Music Big Ideas

Being a Musician at Millfields

At Millfields we believe that music education and supporting and enabling children to be musicians can open up new and exciting avenues - and benefit their wider learning, confidence and well being.

Purpose of study:

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.

A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.


A musician at Millfields can confidently and creatively use pitch, rhythm and dynamics. They learn to create, practise and perform music, either by themselves or in a group.  They know how to produce the best performances by listening to directions and to other performers.


We want all Millfields Musicians to understand and appreciate a wide range of styles of music.  They will know what it means to be successful in their music learning, by focusing on pitch (high/low sounds), rhythm (beat/pulse) and dynamics (loud/soft) and developing their listening skills.  They will engage with learning to play musical instruments and by singing a wide range of songs across a range of cultures and genres.


Musicians at Millfields and their teachers will be able to explain or show how creating, performing and listening to music helps to build their confidence and concentration and allows them to express their ideas and feelings.  By questioning and observing and recording them at different points through the year and as they move through the school, we will be able to see their progress.

Music at Millfields

Music is a thriving subject at Millfields and all classes have a music specialist once a week to further enhance and facilitate their musical development.  The children all learn to sing a range of songs from a range of styles, genres and cultures. By engaging children in making and responding to music, we offer opportunities for children to:

  • develop their understanding and appreciation of a wide range of different kinds of music, develop and extend their own interests and to increase their ability to make judgements of musical quality;

  • acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make music, for example in community music-making,

  • develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subject areas and that are needed for life and work, for example listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity,

  • perseverance, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others

How Music is taught at Millfields

Each year group is taught music  in 6 half termly units.  Each unit contains opportunities to cover, in increasing depth, the main strands of the NC programmes of study for Music. Each unit links songs to a thematic structure allowing children to sing, listen to and evaluate a wide range of song types/ genres across different times and cultures. We use Charanga Music School and Music Express to enhance school designed units of study.



Extracurricular Music is popular at Millfields with a thriving KS1 and KS2 Choir.  Our KS2 Choir sing at many festivals and occasions around London.  Both Choirs sing at the Hackney Music Festival each year and visit various places to sing carols during December. Our Rock and Jazz Bands perform regularly too and in summer 2019 played at the Sidcot Festival of Peace in Bristol.

In 2016 we won the Mayors Music Award for Ensemble development in November (worth £5,000) and a Y6 pupil won the individual Music award (£1,000). We have used that money to setup our Rock and Jazz Bands who play a range of music to a very high standard and have performed at The Barbican, At Sidcot School Festival of Peace and the Hackney Empire.



Enrichment in Music  at Millfields

The Music Department aims to put on concerts in December and the Summer term and a production in Spring with a mixed age group. Y2 all perform a Musical nativity and Y6 stage a  full musical in the summer term. Regular opportunities are created to showcase our musical talent here at Millfields including assemblies, fairs and other school events like the Diversity Night, Creative Evening, Wedding Picnics and Sports week. We are supported by a team of instrumental tutors who contribute a great deal to live performances and concerts as well as school assemblies.

Sincer 2020 we have organised a live Zoom Concert every term giving pupils a regular opportunity to perform for their families and peers in a safe way. We made a large range of songs for children to access to sing along with during the lockdowns and continued to teach instrumental lessons online.

We have excellent provision for learning instruments at KS2 and many children leave with Grade 4 or higher in an instrument.  Instrumental tuition in small groups or individually is offered to all KS2 children at two rates for pupils with Free School meals and for all other pupils.

We also offer various lunchtime and after school clubs including Rock Band and Jazz Band but are currently phasing them back in post Covid restrictions. Over 40% of children now learn; Guitar, Keyboards, Violin, Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Ukulele, Recorder, Bass Guitar and Drums.


Here's what the pupils say

Y1 - We sing, dance and play instruments

Y2 - We have found out about Rock music. We have been singing and playing the glockenspiels

Y3 - We have been learning about music notes and about Bob Marley

Y4 - We have been learning a song called “Lean on me” it helps us think about how I can help others

Y5 - In Garage Band lessons we compose music in groups and learn to express our feelings. In music you can play your own instruments in sessions.

Y6 - We are learning about Carole King. We are going to be composing our own songs soon. We play our own instruments in class music too.

Music at home

There are lots of ways to support your child’s musical learning at home.

with lots and lots of our school songs recorded in the last two years as well as recordings of Music Assemblies and online concerts

  • Encourage them to listen to a wide range of music

  • Encourage them to practice their instrument regularly if they are having lessons

Home activity ideas

Create homemade instruments with household items

Creating instruments together can be a fun activity and the instruments can then be used to explore different aspects of music. Try creating shakers by using pasta and rice in empty bottles or containers. You could also try using bottles either filled with water or empty them with spoons or twigs to make sounds, or you could just use upturned pans and colanders. You could create a musical performance using your homemade instrument. Look at ‘Stomp’ for inspiration.

Learn to sing your favourite song

Find a karaoke version of your favourite songs on Youtube, learn to sing it and perform it at a karaoke party with your family.

Make your own simple guitar

You can create a string-type instrument using tissue boxes, shoe boxes without the lids or fruit punnets. Use the box for the base of the instrument and take four to six rubber bands or pieces of string. Wrap the rubber bands or string around the base, the long way, and make sure there is space between the rubber bands. Experiment with ways of making sounds with the bands. Also you could try using small pieces of sandpaper wound round a finger of each hand to rub together and create sounds.

Recreate the sounds you hear in daily life

When you go outside for a walk, a journey in the car or when sitting in the garden, stop and listen to the sounds that are around you. Think about:

What you can hear and what is making those sounds. Are they sounds that you expected to hear?

If you have access to a device, record the sounds you hear that are interesting such as birds, the wind, water, other animals or vehicles.

Think about how those sounds could be recreated at home.

You could make a piece of music together that represents the different types of sounds that you hear on the different journeys that you make.

Represent music through art

Listen to your favourite song or piece of music. Draw along as you listen; you could use pencil, crayons, felt tip pens or paint to do this. How does the music make you feel? Let your hands ‘dance’ along with the music and watch how different songs are represented through visual art.

Websites to use: