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Using musical instruments in the classroom

Useful resources

  • Amadeus Nursery

    This purchasable resource has wonderful arrangements of children’s songs and nursery rhymes recorded on authentic (rather than computer-generated) instruments and sung by professional artists.

  • BBC Ten Pieces

    Free resources to support musical exploration of ten pieces of music, including lesson plans, arrangements, examples of schools using them.

  • Beat Goes On

    Junk percussion – a free guide for schools.

  • The National Curriculum for Music: An assessment and progression framework

    A free resource written by Dr Ally Daubney and Prof. Martin Fautley. Published by the ISM Trust.

  • English Folk Dance and Song Society

    Free downloadable materials for using English traditional folk song, music, dance, drama and other arts across your teaching and learning, including lesson ideas and audio recordings.

  • Expert Subject Advisory Group for Music Education

    Links within the site to teaching ideas connected with the musical ideas underpinning the National Curriculum for Music; free resources are provided by a consortium of university ITE providers.

  • Firstnotes App

    Free App for use with children in Early Years – either at home or an educational setting.

  • Key Stage 1 music apps

    A free list of useful apps and potential uses from Kelly Jo Peters, teacher at a special school - these apps have great potential in mainstream pre-schools and primary schools too.

  • Musical Futures Just Play

    A skills-building approach for Year 4, 5 and 6 teachers through whole-class music making with limited free resources.

  • Dr Jonathan Savage

    Dr Jonathan Savage has kindly shared links to his notes and resources for working with primary music trainees at Manchester Metropolitan University. These are freely available.

Voiceplay: 22 Songs for Young Children

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Street, A. and Bance, L. (2006)
Built around 22 songs, this purchasable resource offers hands-on advice and concise notes relating to ways to develop voices and the use of instruments through musical games and activities.

Schools who share a lot of resources and great work via their websites:

Teaching Primary Music

If you would like to read more on this subject, Dr Alison Daubney's Teaching Primary Music is a great place to start. This new book gives beginning primary school teachers clear guidance on how to successfully teach music without recourse to specialised training. Download the leaflets below for more information and a 25% discount (offer ends 31 December 2017).

If you enjoyed this resource from the ISM Trust, the Independent Society of Musicians’ (ISM) sister charity, please consider making a donation towards our work. You kind donation will help us continue to create pioneering resources to support music and all those who work in the sector.