrs R O’Sullivan Woodwind
Mr A Kingham Brass
Mr J Hodgson Drum Kit and Percussion
Mr M Crone Electric and Bass Guitar
Miss H Roulson Classical Guitar
Miss K Chappell Upper Strings
Mrs J Worboys-Hodgson Lower Strings
Miss E Cully Voice

Over 80 students have weekly lessons from Musica Kirklees and many more have private lessons.

An application form for pupils wishing to ‘learn to play’ can be acquired via the School Office, Music Teacher, or to download from the Musica website at

How is the Department Resourced?

A specialist music classroom equipped with

  • Many Keyboards, 2 pianos, 1 Electric piano
  • Electronic and acoustic drum kits
  • Electric, acoustic and Bass Guitars
  • A set of ukuleles
  • A class set of African djembe drums
  • Lots of classroom percussion instruments (xylophones, glockenspiels, various drums, hand held percussion instruments etc.)

There are 5 well equipped music practice rooms with additional space in the main teaching room that are used as rehearsal spaces during lessons and used to teach instrumental and vocal tuition by Muscia staff to individuals or small groups.



What is music?

Introduction to what music is and the key elements.


Vocal Samba –   Creating word phrases which have different rhythmic patterns  and organising them into a performance.

The Planets – organising sounds created through adjevtives.

Sansa Kroma – an arrangement of a short African song.

Africa Drumming

Introduction to Djembe drum techniques and musical notes, names, shapes and values.  Performing using call and response and simple and multiple rhythmic patterns


Reading from simple notations, which includes simple time-signatures and dotted notes.

Staff notation

Signs and symbols


Film music – Identifying sound tracks and identifying musical features


Brass Bands – Recognising the sounds, instruments and layout.

The Orchestra and the different instrumental families – recognising visually and aurally. Instrumental knowledge.

Great Composers

To develop with an understanding the different periods

and Musicians

in the history of music (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern) Composer’s name, Nationality, Musical Period, Dates and a popular piece of music.

Keyboard Skills

Using the 5-finger keyboard technique to learn a variety of Keyboard melodies. An introduction to playing chords, combining melody and accompaniment


African Music        

Exploring the style and the key features of African Music.  Class performances of Call and Response and an African style piece using rhythms from the word phrases of a short African


Using and understanding notation.

Creating compositions that use melodic and rhythmic patterns and other key features within a given structure.


Understanding the conventions and context of the musical genre, ‘March’.

Keyboard Skills

Performing a Marching song


Exploring the history and context of Samba music.  This includes group and class performances and developing understanding of reading from more complex notations.

Brass Bands

History and origins

Drum Kit

Learning different drumming patterns and the purpose and function of the different parts of the drum kit.


The Percussion Party

A performance of a musical score Identifying musical signs and symbols

Reading from more complex notation

Score analysis

Class and group performances

Rock Band

Using a ‘musical futures’ approach the effects of Development in technology and Popular Music through the Decades (1960s -)

Working as part of a Band to organise performances of a selection of Rock and Pop songs.


A mixture of performance and composition using the 12 bar blues chord sequence, blue notes, walking bass line and improvisation.


Using music technology to create an authentic remix of a song.

Enrichment Opportunities

Enrichment opportunities are offered for ALL pupils and are led by some of our visiting peripatetic staff from Muisca.

Autumn Term

Monday – Pop Choir (Head of Music – Miss Kaye)

Tuesday – String Group (Miss K Chappel)

Wednesday – African Drumming (Mr J Hodgson)

Thursday – Windband (Mr A Kingham)

Spring Term

Rock Guitar Club – Mr M Crone

Summer Term

Ukelele Club (Miss H Roulson)

Practise facilities are in use most days with pupils using them to develop skills, prepare for both instrumental and vocal exams and/or to form a Band.

Performance opportunities are given and pupils are encouraged to take part in events in school and in the community.  One of our first opportunities is our Showcase Evening in the Autumn Term.

Each year pupils perform at Kirkburton church where we hold our Carol Service.

Every Christmas Musica Kirklees’ Staff Orchestra and/or Staff Rock Band are invited to come and entertain pupils. These concerts are great fun and informative, with the ensembles playing diverse repertoire and introducing the different musical instruments together with giving our pupils access to high-quality live music.

Each term holds a Positive Awards Assembly where pupils are given the opportunity to perform.

Musical success of individual pupils and groups is celebrated regularly on our school website.


In June 2013 the school were very proud to present a production of Oliver which was one of its first scale productions in recent times. Many pupils from across the school worked for several months to put together a fantastic show.  In June 2017 saw the production of Guys and Dolls which again involved many pupils and was a great success.

