Lesson 1: Pop Art and music

Children explore the musical concept of theme and variations and discover how rhythms can 'translated’ onto different instruments, including body percussion, inspired by artwork from the Pop Art era

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To explore the musical concept of theme and variations

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
  • 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 keep the rhythm the same. Should perform the rhythm using different actions for each teacup image instead of using instruments.


Pupils working at greater depth: Should be offered tuned percussion instruments if you have them e.g. xylophones, glockenspiels, chime bars.  Can be encouraged to make more complex changes, such as performing the rhythm backwards or upside-down.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Sarah Frecknall,  
Music specialist
Sarah Frecknall is a specialist music teacher, currently working in a primary school teaching music from Nursery to Year 6.  Sarah started her teaching career as a Year 3 class teacher, and her music career as a professional jazz singer,…
Find out more