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A Week of Music in Primary

27 April 2015

Last week the Primary School was filled with the sweet sounds of classical music all week, as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations. 

  • Primary students at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi celebrate their own Music Week
  • Primary teachers at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi celebrate their own Music Week
  • Primary students at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi celebrate their own Music Week
  • Primary students at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi celebrate their own Music Week

Teachers and students taking part in activities all around the ten pieces of classical music

Each year group was assigned one of the 10 pieces of classical music that Miss Rakowski, Head of Primary Music, has been posting about each week on the blog, and they used this piece as a stimulus for all their learning.

It was a week of creativity with inspirational learning outcomes. Some year groups had daily live performances from their students, whilst the classical music even spread to some of our ECAs! It was a fantastic team effort from all the teachers throughout the primary school and the students were definitely engaged in all their different activities. Have a look below at what some of the year groups got up to over the course of the week…


In Nursery we were listening to a piece called ‘Short Ride in a Fast Machine’ by John Adams. We also listened to a variety of other music and painted whilst we were listening.


The Reception cubs celebrated music week by creating their own musical stories. They were inspired by the piece, ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ composed by Edvard Grieg. They closed their eyes and thought about the different instruments they could hear, how the music made them feel and what images they could see in their heads.

Throughout the week they then came up with a storyline, different characters and movements to go with their stories. Some children imagined castles, princesses, kings and dragons. Others pictured the woods or the ocean. Children then experimented with different musical instruments and created some musical repeated patterns to go with their story.

On Friday, we watched and discussed other stories that had been inspired by the music and compared them with our own ideas. The Reception cubs have been incredibly creative this week and have learnt lots of new vocabulary, including- composer, instruments, musical notes and cannon.

Year 1

Year 1 listened to ‘Symphony Number 5’ by Beethoven. We used shape, lines and colours in Art to convey our thoughts and feelings to the music. In Literacy we also learned about rhyming words and wrote a funny poem about Beethoven’s wig. We performed our poems to the sound of the music and made great rhyming pairs. In Maths we also clapped out the famous rhythm from this piece of music. We then used our bodies to make a new series of rhythms by stamping, clicking and clapping.  We had to use our sequencing skills to make a new pattern of sounds.

Year 2

Year 2 listened to ‘Zadok The Priest’ by Handel. During the week, the children created calligarams and used their senses to help them describe the song in Literacy, while in Maths they had to crack a code! Other activities that Year 2 took part in included making musical instruments and performing their own dance.

Year 3

A fantastic week, where we wrote poetry inspired by what it would be like to be the firebird; created firebird collages and even took on the role of costume designers, planning and then making our own ballet outfits for Barbie models!

Year 4

In Year 4, we explored ‘The Storm’ by Benjamin Britten. Children listened to the piece of music several times in the week, creating a visual representation, which then inspired them to write and create performance poetry. As a whole year group we choreographed a dance and composed music. We made art using string and the rhythm of the music and in maths we looked at boats and navigation.  

Year 6

Year 6 listened to ‘Night on the Bald Mountain’ by Mussorgsky. We collaborated in groups to create stories and art work accompanying the piece: we made monsters and landscapes using collages. When telling our stories we created animations on iPads using the app ‘Stop Motion’. 

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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

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