MUSIC MARK – School Member

For a 2nd year, Kirkburton are extremely proud recipients of the ABRSM Music Mark Award 2019-2020.  This is awarded in recognition of a commitment to providing high quality music education for all children and young people (The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark – supported by ABRSM)

Links with the community

In the past musical groups have entertained the older generation of the community, at an ‘Old Folks Treat’ at the Junction Pub and Fox Glove, with some festive favourites and opportunity for audience participation.

‘We will remember them’

For several years now, local schools have been represented at the Cenotaph in Kirkburton, for a service of remembrance.  Children from Kirkburton and schools in the surrounding area respectfully present wreaths, read poems together with the Last Post and Reveille being played by the music teacher at the middle school.

At the centenary (2018) a group of pupils with their music teacher made a moving contribution in the school’s remembrance assembly sounding the Last Post and Reveille to mark the 2 minutes silence.

What career…?

The music industry is part of the creative and cultural industries, represented by the Creative and Cultural Skills Sector Skills Council, which also includes craft; cultural heritage; literature; design; performing arts; and visual arts. The creative and cultural industries currently employ over half a million people.

The music industry includes trade associations, businesses and employers in recording/labels companies; music publishers; musical instruments; audio production and retail; live events and promotion; specialist music retailers; not‐for‐profit music organisation; as well as music education and training providers.

Key facts:

There are over 100,000 people working in the music industry within the wider creative and cultural sector, of which:

  • 50,780 work in live performance
  • 21,930 in production, retail and distribution of musical instrument /audio equipment
  • 15,130 in retail and distribution of recordings
  • 10,190 in recording
  • 2,890 in composition of musical works and music publishing
  • 1,300 in promotion, management and agency related activities

The music industry contributes £4.2 billion to the UK economy.

Jobs in the industry include: agent, artistic director, classical musician, composer, DJ, lighting technician, songwriter, manager, music and audio manufacturer, music conductor, music teacher, performer, publicity and promotions, singer, sound engineer.


  • What is music?
  • Notation
  • Vocal Samba
  • Christmas music

Pupils learn about the different aspects of music and what it involves. The key element words are taught and the pupils take part in a selection of different activities to show their understanding of these.

Music literacy is introduced and pupils learn about different musical notes, shapes, values and their matching rest as well as developing an understanding of the different signs and symbols used in music. They perform simple and more complicated rhythms and show their understanding of how to read the notations and fit their part into a group performance.

Pupils are taught about pulse and rhythm and take part in class and group performances of a vocal samba. Pupils perform a class vocal samba and then work in small groups to create their own group performance. Later in the year, we continue to develop our rhythm skills, and pupils perform together as class, an instrumental Samba using suitable Percussion instruments.

During the festive period pupils learn the popular favourite ‘Jingle Bells’ on the keyboard at their own level.  This part of their learning develops the reading of the notes on the stave, playing together as an ensemble and sharing solo/duet performances.


  • The Planets
  • Music Literacy

Pupils learn about The Planets suite by Gustave Holst. They will describe how music makes them feel, what it makes them think of and why. Pupils will work in groups to organise a composition to represent a Planet. This part of their learning allows them to use adjectives as a starting point. They will choose descriptive words to represent the planet and create suitable sounds using suitable instruments to represent the mood, feel and atmosphere of the planet. They will perform and evaluate their performances.

Developing knowledge and understanding of Music Literacy is continued and pupils are taught to compose a melody both as a class, in pairs or independently to be played by themselves on an instrument or by the teacher.


  • Sansa Kroma
  • The Orchestra

Pupils learn a short Folk song and organise a class performance of this. Using this model they then create their own group arrangement of the song using suitable instruments. Performances are filmed and shared for peer/self assessment and feedback is given.

A study of the different instrumental families and learning about the orchestra takes place during this term.


African Music

Learning is introduced by listening and recognising the music‘s genre and identifying its musical features. In this unit, pupils learn a selection of songs in an African style. They perform together, as a class, an African style piece using some African and non- African instruments and developing their skills in the reading of notation.

Pupils improvise both rhythmic and melodic ideas and work in groups to compose and organise their own version of African music. The performances are filmed and viewed for assessment purposes. Pupils will learn about the different instruments used, how they are played, what they are made from and where they come from. They will also learn about aspects of the African culture.


  • Understanding the Conventions and context of the musical genre ‘March’
  • Ceremonial music – composing a Fanfare (by chance)

Pupils listen to and recognise the sound of a March and identify its musical features. They sing a selection of march-type songs which includes understanding how a march starts and stops. They perform a rhythm piece as a class and in small groups in the style of a march showing understanding of march-type rhythms and more advanced notations. Pupils will develop their instrumental skills learn a marching melody on the keyboard which is performed as a class with opportunity being given for individuals to develop skills at their own level.  They will also learn the basics of marching which is organised as a class and where they experience marching together as a group.

