Curriculum Ideas for Primary MusicSchool_Rainbow_ocarinas_players_primary_music

Programmes of Study for Primary Music in England highlight the playing of TUNED Musical Instruments

Primary Music lessons should be active and involve the whole of the class – just listening to recorded music or singing together is not enough. Instrumental music-making goes a step further and teaches new skills of musicianship, music-reading and ensemble-playing. Ocarina Workshop prepared teaching-resources help any class teacher to meet the requirements.

Ocarina-playing addresses each of the KEY activities, ticking all these boxes and more…

✓ PLAY tuned instruments musically
✓ EXPERIMENT with, create, select and combine sounds
✓ PLAY and PERFORM in solo and ensemble contexts… and with increasing accuracy, FLUENCY, control and expression
✓ improvise and COMPOSE

…plus remember you can include Ocarina-playing in cross-curricular themed lessons – eg: ‘London’s Burning’ for the Fire of London, ‘Daisy Daisy’ and ‘All things bright and beautiful’ for Victorians, ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘Now is the month of Maying’ for Tudors – all in Play your Ocarina books.

The Adventurous Music-Making series has even more cross-curricular material with History and Geography projects well served by Music Time-Traveller and Music World-Explorer. From Stone-Age to Space-Age, and from North America to South Africa, your children can explore the world through making memorable music.


The Music Programmes of Study: key stages 1 and 2 – Ocarinas

Explore the Primary Music Programmes of Study which we have annotated point-by-point with suggestions for Ocarina content.

We hope that you will soon feel confident enough to deliver Ocarina lessons. We are ‘ocarina experts’ and primary/secondary teachers ourselves – here to help as well as provide the instruments, ocarina music and teaching resources. If you are unsure about anything – just ask!


National Curriculum in England

Purpose of study
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

The Ocarina gives children an instrumental voice at the earliest opportunity so they can participate fluently in the ‘language of music’. They play tunes straight away, progressing more rapidly and easily than with any other tuned musical instrument. Ocarinas can be introduced by general class teachers as well as by specialists, demonstrating that everyone can be ‘musical’ and that music need not be the sole preserve of highly trained experts.


The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
    ocarina-playing offers the broadest repertoire for all young musicians to play, sing and evaluate: pupils listen to and make the music themselves with ocarinas. Play your Ocarina Book 1 has themes by Beethoven and Dvorak for everyone to play, along with music across a range of genres, styles and traditions. The six Adventurous Music-Making books also have substantial repertoire for ensemble, class and solo performances. There is no better way of understanding the history of music and the works of great composers than to play through Music Time-Traveller. Audio CDs support both listening and playing.
  • learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
    singing together is key to playing the Ocarina and to all the Adventurous Music-Making repertoire. The Ocarina is at the same pitch as children’s singing voices. Soloists, small groups, whole classes and larger ensembles can perform to a high standard with voices and ocarinas together. Singing each song before playing encourages musicality and music reading.
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
    ocarina players and their teachers learn to read a variety of musical notations from the very first lesson, including staff notation. They experience all the inter-related dimensions of music through actively performing, and they can communicate fluently and expressively at an early stage with the ocarina. This naturally leads to improvising and composing. Music Code-Cracker and Music Music-Maker provide step-by-step practical projects to inspire your whole class for improvising, composing and performing for at least two years, with fresh ideas on every page.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

All these targets are attainable through whole-class ocarina playing and performing.


Subject content / Ocarina input

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
    ocarina materials are designed to sing first. Chanting lyrics rhythmically helps children to internalise rhythms before playing them accurately on the ocarina.
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
    ocarinas are the simplest and most versatile of all tuned musical instruments; their simplicity makes high quality musical performance possible at Key stage 1.
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
    ‘Play your Ocarina’ and ‘Adventurous Music-Making’ materials are arranged, performed and recorded to an excellent standard, introducing children to many genres of music, all of which they can eventually play themselves.
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
    once children have the skills to play the ocarina, they can be encouraged to experiment by asking questions such as “how many parts should a round be played in, and what will it sound like with voices only, ocarinas only, or both together”. They can also make first attempts at individual and group compositions through games, guided choices and their own intuitive experiments on the ocarina. Compositions can be easily notated using ocarina notation.

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.

Rapid progress is possible in well-taught whole class ocarina lessons. This progress results in confident, fluent performing and high levels of motivation. Pupils learn how music is put together and develop an acute aural awareness when playing ocarinas. The more they play, the more they can use this skill to improvise and compose.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
    ocarinas are simple instruments that lend themselves to fluent, accurate, controlled and expressive musical performance in solo and ensemble playing.
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
    playing a variety of different genres of music on the ocarina opens the way to improvising and composing; the ocarina’s portability makes it readily accessible at all times and in all circumstances. Children can notate their compositions easily and effectively using ocarina and staff notation.
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
    this naturally develops in any continuously well-taught ocarina class. Book 1 CD-Rom software, ‘1-2-3 Ocarina Screens’ and the audio CDs that accompany each book allow children to hear great music, and then play it along with the high-quality backings.
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations
    staff and other musical notations appear side by side in ocarina music books: understanding comes naturally through regular playing, and is accessible to all.
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
    high quality ocarina recordings underpin all ocarina lessons and introduce pupils to the broadest range of music that can be played on any instrument at Key stage 2.
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.
    play along with CD backings of harpsichord, orchestra, band, etc to experience the history of music first-hand. ‘Music Time-Traveller’ has everything to help pupils recreate great music of the past with their ocarinas, voices and classroom instruments.School_Rainbow_ocarinas_players_primary_music