Resources for School Staff

On this page...

On this page you can find resources to help you with:

Elsewhere, you can find resources for instrumental practice and learning, and exam support.

NMPositiviT – have you been following the campaign to keep things positive? You will find more activities to keep music going at home on this page.

You can find our Coronavirus risk register on the Policies page.

Curriculum resources

NMPAT has commissioned resources to support schools .

Developed by industry experts this resource has been tested by a broad community of teachers, music services and music education experts.

Each of the 100 pieces features its own musical challenge to help students develop performing skills and demonstrate musical understanding, meeting a number of National Curriculum targets or KS1 and KS2.

2020 is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. To celebrate this anniversary, NMPAT has produced a series of listening activities called ‘Beethoven 9’. These activities are suitable for secondary age pupils and explore a range of Beethoven’s most well-loved pieces.  

Beethoven 9 listening resource introduction

Seven of the nine activities have also been adapted for homework and are available in the Home Learning section on this page.

Russian March: A composing activity suitable for pupils from Year 6 – Year 7. It would fit well within e.g. a unit of work on Marches, a unit of work that explores rhythm and meter or a unit that explores modes and modality.

Doo Wah Wah:

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group have published a resource to encourage children to compost at home, with or without instruments:

Flora Sheringham compiled this wonderful resource in 2002 which was then called Little Pieces. This interesting collection brought together some musical gems with which to enhance delivery of dance within EYFS strand ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and with progression to Dance at KS1. The pieces were chosen specifically to enable listening and responding through dance and are taken from a wide range of styles, genres and traditions.

This exciting resource has now been updated, adopting many of Flora’s insightful ideas and music choices. Dream with your Feet is now available online with detailed practitioners’ notes, offering creative ideas, not only for initiating dance and movement, but also providing cross-curricular activities to connect music and movement to the EYFS Framework and the wider KS1 curriculum.

The activities are aimed at the generalist: they are practical, concise, accessible … ‘pick up and go’ materials. The EYFS Framework and KS1 curriculum notes were written by Sue Nicholls. The dance notes were created by Karen Bailey.


  1. Teddy Bears’ Picnic (PDF 464KB)

  2. Marche Militaire (PDF 394KB)

  3. La Cumparsita (PDF 467KB)

  4. Gymnopedie (PDF 492KB)

  5. Polka (PDF 440KB)

  6. Mother Goose (PDF 371KB)

  7. When the Saints (PDF 414KB)

  8. Maple Leaf Rag (PDF 458KB)

  9. Tin Roof Blues (PDF 639KB)

  10. Can Can (PDF 473KB)

  11. Tortoise (PDF 464KB)

  12. Grasshopper (PDF 405KB)

  13. Waltz (PDF 320KB)

  14. Round Dance (PDF 502KB)

Musical Development Matters is a brand-new guidance document with an accompanying online resource, created by Nicola Burke.

The overall purpose of Musical Development Matters is to support practitioners, teachers, musicians and parents to see the musical attributes of young children and to offer ideas as to how they can support and nurture children’s musical development by offering broad musical experiences. 

This is an interdisciplinary unit for KS3 history and music (which could also be adapted for GCSE music), based on the life and music of the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. Fela Kuti was a musician and political activist who’s musical style developed into Afro-Beat, a style which profoundly influenced Funk music in the 1970s.

Originally written as a resource for the Royal Opera Fanfare competition, these documents provide complete schemes of work for different secondary age groups.

It should be noted that the KS4 resource was originally written to link with past specifications and is therefore out of date. However, the resources may still provide relevant learning opportunities and activities which can be enjoyed and infused into existing schemes of work.

Music Made Simple is a complete primary scheme of work written by Sue Nicholls. The scheme is topic based and has been written with the needs of generalist primary teachers in mind. It is fully resourced with planning documents, powerpoint slides and mp3 files for each unit of work. An introduction is available below and the full course can be accessed here.

Nine Table Top video lessons for primary classes working in social distancing environments

Nine short lessons each with a rhythm focus devised to meet the challenge of class bubbles and social distancing. Three each for years 1 & 2, years 3 & 4 and years 5 & 6. Lessons are delivered by Sue Nicholls.

Pupils will require either an unpitched percussion instrument each (e.g. a pair of claves) or objects that can be tapped (e.g. a pair of chopsticks or a pair of pencils etc.) as part of their table top equipment.

A powerpoint is available for each lesson so that teachers can replicate each lesson in the future.

Ten Pieces Plus Primary was commissioned in 2015 and circulated free to all of the Primary Schools in Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Ten Pieces Plus Primary Resources are now available for download here.

