Musical Futures Transition Project – FREE download

About the resource

An introduction to the ‘Passenger’ Resources


“Many of the planned programmes of study for Year 7 observed in the survey started with a project on ‘The Elements of Music’. Notwithstanding inspectors’ concerns with the quality of music education in some primary schools, the picture observed during the survey was not as bleak as that proposed by many secondary schools. Yet frequently heads of music explained that the reason for going back to basics’ with the elements of music – teaching students about the fundamentals of pitch, dynamics, texture, rhythm, timbre and structure – was that students came from primary schools where they have had no or very little experience of music. When asked about their knowledge of the whole-class instrumental programmes and primary singing initiatives, few secondary school music teachers had detailed understanding of this work or, more significantly, how these initiatives had impacted on their students. Similarly, few had discussed curriculum planning with their feeder primary schools or developed cross-key stage music curriculum strategies.”

Ofsted: Music in schools: Wider still, and Wider March 2012

About the project
Any consideration of the role that music can play in primary to secondary transfer can create a range of challenges and issues for teachers. In many cases a large number of feeder primary schools serve just one secondary school, and a lack of opportunity to share practice and information between teachers can lead to ‘starting from scratch’ at the beginning of secondary/high school. and there is evidence of inconsistent musical experiences among these schools.

The rationale behind this project is to support a process of musical learning that begins in primary/elementary school and continues through to secondary/high school. It aims to develop and then build upon musical skills of students, by encouraging and enthusing them to collaborate practically and creatively using the same musical material as a starting point in both primary/elementary and secondary/high schools.

This project is designed to be accessible to anyone from a non-specialist primary teacher to specialist practitioners in either phase

Download the Teacher Resource pack below. Click here to access all audio, video and written resources for a variety of instrumental parts.


Top Tips

  • Download the documents from the relevant page for your phase. For primary click HERE, secondary click HERE
  • Do some warm ups, clapping tasks are great, in time to the original song. This helps pupils get to know the different elements of the song
  • Make sure students have access to the original track as well as backing tracks, this helps place their part in the context of the piece as a whole and helps them to play in time.
  • Add links to the school VLE so that pupils can practice at home or with instrumental teachers if they have lessons outside the classroom
  • You don’t have to use the entire song! Sometimes pupils can learn just one riff, perhaps from the chorus or introduction and repeat this rather than try to learn too much too quickly

Get Creative

  • We have provided resources for one song here. Consult with pupils at your local primary / secondary schools and decide upon a different song to arrange, based on your students’ interests, and the instrumental resources you have available
  • Break down the song into riffs and rearrange these to create a new piece
  • Take a riff or chords and use these to compose a new piece (click HERE for details of how use workshopping to do this)
  • Perform the piece of music in a different genre/style: reggae, classical, hip hop, grime, jazz etc.
  • Rap new lyrics over the top of it
  • Use beat boxing to create new sounds and rhythms and change the feel of the piece
  • Ask students to create their own backing track using Garageband (or similar)
  • Using sequencing software, create new versions of the piece, adding layers, effects and new sections as appropriate

Excellent workshops ‑ extremely accessible for all abilities and levels.

Claire Armour, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra