Kanes Hill Primary School

Music Skills Progression


Year 1 & 2

Year 1 Year 2

Understand that different instruments are used to provide different sounds and for different effects.  

Recognise different genres key features and their impact. 

Verbalise the effect music has on their feelings.

Show preferences for different music


Joins in with group singing, building a repertoire of songs. 


Use chants and rhymes to build rhythmic capability.

Sing with increasing awareness of pitch, demonstrating the shape of the melody.


SIng unison songs with control and simple rounds with an awareness of how the part should fit.


Can hold and play a range of percussion instruments.


Play tuned and untuned instruments experimenting with timbre and melody.


Perform using simple graphic notation

Play simple patterns on tuned and untuned percussion instruments with increasing control.


Play tuned and untuned instruments with a sense of tempo and dynamics.  


Perform using graphic scores and other simple notation.

Improvising & Composing

Explore sounds on tuned and untuned instruments.


Create and choose sounds in response to given starting points.

Use given simple symbols to represent sounds.

Explore tuned and untuned instruments, improvising with a theme in mind.


Create short sequences of sound in response to given starting points. 


Create simple soundscapes for intended effect.

Understand how pictures and symbols can represent sound. 


Listen to a range of live and recorded pieces identifying key instruments.


Identify changes in music and respond with movement.


Listen to own performances providing simple constructive comments.

Listen to a range of live and recorded music identifying changes in pitch and tempo.


Verbalise their own opinions and preferences on music they listen to.


Listen to their own compositions and that of others and suggest improvements.

Year 3 & 4

Year 3 Year 4

Understand the ways that sounds can be combined and used expressively. 

Recognise how the different musical elements are combined and make improvements to their work, commenting on the intended effect.

Music is used creatively in performance and composition.


Confidently sing a variety of songs from different genres with accuracy of pitch.


Maintain parts with support in songs, rounds and part songs.

Confidently and fluently sing in tune with clear diction, breath control and tone.


Maintain part in more difficult songs/part songs.


Perform confidently, both on their own and as part of a group, with an understanding of how their part fits with others.


Understand the effect of rhythm, pitch and dynamics.


Perform from basic notation, reading rhythms confidently.

Perform using a range of tuned and untuned percussion, showing good rhythmic and melodic control.


Demonstrate correct techniques when playing melodic and rhythmic patterns with expression. 


Read from basic conventional notation, with a growing awareness of pitch.

Improvising & Composing

Explore sounds on tuned and untuned instruments, improvising using rhythms and melody.


Communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings through simple musical compositions. 


Create layered compositions and soundscapes using simple rhythmic patterns and melodies.


Use musical symbols of rhythm eg crotchets, quavers and rests to create simple compositions.

Create and refine musical improvisations using more complex rhythms and melodies. 


Create melodic and rhythmic patterns and melodies using voice and instruments. 


Create layers of sound within musical structures, showing an understanding of how sounds fit together.


Use musical symbols and notation relating to rhythm and pitch to record and create compositions.


Listen to a range of live and recorded music from different traditions, genres, styles and times and be able to verbalise what they notice in the music.


Listen and respond to own and others work offering and accepting feedback and suggestions.

Listen to a range of live and recorded music from different traditions, gentres, styles and times, using musical vocabulary to explain what they can hear.


Offer comments on own and others work and suggest ways to improve, accept feedback and suggestions from others. 

Year 5 & 6

Year 5 Year 6

Understand the overall effect of playing with others.

Understand, explain and compile ideas when performing. 

Ideas are refined by listening and musical preferences or changes in the composition are justified

Creative decisions are made with confidence when composing and performing.


Sing with increasing understanding of expression.


Sing part songs and simple harmony lines with an awareness of how the part fits with others.

Sing confidently with awareness of breathing, posture and sound projection.


Sing complex songs including simple harmony lines with expression, clear diction and accurate pitching.


Confidently perform a piece of music as a group, using a range of different instruments, including those learnt outside the classroom.


Performances show a clear awareness of expression and balance. 


Read and perform from a range of different notations.

Maintains own or independent part within a group performance.


Play confidently, demonstrating musical quality eg clear starts and ends, phrases, technical accuracy.


Read and perform from a range of different notations independently.

Improvising & Composing

Create and refine musical improvisations with awareness of musical structure eg The Blues. 


Create music which demonstrates an understanding of structure. 


Select, discuss and refine creative choices.


Choose from different notations to record and create their own music.


Use technology to select, edit and manipulate sound.

Create and refine melodic and rhythmic musical improvisations.


Explore, select, combine and manipulate a range of different sounds, using technology to create compositions.


Compose rhythmic and melodic ideas within clear structures.


Select appropriate notations to record own compositions.


Create music which demonstrates understanding of structure.


Listen to a range of live and recorded music, making musical observations and comparisons.


Critique own and others work offering specific comments eg explaining the effects of different musical elements and justify opinions.

Listen and evaluate a range of live and recorded music, making musical connections between different pieces.  


Share ideas about own and others music and be willing to justify those using musical language.