Teaching Plan


Our theme this term is Songs of the Sea, which has always been a popular option with our harmonauts. It’s a great way to celebrate our national musical heritage, and also to explore worldwide musical traditions that draw on a maritime experience. While we work on our study pieces, we will also investigate our musical element topic, which is tempo.

With help from their Harp Academy teacher, children in KS2 will select Songs of the Sea from our KS2 Music Library. Pre-School, Reception and KS1 children will continue to focus on KS1 Book 1, but will also work on some of the easier seafaring material from our KS1 Music Library. Home support pages for all our songs are available to subscribers in the KS1 and KS2 Music Libraries on this site. And as we draw towards the Easter holidays, we will prepare one or two seasonal tunes too.

What is tempo? Children will learn about time signatures, beats per minute and how to vary the speed of note playing and passages. They will also explore musical terminology for different tempos (for example, lento, largo, adagio, vivace, allegro, presto), applying these to their playing and learning how tempo affects the character of music.

Staccato and legato are central to good breath control on the harmonica. Children will learn to include smooth, sustained notes, and short repeat notes in their phrasing. We will also keep an eye on posture and how we hold the harmonica; there is a conventional way of using both hands, which facilitates further technical skills. KS2 children will continue to explore note-bending skills.

As appropriate, KS2 children will be encouraged to improvise using our Harp Academy’s popular backing tracks. Groups may also compose their own songs while exploring our tempo theme.

Children are encouraged to identify and talk about tempo in songs or music they personally enjoy, and how this adds to the character of a piece of music.

We will use a variety of musical activities to help children develop an understanding of musical tempos, including our worksheets and flash cards.

Performance is a powerful device for building self-identity and a sense of worth. Our chosen pieces will help build key performance skills. Where feasible, we will end our term with a playback in school assembly. In the summer term, children will be invited to join us on the Kids’ Stage at Paddle Round The Pier on Saturday 6th July.

Charlie’s HarmonicaJ.Jean Robertson
Charlie's HarmonicaCharlie’s Grandpa teaches Charlie to play the harmonica. Charlie loves making music and he takes his harmonica everywhere. Even in the shower! Find out what happens when Charlie enters the School Talent Contest.

Charlie’s Harmonica is a book from the Level 1-2 Red Reader reading series. It comes complete with reading tips, a key word list and activity and extended study ideas. Charlies Harmonica is published by Rourke Educational Media (ISBN 978-1-61810312-3). Illustrations are by Jenny Snape. Buy at Amazon UK

The Cello of Mr.O – Jane Cutler
The Cello of Mr.O IIWe absolutely adore this book! In a war-torn city, a little girl struggles with many emotions. Her father is away fighting, there is no heating oil, and food is scarce.

Each afternoon, in full view of snipers and amidst the bomb bursts, Mr.O sits in the square and plays his Cello. Until one day a shell destroys his instrument. Undaunted, he returns to play tunes on his harmonica. Through Mr.O’s music, the little girl learns to confront fear and build courage. The Cello of Mr.O is published by Dutton Children’s Books (ISBN 0-525-46119-1) and illustrated by Greg Crouch. Buy at Amazon UK