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Umberleigh Academy Vision for Music

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”.

  Plato; Greek philosopher

“Music produces a kind of pleasure that human nature cannot do without”.

Confucius; Chinese philosopher


Every child will leave Umberleigh Academy with a solid foundation in musical skills and a love of music.


At Umberleigh Academy music is creative and enjoyable, as well as academic and demanding. It is taught through the following eight strands;

  • Performance
  • Pulse and rhythm
  • Singing
  • Composition
  • Notation
  • Listening
  • Music appreciation
  • Significant people


Teaching and Learning

All children receive one music lesson a week lead by a music specialist. Key stage 2 children are taught to play an instrument as part of their whole class music lesson for at least one term every year. Instruments include the violin, ukulele, recorder, guitar, djembe drums, samba band instruments and the glockenspiel. Children are taught core skills such as reading basic staff notation and technical vocabulary pertaining to the elements of music, through warm-ups at the start of every lesson as well as in the lessons themselves. These concepts are therefore consistently revisited, enabling children to use them in an increasingly sophisticated way over time. Vocabulary has been taken from the 2021 model music curriculum. Learning intentions and knowledge are taken from Curriculum Maestro and mapped across the music topics to ensure coverage.  


Singing is central to music in our school.  It may be used as a warm-up to start the weekly music lesson or it may be integral to the topic.  Children sing in weekly assemblies and it plays an important role in school events throughout the year including Christmas plays, end of year productions and Christmas concerts. All children are invited to join the school choir.

Additional Instrument teaching

We currently have three peripatetic teachers who offer children the opportunity to learn an instrument in a one to one or small group lesson paid for by parents.  We offer a 50% reduction in cost to those children who are pupil premium.  Weekly recorder clubs are offered for free to all pupils from Year 3 upwards.

Performance opportunities and community links

Performance is an important aspect of being a musician.  Regular sharing assemblies are held for children to perform in and we endeavour to take part in small and large scale performances within the wider community such as performing at the South Molton Fatstock show. Every two years we hire the Queen's Theatre and invite children to take part in a music "Proms Concert" on stage.


Children demonstrate their ability in music in a variety of different ways. The teacher assesses children’s work in music by making informal judgments as they observe them during lessons.  Children are also encouraged to make judgments about how they can improve their own work. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil which is recorded on Arbor and fed into end of year reports.