Lesson 2: Pulse and rhythm: You've got a friend

Children learn to play rhythms on untuned percussion instruments to deepen their understanding of pulse and rhythm. Take sensible precautions with the percussion instruments during Covid-19, for example sanitising the handles and quarantining the instruments for a few days.

Before the lesson

Learning objective

  • To clap and play in time to the music

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • Play untuned instruments musically

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Under the guidance of an adult, these children can stamp their feet in time to the music to help them feel the pulse.

If pupils struggle with the singing activity, you can sing most of their part for them, asking them just to sing or say their friend’s name in the gap.


Pupils working at greater depth: Offer peer support to other pupils, and/or act as the ‘leader’ in place of the teacher.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Elizabeth Stafford,  
Music specialist
After a brief spell as an opera singer, Liz embarked on a 20-year career in music education, teaching at early years, primary and secondary. After Liz had her daughter, she started her own business Music Education Solutions® Limited, helping teachers…
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