MUSIC at Charlestown

At Charlestown Community Primary, the intention is that children gain a sound understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and composing across a wide variety of musical genres, styles, traditions and historical periods. 


At Charlestown, music is delivered through the Charanga scheme.

The Charanga scheme covers the National Curriculum through 3 strands:

  1.     Listen and Appraise
  2.     Musical Activities (this includes rhythm & pitch games, singing, playing, improvisation and composition)
  3.     Perform and Share  

Each lesson is taught using these three strands and in this order. The resources and lessons from Charanga are organised according to our six Golden Threads. Some of these threads include use of resources or pieces of music outside Charanga in order to create close links, but teaching still follows the Charanga lesson sequence above.


Why study this concept?

Musical styles and their historical context

Our children generally experience quite a limited range of music styles in their home lives. Listening to and discussing various types of music and songs enables children to build musical knowledge around a wide breadth of different musical styles, from rock or pop to classical or Latin. These discussions also enable pupils to place musical styles in a historical context so they become more meaningful. 

This concept is studied in the ‘Listen & Appraise’ strand of Charanga lessons. 

Musical vocabulary 

Teaching our children to understand and use correct musical terminology and vocabulary (such as pitch, tempo, texture, timbre and dynamics) allows them to be more acutely aware of different aspects of a piece of music or song they are listening to, as well as engage in more articulate and musically technical discussions about what they have heard. 

This concept is studied in the ‘Listen & Appraise’ strand of Charanga lessons.

Tuned & un-tuned instruments 

Our children generally have little opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument in their home lives. Listening to and playing a range of different instruments enables children to build musical knowledge and musical skills.

Practical use of untuned instruments develops children’s understanding of rhythm, pulse and dynamics, whilst tuned instruments also develop their understanding of pitch and, with older children, musical notation. 

This concept is studied in the ‘Musical Activities’ and ‘Perform & Share’ strands of Charanga lessons. 

KS2 children also have the opportunity to learn how to play samba drums in Year 3 and guitars in Year 4 with the external music service One Education. 


Singing and use of voice is the foundation of musicality and developing a musical ear. Children learn about pitch, diction, posture for singing and how to sing or rap in a group. KS2 children will sometimes explore singing in parts and holding a melody or harmony line.

This concept is studied in the ‘Musical Activities’ and ‘Perform & Share’ strands of Charanga lessons.

Pulse & rhythm

Children learn from Early Years how to feel the pulse (the steady ‘heartbeat’) in a song or piece of music, and explore demonstrating the pulse in different ways using their bodies. Children learn to copy and improvise their own rhythms using body percussion and a range of instruments. KS2 children learn to use notation to recognise and explore rhythms and durations of notes.  

This concept is studied in the ‘Musical Activities’ strand of Charanga lessons.

Musical composition

Children learn to improvise their own tunes and rhythms using voice, body and instruments. They then go on to compose and record their own tunes and rhythms using the ‘Compose with the Song’ tool on the ‘Musical Activities’ strand of Charanga. This allows them to use ICT to explore notation and how music is written down in various different ways such as with stave notation or more simplified versions to cater for all abilities. 

Musical performance

Children learn to perform a song or piece of music as part of a group. This gives them a sense of purpose and end goal when developing their musical skills. It also develops their self-confidence and sense of achievement, and is also one of the challenges set on Charlestown’s ‘Charlie’s Challenge’ (a list of challenges for our children to achieve during their time at Charlestown). 

This concept is studied during the ‘Perform & Share’ strand of Charanga lessons.

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