Later in the Spring Term, pupils will learn about ceremonial music, focusing particularly on the musical genre, Fanfare. Pupils will learn to recognise the sound of a Fanfare and learn about its history and origins. They will compose a Fanfare by chance, using a die to determine the rhythm and pitches of the notes. Pupils will continue to develop their understanding of notation by reading and performing the different Fanfare-type rhythms and notating the Fanfare they compose.


The sound of Samba

In the summer term pupils are introduced to the sound of Samba, a genre which they recognise by listening and identifying its features. They learn about the different Samba instruments in terms of how they sound, how they are played, what they are made of and where they come from. Pupils find out about where and how Samba began and facts about the genre. They will perform Samba together as a class using Samba instruments, develop further their reading and understanding of notation and how their part fits to the group.  They sing songs in a Samba style. Opportunity is given to organise their own group Samba composition.



  • The Percussion party!
  • Popular music in the classroom (1960’s- present day) Musical futures – Part 1

In the Autumn term the pupils rehearse, perform and evaluate a class performance of a score called, the Percussion Party. They will show understanding of the different signs and symbols used in the score and how the different parts are performed. A brief analysis of the score will take place showing an understanding of how the piece is organised. Pupils will take responsibility for their own part by working in a group of 6 and performing the piece independently.

In the term 2, pupils form a band and share some of the experiences of being in a Rock band. They study popular music from the 1960’s through the decades. Part 1 is an introduction to the instruments in a Band and how they are played. They learn the song ‘Wild Thing’ and learn the basics of playing the Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drum kit and Keyboard. During lessons the pupils will rehearse with their Band and organise a performance of the song which they perform to each other. The performances are filmed and used for assessment purposes. Pupils will also learn about Guitar notation, sing popular songs together as a class, learn about song structure and how popular music developed through the decades.


Popular music in the classroom Part 2 (Musical Futures)

In Part 2 of Popular music in the classroom, pupils organise their own arrangement of a song of their choice.  They can either choose from a selection of songs or be responsible for choosing their own and organising the different parts. This part of their learning allows the pupils to work more independently, developing already existing skills.


An investigation into the musical genre ‘Blues’

Pupils recognise the genre by listening to examples of Blues music. They identify its musical features and show understanding by performing, using the Keyboard, the 12 bar blues chord sequence. Pupils learn a simple Blues tune, compose a Blues tune and lyrics for a song. They sing a selection of songs in the Blues style and learn about the origins and history of the Blues and its influences.


Pupils gain experience of working in ensembles, which requires for a democratic approach to reach a final goal. Pupils discuss and come to decisions in a democratic manner. Music allows pupils to voice their opinions, to analyse their work and share musical tastes.  They develop an appreciation for musical genres they may not necessarily have heard of.

The rule of Law

The school’s behaviour policy and classroom expectations are reinforced in every lesson. These enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the order according to which our school functions.  This in turn helps pupils understand how important the respect of rules is in the country generally.

For all pupils who study music there are theoretical, practical and behavioural rules that should to be followed in order to achieve success.  Pupils are encouraged to appreciate each other’s performances and work by using the appropriate musical phrases and vocabulary to help them make their observations.

Individual Liberty

Individual liberties are discussed as a context for Blues when recounting the history of the African slaves and their musical influences on the genre. Freedom of speech is also a regular feature in listening tasks as we distinguish between opinion and fact when discussing different music and encourage students to support their differing opinions with factual references.  Pupils are encouraged to work independently and to be creative.  It gives them the opportunity to express themselves.

Mutual Respect

As a lot of the discussions in Music revolve around personal opinions and subjective views, we have to establish right from the outset, an atmosphere of trust and respect for each other in the learning environment.  Music from a variety of origins, backgrounds and styles is covered to help pupils understand a range of lifestyles and influences. Pupils are encouraged to recognise an individual’s strength and support their development with suggestions for improvement. They are also encouraged to embrace diversity and treat others with respect both in and out of the classroom (lessons and enrichment clubs).

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

In Music the curriculum promotes tolerance and understanding of other cultures by incorporating music from parts of the world when we study Africa Music and African Drumming.

Some individuals can feel quite vulnerable and exposed when singing, sharing something as personal as a performance or a composition, therefore an environment is created in which building confidence allows them to perform.  Working with others is a great opportunity to experience tolerance.  Tolerance of each other, genres, patience and comments from peers in the form of observations.  Through times of peer-evaluation and assessment, pupils learn that vastness of diversity in the world can lead to successful outcomes and can improve their outlook, perspective and their lives.

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