Music: Upper Key Stage 2

Lesson plans and teacher videos to instill confidence in your teaching of Music

Teacher skills videos

Composing and improvising UKS2
Staff notation KS2
Staff notation 2 - KS2 - Rhythm and note duration
Staff notation 4 - KS2 - Pitch and clef
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Choose your topic

We make teaching music simple with engaging lessons based on popular themes, from animals and festivals to space and superheroes, all supported by teacher videos

Year 5

Composition notation (Theme: Ancient Egypt)

Based on the theme of Ancient Egypt, children learn to identify the pitch and rhythm of written notes and experiment with notating their compositions, developing their understanding of staff notation.


Children are introduced to this famous genre of music and its history, and learn to identify the key features and mood of Blues music and its importance and purpose. They also get to grips with the 12-bar Blues and the Blues scale, and combine these to create an improvised piece with a familiar, repetitive backing.

South and West Africa

Children learn ‘Shosholoza’, a traditional South African song, play the accompanying chords using tuned percussion and learn to play the djembe. They will also learn a traditional West African drum and add some dance moves ready to perform the song in its entirety.

Composition to represent the festival of colour (Theme: Holi festival)

Exploring the associations between music, sounds and colour; composing and performing their own musical composition to represent Holi, the Hindu festival of colour that celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph over good and evil.

Looping and remixing

In this engaging topic, children learn about how dance music is created, focusing particularly on the use of loops.

Musical theatre

Children are introduced to musical theatre, learning how singing, acting and dancing can be combined to give an overall performance.

Year 6

Dynamics, pitch and texture (Theme: Coast - Fingal’s Cave by Mendelssohn)

Appraising the work of Mendelssohn and further developing improvisation and composition skills.

Songs of World War 2

Developing greater accuracy in pitch and control; identifying pitches within an octave when singing and using knowledge of pitch to develop confidence when singing in parts.

Film music

Exploring and identifying the characteristics of film music. Creating a composition and graphic score to perform alongside a film.

Theme and variations (Theme: Pop Art)

Children explore the musical concept of theme and variations and discover how rhythms can ‘translate’ onto different instruments.

Composing and performing a Leavers' song

Children spend the topic creating their very own leavers’ song personal to their experiences as a class.


*New* unit exploring the music and composers of the Baroque Period and investigating the structural and stylistic features of their work.

ARCHIVED UNIT: Advanced rhythms

This unit has now been archived and will no longer be updated. We suggest replacing the teaching of this unit with the Baroque unit.


Exploring rhythmic patterns in order to build a sense of pulse and using this understanding to create a composition.

Useful resources to teach Music

Sample lessons

Sample lessons 1