Music Curriculum Map 2018-19


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything"  (Plato)

Music is a very important part of daily life at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School. It is taught in every year group from the Early Years up to Year 6.

Having a dedicated music teacher, Mr McCourt, children at our school each have the opportunity to sing, play instruments and perform regularly with an emphasis on mastery. Mr McCourt is also an alumni of the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and teaches at the Centre for Young Musicians – A division of the Guildhall School. As such we maintain excellent links with the institution and our children have access to join the Saturday School and see senior projects such as the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Starting in Year 1, all children learn the Zoltan Kodaly techniques for singing, memorising and performing on instrument. The musical elements of Melody, Pitch, Timbre, Tempo, Dynamics, Structure, Melody and Harmony are taught in the context of listening to and appraising the best in the musical canon. In the Spring term, they are introduced to the glockenspiel and learn how to play melodies and ensemble pieces. By the end of the year children can read basic symbols and musical notation

In Year 2, every child learns to play the recorder, using a popular graded method book as a scheme of work. Building on what they learned in Year 1, Year 2 children continue to expand their knowledge of the musical elements and repertoire through playing instruments and performing.

In Year 3, all children learn to play the ukulele for a whole year which serves as an excellent starting point to go on to learn other stringed instruments, as well as learning self-accompanying techniques and combining singing and playing together in small groups and large ensembles. 



In Year 4, all children learn percussion instruments such as the African Djembe and the Djun Djun drum as well as basic drum kit patterns. By exploring the history of African music and rhythmic patterns in this way, children learn how pop and rock music is built up and how it can be used in song-writing and composition.

In Year 5, all children learn to play the guitar. Building on what they have learned in Year 3 on the ukulele and in Year 4 on African Percussion, children start at a beginner level and quickly progress to Initial/Preparatory Grade. The Year 5 guitarists learn a range of techniques and styles of music and have the opportunity to perform regularly in concerts and assemblies.

In Year 6, children learn traditional Brazilian Samba Band instruments such as Surdos, Repenique, Caixa, Ganza, Agogo Bells, Reko-reko and Tambourims. By year 6, all children can play a number of musical instruments learned in previous years and the Samba Band is a fantastic opportunity to draw upon these skills and add guitars, bass guitars, ukuleles and keyboards to enhance the ensemble. The Samba Band often has the opportunity to perform at concerts, assemblies and this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.

Throughout the school, music theory, notation, history and the music of the great composers is taught and embedded into lesson plans so that children receive a wide and varied musical experience listening to and studying the very best in the musical canon.

Guitar and Keyboard are also taught in small tuition groups for Years 4, 5 and 6. This year, we hope to expand this provision to orchestral instruments such as strings, brass and woodwind.

Steel Pans is also taught in an after school club and children learn the history of Soca music from the Caribbean and how to play the music of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada. 

We also have two extremely popular school choirs that children attend after school. Where possible, children get to go on trips to see live performances such as our recent trip to The Barbican to see the London Schools Symphony Orchestra perform works by Wagner, Gliere and Strauss.