Lesson 3: Letter notation

Learning that the pentatonic scale is a five-note scale, pupils use a tuned instrument to play the scale together as a class, before moving on to playing pentatonic melodies in pairs

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objectives

  • To write and perform a pentatonic melody


National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music


Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Group these pupils together and support them to create their pentatonic melody. Use the Activity: Pentatonic melody grid support.


Pupils working at greater depth: Can add performance directions to their score, including dynamic markings, tempo markings and other performance indications, and then practise following these when they perform.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progression 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 SolutionsĀ® Limited, helping teachers…
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