Secondary Ten Pieces Plus is a resource for Secondary Schools to help them get the most out of the BBC Ten Pieces initiative.

Commissioned by a consortium of Hubs, led by Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, these resources have been written by Chris Hiscock, Hilary Miles, Peter Hunt and Deena Day and have been edited by Sue Nicholls.

There are ten stand-alone units, one based on each of the pieces, containing:

  • Teacher pages:
    • Context
    • Musical ingredients
    • Learning activities summary
    • KS3 music curriculum links
    • Key Learning
    • Related listening examples
    • Possible links with other subjects
    • Learning activities – teacher notes
    • Teacher resources (worksheets, scores, etc.)
  • Pupil pages (worksheets, etc.)
  • Additional MP3 files as appropriate

The resources are also available in CD format and can be ordered from us free of charge. If you would like to order, please contact There will be a small charge for postage and packaging.

The materials produced in 2006 together constitute a professional development programme for secondary music teachers. They should be used in conjunction with a school’s CPD programme and linked to its self-evaluation and improvement plan. They should also be used to support a long-term CPD programme for individual music teachers, addressing both personal and departmental needs and interests.

  • Leadership guide
  • Unit 1 Structuring learning for music understanding – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in structuring learning so that there is an explicit focus on musical understanding.
  • Unit 2 Structuring learning for music engagement – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in structuring learning so that there is an explicit focus within lessons on musical engagement though sequences of episodes that enable pupils to ‘engage – learn – review’.
  • Unit 3 Creative teaching and learning in music – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in developing creative teaching and learning in music so that they can teach more creatively, provide varied musical challenges and enable pupils to use a wider variety of thinking skills.
  • Unit 4 Modelling in music – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in modelling so that they can clarify more effectively the conventions, processes and procedures of the music being studied, show and articulate how pupils can improve their learning and demonstrate expectations of outcomes with greater clarity.
  • Unit 5 Challenge in music – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in setting appropriate challenge in music so that they can promote higher-order thinking skills, recognise increasing challenge in musical understanding and evaluation skills, and accommodate pupils’ prior learning, particularly in relation to quality of instrumental and vocal expertise.
  • Unit 6 Feedback in music – this unit aims to help music teachers review and refine their practice in providing musical feedback so that when teaching they can apply generic principles about assessment for learning, effectively use the full range of people who can provide feedback to pupils as they work, and use a variety of feedback mechanisms to help pupils know how they can improve their work.

This KS3 literacy in music resource was produced as part of the Secondary National Strategy. It is an excellent resource with guidance on ways of developing different aspects of literacy in relation to performing, composing and listening activities in the classroom.

Music Technology resources

These activities and resources have also been compiled by NMPAT classroom teachers with the aim of supporting both staff working informally in schools and parents working with their children at home.

A great ‘master’ resource page with links collated from a large pool of educators:

A webpage based music tech learning tutorial that takes you through the basic functions of a DAW. Suitable for all ages and beginners, lots of fun!:

An online collaborative digital audio workstation proving popular with schools:

Brilliant magazine and online publication, includes many tutorials and interesting articles. Does require a subscription to access the latest material though:

Straight to the point, amazing YouTube tutorials and demonstrations. Dom is affiliated with Yamaha and Steinberg so a lot of content will be based around these products:

‘Produce Like a Pro’ is an amazing resource with a ‘real deal’ music producer. There’s some great interviews on the channel and handy tips and tricks. Highly recommended:

The following are a series of links to highly recommended music resources suitable for home learning which have been produced and shared by Leicestershire Music Hub.

Thinking of learning an instrument...

Please see the tabs below for introductory videos on having lessons in each department.

Home Learning: activities, ideas and resources for continuing music learning from home

The following list of online activities and resources has been compiled by NMPAT primary classroom teachers. The list aims to support both staff working informally in schools and parents working with their children at home, signposting both resources and engaging activities that encourage participation and musical thinking.

For resources for instrumental and vocal lessons please visit the Resources for lessons page.

Ten Pieces:

Ten Pieces resources bursting with ideas for how to get children to engage and be creative with classical music

Ten Pieces and the Nutcracker – live lesson:

An online lesson introducing children to The Nutcracker. A lesson full of dance and movement, aimed at 7 – 11 year olds.

