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At Osbaldwick Primary Academy we believe in providing children with a broad education. Music is the universal language. It improves children’s listening skills, but also can build self esteem, confidence, team work, resilience and perseverance. Most importantly, music can be good for a child’s emotional well being. It’s fun, creative and something a child can enjoy and be part of the whole of their lives. We provide a wide and varied musical opportunity for ALL children including free music instrumental lessons (taught in whole classes ) in Year 3 & 4.   We even have our own School Song – composed by Paul Harris (a nationally recognised composer).

We believe we have some of the best music educators in York at OPA who are passionate and committed to bringing musical joy to our students.

Music Consultant – Karen Marshall

Karen oversees the whole of music activities at OPA from classroom curriculum to running the school choir, Peri lessons and whole school singing assemblies. Karen is nationally recognised for her work in Music Education and is a published author – Get Set! Piano (Bloomsbury) and ABRSM Encore. She is special needs trained and also trains other Music Teachers nationally on how to teach music. Karen aims to bring the best methods of teaching music to OPA (including Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze teaching techniques) along with making sure the children have excellent facilities with a wide range of instruments available to play. Passionate about music and children, Karen with all our staff, celebrates the amazing musical talent of our students at every opportunity.

The Music Curriculum


Children get the opportunity to learn a number of simple songs and rhymes through singing and also with basic percussion instruments. These songs are particularly selected to improve language development and numeracy skills alongside the child simply enjoying making music. A child’s wonder-land of mini beasts, pets, fairy tales, nonsense and funny rhymes are explored in a weekly lesson with a music specialist. Excellent resources are provided to play along including hand drums, bells, chime bars and hand bells. We aim to develop a joy in music at the earliest level and provide a foundation for future music making and instrument learning.

Year 1

Classical music is explored with a whole music scheme on the Carnival of the Animals where the children learn about all the instruments in the orchestra.   They continue to learn a range of songs and get the opportunity to play accompaniments to the music they are performing with chime bars, drums, claves, indian bells (to name just a few). Songs are packed with actions and include a whole range of characters from fairy tales to Jungle animals. Fun, inspiring, rhyming, this kind of musical exploration complements literacy activities especially creative writing.

Year 2

Using nationally recognised resources such as Jolly Music and Music Express children learn a wide range of simple folk songs, rhymes, explore tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments, and are able to compose simple pieces and improvise (making up their own tunes) on a regular basis. A whole range of playground games are explore in Year 2 through song including favourites such as: Doggy Doggy where’s your bone and Lucy Locket lost her pocket. This year also focuses on rhythm where the children get to play rhythms on sticks and drums using actual notation.

Year 3

In Year 3 all children get to learn to play the recorder (30 minutes each week) with funky pop backing tracks, fun action songs, games and musical quizzes. The instrument is learnt as a whole class, each child is able to make their very own recorder book (sheets to stick in their books are provided) which they can keep after the two terms are completed. Music includes popular favourites such as: ‘Hot Cross Buns’ and ‘Rain is Falling Down’ . Children become very tuneful after this specially written recorder course for OPS Year 3 children.

Year 4

This is the year that all children get 1 hours weekly FREE instrumental teaching as part of the Music Service’s Wider Opportunity Scheme which OPA school pays into. Diane Martin teachers Violin, Ukulele and Percussion throughout the year with exciting backing tracks, choreographed routines, singing and musical brilliance! Children get to perform inside and outside school at various concerts. Children are able to join the school band after this years tuition or go on and study Ukulele or violin with our Peri teacher Hannah.

Year 5

This is the year where children get to further build their skills but also learn about music literacy (how to read music – the dots on the page!). Incorporating Grade 1 ABRSM theory, BBC Ten Pieces materials, The Foxwood Song Books (for classroom workshopping on tuned and un-tuned percussion) children learn about all the different musical terminology from dynamics to texture! Learning music through music, children will get to play African drums, chime bars, xylophones and glockenspiels as they explore folk, popular and classical music on real instruments forming a class band.

Year 6

From World Music to classical, Popular to Folk, Jazz to Modern. Music is listened to, composed and performed as OPA children showcase their musical skills developed over a rich and varied curriculum at OPA school. All children will be given the opportunity to complete their first Arts Award (Trinity) at the end of the year to take onto secondary school. This will be achieved through the school music showcase and end of year production or special musical projects produced by then children.