Music making

Children are encouraged to take an active part in all music making activities. Music plays a very important role in the curriculum throughout the Primary School, with the emphasis being placed on practical music making. It is taught as a class-based activity by a fully qualified music specialist and the children are introduced to all elements of music such as pitch, dynamics, duration, tempo, texture and structure. 

Many children develop high level skills in music and regularly perform in concerts as part of the choirs, recorder group, Junior band and theatre club. Our music competitions and recitals give every child an opportunity to perform, both individually and as part of a group.

In addition to class music lessons, a large team of peripatetic staff provides individual tuition on a wide range of musical instruments. 


In the Autumn term all Year 3 pupils at Derby High Primary take part in nine sessions, during which they can try a brass, woodwind or string instrument in workshops taught by a specialist music teacher. At the end of the programme, called Soundstart, students can then choose which instrument they would like to focus on and from January they are taught in pairs.

The scheme has been introduced by Derby High's Director of Music, Ed Temple.

Mr Temple said all the students were enjoying trying out all of the different instruments: “The first session was a concert presentation which gave students the opportunity to meet the workshop leaders and hear all the instruments played by the specialists.

“They are loaned the instruments free of charge for the entire year. The brass instruments and some of the woodwind instruments are brightly coloured and made from plastic. They are lighter and better suited to the smaller players.

“They work in three small groups of 10 so they get lots of individual attention. It’s a great age to be starting an instrument – they are particularly determined to make a sound on every instrument and very enthusiastic. By the time they’ve finished the nine sessions they will have worked with eight different instruments so they can make a really informed choice about which one they want to focus on.

“The children are all enjoying it and the majority of our Year 4 pupils are now continuing to learn the instrument they chose as part of Soundstart in Year 3.”