Lesson 1: Ragtime

Pupils learn about the style of ragtime music and learn to play 'off the beat' and to sing and clap a syncopated rhythm

Before the lesson

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Learning objective

  • To sing and clap a syncopated rhythm for a ragtime style song

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Could just sing the syncopated rhythm without clapping.


Pupils working at greater depth: Encourage to tap their feet to the on the beat while singing – and especially when clapping the syncopated section.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Laura Barr,  
Music specialist
In her 14 year teaching career, Laura assumed the role of Music Lead, and was Head of Music in a large secondary school. Laura has a passion for working with children with a disadvantaged background, either through deprivation or disability,…
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