Music - Some pointers on direction

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

What it's all about

How do you get young children to understand musical directions during a lesson about composing and performing? Lbuzzybea has shared her own "musical language", which covers the most common musical terms through a mix of photo cards, clip art and symbols, writes Sara Carroll.

Instructions are shown in a clear, colourful and logical style. Printed out as prompt cards, they can be used to conduct pupils performing on a variety of instruments as they describe the style of playing in terms of dynamics, pitch and tempo. The cards will not only make music more accessible to P1-3 pupils and those with additional support needs, but will also help to develop literacy skills.

Lbuzzybea's accompanying resource of photo cards showing common school instruments can be used as a guide to choose what to play or discuss. Which instruments would be good to make a strong beat, play different notes or express particular emotions?

And another thing

Today is National Sing Up Day, which aims to get every schoolchild united in song for one day. It's a great opportunity to get singing in the classroom, using rhythm and rhyme to improve pupils' memory skills.

Even if you miss the day itself, the official website contains a wide range of resources, including a bank of more than 300 songs; vocal warm-up exercises; training events and a community space to discuss ideas with other teachers.

A selection of songs for the classroom covers French, Spanish, Italian, Welsh, Polish and Latin. Some are traditional, so can be used to teach culture, such as Stille Nacht (Silent Night); others have been specifically designed for the curriculum - for example, A Douze, a song about counting in French. For more details, visit

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today