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What is Music like at The Berkeley?


Music in nursery is a form of self-expression, it underpins a lot of what we do. With songs and rhythm developing language skills and building an understanding of rhyme, rhythm and structure, which is a precursor for phonics and reading. Tapping beats and hearing tempos encourages mathematical thinking. While ensemble playing in a group and thinking about how different sounds make us feel promotes social and emotional development. 


In music we have been looking at pitch. We initially looked at a familiar traditional tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We looked at the voices of baby, mummy and daddy bear. We listened to low, middle and high pitched music and used our bodies to move to the pitch. Then we used our voices, in the correct pitch, to act out the story. 


Next we introduced instruments which had different pitch, so that we could play the right pitched instrument to the character in the story. We then videoed ourselves to see what our performance was like. 

Year 1

We have absolutely loved this unit of work. Firstly we looked at one of our favourite stories, Peace at Last. We asked the children to close their eyes and listen to the story and see if they could hear any sounds in the environment. We named the sounds and then thought about how we could recreate these sounds using everyday objects and materials. We listened to tuned instruments and then spent some time creating and making our own instruments to accompany the story. We also looked at the Penguin orchestra and performed the music to each others class, using the instruments we had made. 

Year 3

Children in year 3 have been listening and responding to a range of music and learning to play the glockenspiel, learning to play song such as 'When the Saints Go Marching in' and playing along to backing music. 

Year 4

In music, we learned how to read sheet music and learned to play some songs on the glockenspiel. We then performed our songs to our parents during a class assembly and we were so good, we then performed them again during a whole school concert! 

Year 5

In music we developed our ability to listen and appraise music. Once we had a feel for the song, we broke out the glockenspiels and started playing! We really enjoyed playing the instruments and loved sharing the song we had learned with our parents and carers during our class sharing assembly.


We have since moved on to utilising the app garage band to compose our own music around the theme of space. we listened to how artists sampled existing songs and added a range of instruments to convey their meaning. In this example it was how they developed the theme music for Blue Planet 2. 

Year 6

All children learned to play several short pieces on the glockenspiels. Great concentration, listening skills and timing were drawn on to ensure a pleasurable piece was played. Despite having never read music before, children were able to follow notes on sheet music. 


The musical tempo was set from listening and appraising the music first. Children responded to how the music made them feel and the images it conjured in their minds.