Lesson 3: Learning the theme

Children use complex rhythms to perform a theme, taking inspiration from Benjamin Britten's 'The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra', written in 1945

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To use complex rhythms to be able to perform a theme

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: If children are struggling with the body percussion section, get them to repeat the stamps the whole way through. During the final section, they could just do the claps rather than the rhythm on knees. During the singing section, they could play the pulse on a chime bar tuned to A or D.


Pupils working at greater depth: Any child with instrument knowledge could try to play the singing line on an instrument. Confident children could lead the class in the Wrapping up activity, or be a group leader when the class splits into two halves.

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,…
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