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Music - Skills Progression


Key Stage 1

Lower Key Stage 2

Upper Key Stage 2

Singing and Voice

  • To sing confidently;
  • Sing a melody accurately at their own pitch;
  • Sing with a sense of awareness of pulse and control of rhythm;
  • Recognise phrase lengths and know when to breathe;
  • Sing songs expressively;
  • Follow pitch movements with their hands and use high, low and middle voices;
  • Begin to sing with control of pitch (e.g. following the shape of the melody);
  • Sing with an awareness of other performers.
  • Sing with confidence using a wider vocal range;
  • Sing in tune;
  • Sing with awareness of pulse and control of rhythm;
  • Recognise simple structures (phrases);
  • Sing expressively with awareness and control at the expressive elements. E.g. timbre, tempo, dynamics;
  • Sing songs and create different vocal effects;
  • Understand how mouth shapes can affect voice sounds;
  • Internalise sounds by singing parts of a song ‘in their heads’.
  • Sing songs with increasing control of breathing, posture and sound projection;
  • Sing songs in tune and with an awareness of other parts;
  • Identify phrases through breathing in appropriate places;
  • Sing with expression and rehearse with others;
  • Sing a round in two parts and identify the melodic phrases and how they fit together;
  • Sing confidently as a class, in small groups and alone, and begin to have an awareness of improvisation with the voice.

Listening, Memory and Movement

  • Recall and remember short songs and sequences and patterns of sounds;
  • Respond physically when performing, composing and appraising music;
  • Identify different sound sources;
  • Identify well-defined musical features.
  • Identify melodic phrases and play them by ear;
  • Create sequences of movements in response to sounds;
  • Explore and choose different movements e.g. to describe animals;
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise the use of structure and expressive elements through dance;
  • Identify phrases that could be used as an introduction, interlude and ending.
  • Internalise short melodies and play these on pitched percussion (play by ear);
  • Create dances that reflect musical features;
  • Identify different moods and textures;
  • Identify how a mood is created by music and lyrics;
  • Listen to longer pieces of music and identify features.


  • Identify the pulse in different pieces of music;
  • Identify the pulse and join in getting faster and slower together;
  • Identify long and short sounds in music;
  • Perform a rhythm to a given pulse;
  • Begin to internalise and create rhythmic patterns;
  • Accompany a chant or song by clapping or playing the pulse or rhythm.
  • Recognise rhythmic patterns;
  • Perform a repeated pattern to a steady pulse;
  • Identify and recall rhythmic and melodic patterns;
  • Identify repeated patterns used in a variety of music (ostinato).
  • Identify different speeds of pulse (tempo)by clapping and moving;
  • Improvise rhythm patterns;
  • Perform an independent part keeping to a steady beat;
  • Identify the metre of different songs through recognising the pattern of strong and weak beats;
  • Subdivide the pulse while keeping to a steady beat.

Sounds and Melody

  • Explore different sound sources;
  • Make sounds and recognise how they can give a message;
  • Identify and name classroom instruments;
  • Create and chose sounds in response to a given stimulus;
  • Identify how sounds can be changed;
  • Change sounds to reflect different stimuli.
  • Identify ways sounds are used to accompany a song;
  • Analyse and comment on how sounds are used to create different moods;
  • Explore and perform different types of accompaniment;
  • Explore and select different melodic patterns;
  • Recognise and explore different combinations of pitch sounds.
  • Skills development for this element are to be found within ‘Instruments’ and ‘Composition’.


  • Play instruments in different ways and create sound effects;
  • Handle and play instruments with control;
  • Identify different groups of instruments.
  • Identify melodic phrases and play them by ear;
  • Select instruments to describe visual images;
  • Choose instruments on the basis of internalised sounds.
  • Identify and control different ways percussion instruments make sounds;
  • Play accompaniments with control and accuracy;
  • Create different effects using combinations of pitched sounds;
  • Use IT to change and manipulate sounds.