Lesson 2: Pulse and rhythm

Children revisit syncopation (playing the ‘off-beat’; initially introduced in Y3 - Jazz) and practise identifying and performing different rhythms

Before the lesson

Learning objectives

  • To understand and play syncopated rhythms

National curriculum

  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • 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: Should be given the easier rhythms to play, such as ‘1 2 3 4’ (slide 2) and the ‘Chewy Toffee’ rhythm (slide 3).


Pupils working at greater depth: Should be pushed to play the more challenging rhythms, such as ‘I’m jumping around’ (slide 3).

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progression 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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