Music plays a powerful role in enriching all our lives. People of every culture are able to share ideas, thoughts and feelings through musical expression. Pupils at Hampden Gurney are given the opportunity to enjoy listening to music and become familiar with a variety of musical instruments. Pupils are encouraged to use instruments to express and develop their own musical ideas, create movement in response to musical stimuli, as well as perform in front of audiences.

At Hampden Gurney, our aims are to:

  • develop musical insight through experiences
  • develop the necessary skills and concepts to appreciate music through musical activity
  • provide an enjoyable and stimulating experience accessible to all children
  • develop skills and talent which encourage children to value themselves as well as others
  • develop an awareness of musical traditions and developments in a variety of cultures and societies

Music can be subdivided into two main overlapping areas of experience: firstly listening and appraisal and secondly, composing and performing:


Listening requires an individual commitment to focus attention on the music. This can evoke emotional, intellectual and physical responses. Pupils are given opportunities during school assemblies and classroom activities to listen to music from:

  • a variety of forms, styles and traditions
  • different historical periods
  • a variety of cultures

Whenever possible listening and appraisal are linked to practical classroom work.


Composing offers immediate, first hand experience of exploring and organising sounds, and provides opportunities to express, interpret or communicate feelings, experiences and ideas. We have a growing range of instruments at school, and pupils have access to them all as they progress through the school.

Within music lessons, children are:

  • encouraged to develop their own ideas and musical pieces
  • introduced to non-traditional (eg graphic) forms of scoring as well as the stave and the positioning of notes on it, musical signs, symbols, and terminology

Singing is a natural activity and a fundamental part of the musical experience at Hampden Gurney. Singing at school can be spontaneous or highly developed and involves individuals, small groups, or the whole school. We offer pupils the opportunity to rehearse instruments and songs, and perform them in front of various audiences, in a number of venues, both within and outside school.

Technology is used in music to enhance pupils learning experiences by using interactive, web-based music tools, for electronic composition and for recording performances to share music with children at home via the school learning platform.

Recent music projects

As a Westminster school, we are ideally placed for wider opportunities in Music. Year 5 have recently worked with the BBC Singers, and schools across London, for a project, ‘The World in our City’, for which they performed in the Royal Albert Hall. The school has linked with the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music for projects and workshops and we regularly benefit from workshops offered by musicians in the local area.

Peripatetic music teachers

Through working with a number of peripatetic music teachers, the school is able to offer individual piano, saxophone, clarinet and violin tuition. If parents would like their child to start tuition, please speak to a member of the school office staff who will be able to provide you with further information.

For the overview of our curriculum see the subject map below:
- Music Curriculum Map