Lesson 3: Comparing planets

Pupils compare two pieces of music by the same composer, using their developing musical vocabulary to explain differences and changes in tempo, dynamics, timbre and the instruments used.

Before the lesson

Learning objective

  • To compare two pieces of music

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Listen for and recognise some of the inter-related dimensions of music (dynamics, pitch and timbre)

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: May benefit from working as part of a group to explore how many sounds can be adapted to reflect the mood of a piece of music.


Pupils working at greater depth: Should justify how dynamics, tempo and timbre are used to create the dark or heavy mood of war in Holst’s ‘Mars’ and a hopeful or light mood in ‘Venus’. They should also describe the image both pieces of music paint in their mind’s eye.

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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