Lesson 5: Pulse and rhythm: Practise makes perfect

After identifying the pulse in several songs, pupils practise performing either the pulse or rhythm to highlight the differences between the two

Before the lesson

Classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To understand the difference between pulse and rhythm

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • Play untuned instruments musically
  • Create sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music (rhythm)
  • Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Keep these pupils on the pulse part during the activities.


Pupils working at greater depth: See the ‘Count on Me’ activity.

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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