Ten Pieces Party Live Session:

An online lesson in which children learn about rhythm, melody and dynamics, the building blocks of musical composition in a lesson aimed at 7 – 11 year olds 

Classical Music for Early Years / KS1 – Ten Pieces:

Ten Pieces resources bursting with ideas for how to get Early Years / KS1 chidren to engage and be creative with classical music

House of sound:–science-ks2-house-of-sound/zncr7nb

A series of short films exploring the science of sound, music and musical instruments

Nursery rhymes:

Great versions on old classic nursery rhymes for younger learners (Reception/year 1)

BBC Ten Pieces has put together weekly activities for primary schools, home educators and parents to share with their students:

For students still attending school they are offering opportunities for workshops with BBC musicians:

This year is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. To celebrate this anniversary, NMPAT has produced a series of listening activities for secondary students that can be downloaded and completed at home.  The listening activities are as follows:

Home Learning Resources

These are the resources adapted for home learning. For the full set please look under Curriculum Resources.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group have shared a resource to encourage children to compose music at home, with or without instruments:

A series of Early Years Foundation Stage fun activities based around the theme of spiders:

Top Marks:

On this site children can create a sound picture and solve musical mysteries

Classics for kids:

Games include: Learning musical terms, play note names, match the rhythm, compose your own music, open instruments in an orchestra, explore composer timeline and explore the composer map.

Opera Maker:

An interactive program where children can make their own opera. May need to be downloaded.

Go classical for kids:

Children can direct their own opera in this program.

The music interactive:

Some free apps on this site including playing the recorder interactive and set up for a white board. and Staff Wars, exploring music notation.

Music Tech Teacher:

Quizzes and games for a little light hearted relief!

Sound Picture:  Composing using a visual stimulus, based on the Carnival of the Animals with teachers notes and group work.

Primary Resources:  

A few one off lessons and mini activities on this site.

Musicians Union:  

Some simple glock songs using sol-fa.

Great Home British Chorus:

Gareth Malone is running a live Great Home British Chorus sing along, each night at 5:30pm.  Sign up at  You will be sent downloads for the song ‘You are my sunshine’.  Suitable for kids as well as adults. 

Race through Space – City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra:

Violinists Charlotte Skinner and Bryony Morrison present a series of short videos taking young astronauts aged 4-7 on a musical adventure through space. Over six weeks they’ll explore orchestral repertoire and different elements of music in order to design a musical spaceship built from the interrelated dimensions of music featured in the KS1 curriculum. Accompanied by well-known pieces of music, each week they will look at one of six musical building blocks and encourage children to create that part of the spaceship in preparation for blast-off! 

Nine short music lessons devised to meet the challenge of home learning or school learning with class bubbles and social distancing. Three each for years 1 & 2, years 3 & 4 and years 5 & 6. Lessons are delivered by Sue Nicholls.

Year 1 and 2:

Year 3 and 4:

Year 5 and 6:

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra:

SFSKids includes: a fun and playful series of educational modules presented as immersive environments and using animal avatars as guides; the ability to explore various linkages between composers, instruments and music compositions; interactive online tutorials to learn about music basics; the opportunity for users to compose and notate their own original music; and much more.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra:

The site features games, listen and learn, and various teacher resources, from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

New York Philharmonic Orchestra:

Great graphics and fun games (like the clarinet scavenger hunt) make this New York Philharmonic website great, especially for instrumental students.

London Symphony Orchestra

A video performance of Ravel’s Bolero in which the listener can experience the orchestra from multiple points of view.

Out of the Ark:

Seven free songs for children to sing on their own or together, one for each day of the week

Sing Up home-schooling:

Free songs for different ages to sing along at home

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music:

100 pieces of classical music for you to explore at home

Incorporated Society of Musicians:

A selection of online learning resources collated by the ISM which you may find useful for primary, secondary and instrumental learning. Many are free or discounted during the COVID-19 pandemic

Music Express Primary Music Scheme of work (Collins) is offering free access to Music Express for the duration of the current crisis to support teachers, parents and pupils while schools are closed.

The link for parents is:   (scroll down and click on ‘Free Children’s Song bank’ box).

The link for teachers is:  (click on the Order Forms link in Step 2 and choose the Primary one, then email to the address in Step 3).

Each Friday the Royal Opera House will post 6 learning activities on their  Create and Learn platform,

Check the ROH social channels to see opera and ballet celebrities spreading the word, and taking part. You can watch Darcey Bussell announcing the series here.

The Learning Station:

Songs & action songs for children to sing along to

Debbie Doo TV: 

For young kids.  Bright videos and upbeat, action songs combining music with PE sessions

Visual Musical Minds: 

Some good resources on his page especially the rhythm exercises. 

Music with Lindsey:     

Youtube link to sing along for early years,  it also includes some interactive percussion work.

Music Express Magazine KS1& Early Years: 

The music show video lessons 1 – 6 are good for KS1 and Early Years.

Music Express Magazine KS2.  (

The music show video lessons aimed at KS2

Beethoven for Kids (250 years of Beethoven::

Selected repertoire selected to introduce children to the music of Beethoven

Body Percussion:

A great series of videos for children to create body percussion rhythms and movements.

Learning the ukulele


This is a great program for learning and playing along on your ukulele. Start with the chords C F G Am. Then play with videos. Songs include I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. How to play reggae rhythms with Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and so much more. These music videos start at really easy and progress from there.

Teaching Weeks

We teach for 33 weeks out of the academic year, with designated periods to allow for any catch up required.  

Lesson administration

Additional resources

NMPAT continues to be a premier partner of Charanga and are able to offer all Northamptonshire and Rutland schools access to Charanga’s award-winning Musical School programme. 

Musical School is a living cloud-based resource that brings together great music, modern pedagogy and the latest educational technology. It supports all aspects of music in school including the new music curriculum, as well as providing children and their families with opportunities to continue learning and exploring music at home through Music World.

Musical School is available through NMPAT at a discounted rate of £195 per year. You can sign up for a 30 day trial period before ordering.

Authored by primary music specialists, Kapow Primary’s Music scheme of work for EYFS to year 6 is designed to develop key skills:

  • Performing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • Inter-related dimensions of music: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure

The scheme of work is suitable for both specialists and non-specialists, and provides teachers and subject leaders with in-built professional development through teacher videos, highlighting key aspects of Music, and supporting documents, such as a curriculum overview, knowledge organisers, a list of musicians, a progression of skills guide and an editable assessments spreadsheet.

A subscription to Kapow Primary’s Music scheme of work gives you access to:

  • Over 100 exciting lessons with built-in CPD created by subject specialists
  • Teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and confidence
  • Full coverage of the Music national curriculum and, for schools that wish to adopt the Model Music Curriculum, new and revised lessons for September 2021
  • Useful guides and resources for Music subject leaders
  • Knowledge organisers for all units (from August 2021)
  • Introductions to a diverse range of music genres, providing pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Assessment through knowledge catchers and quizzes (from August 2021)

Watch a quick introduction to the scheme of work or explore the lessons

Discover the units of lessons for free with a no-obligation 7-day trial. Northamptonshire and Rutland schools are eligible for 12% off their subscription price – get in touch with us today for a special code to use at checkout at

NMPAT has partnered with Collins Music to bring all Northamptonshire and Rutland schools access to award-winning digital primary music curriculum resource Music Express at a special discounted rate.

Music Express delivers everything you need to teach primary music.  It is the go-to digital resource for thousands of schools across the UK and further afield, who want a comprehensive and engaging music scheme that’s easy to use for both non-specialist and specialist music teachers.

Take a tour of Music Express here!

  • Complete resources for teaching curriculum music from Early Years to age 11
  • Lesson plans, schemes of work, assessment sheets, skills progression documents and more
  • Backing tracks and performance tracks with synchronised lyric display
  • Easy-to-use materials support teachers with little or no musical experience
  • A Song Bank with hundreds of songs suitable for all ages and abilities
  • A wealth of activities specially designed for Early Years practitioners
  • Materials to develop foundational musical skills
  • Includes Ukulele Magic, the whole-class instrumental scheme
  • Written by leading music education experts

NEW for 2021:

  • Covid-19 Support Area now includes ideas for adapting all lessons and activities, which can be selected to fit with your school’s policy and the latest guidelines
  • SEND notes offering additional ways to diversify activities to help meet the needs of every child
  • Tech ideas for how to incorporate technology into the lessons and activities, often signposting to suitable apps
  • Brand new resources for delivering the revised Early Years framework

For more information about Music Express visit

To sign up for a free 30-day trial or arrange a subscription at a discounted price of £160 (+VAT) please complete this simple online form.

Ofsted has published its latest research review looking at music education in schools. Click here to access a summary and full report:

The Arts Festival is presented by 4 learning associations with support form NMPAT.

A wonderful opportunity to perform on stage at The Derngate, Northampton in front of an audience. The dates for the Festival 2022 are Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th June.

Please contact Anna Carter for more information:

Composition competitions

Our current composition project is {insert}. You can also find all of our previous composition competitions and their resources.

CPD training courses

We deliver these courses to cover every key stage and part of the national curriculum. Also includes the Certificate for Music Educators.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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