5 resources for teaching music to primary students

To celebrate music in schools, here is a list of useful resources for teachers. This is not a definitive guide – so feel free to add to it. Share your favourite resources in the comments and tell us your thoughts on the state of music education.

Children can easily learn about soundtracks by watching movies. This resource centers upon on how music is used in popular children’s films and how thoughts and feelings are conveyed through music.

Literacy through singing. The Jolly Music and the EYFS learning goals resource is a fun way to teach music to kids. Based on the principles of Hungarian composer and music educator Zoltán Kodály, it helps the learning of a variety of subjects, including maths, through singing. The resource is structured to build up children’s reading, listening and music writing skills.

Children should not sit on the floor while singing as this means they strain their necks. It’s better to have them standing up with shoulders wide apart. There is also a handy guide which contains advice for making a ‘shaker’ instrument.

Explore grammar through music. Combining English learning with music does not appear bad idea either. Download resources like the Apostrophe song, whose lyrics teach the correct use apostrophes. The song begins: “An apostrophe can be used to shorten two words/This is called contraction/This is called contraction”.


Teach pentatonic scales. Here’s one of The Guardian’s own resources: an interactive whiteboard activity which introduces students to pentatonic music (music made up of five notes). You can listen to the songs to hear what the melody sounds like and click on each note to find out which one it is.