Lesson 4: The percussive river

Using the contrasting features of the different stages of a river for inspiration, children compose their own percussive ostinatos

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objectives

  • To create and perform an ostinato


National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture,
    structure and appropriate musical notations

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Remember that in Music, pupils you might expect to need support may not need it, and those you would class as working at greater depth in other curriculum areas might need support.

Pupils needing extra support: Write a sentence for them to use.


Pupils working at greater depth: They can create a longer ostinato or each person in the pair can create a separate ostinato which can then be played together.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progression and understanding


Created by:
Laura Barr,  
Music specialist
In her 14 year teaching careerA job or occupation in one area of work that is undertaken for a long period of time…., Laura assumed the role of Music Lead, and was Head of Music in a large secondary school.…
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