Classroom Music Schemes


Introducing – THE MUSIC TRAIL!

The Music Trail Front Cover

The Music Trail is a completely new scheme for Year 5 and Year 6 children.

Here are songs and games, rhythm and pitch work, a new language to learn – Rhythm Language – and loads of differentiation too.  The children explore The Music Trail as they learn to play music on the keyboard and sing the songs.  They gain an understanding of pitch, rhythm and timbre as they go.  The children will be able to perform a piece of music – Rigaudon – from the very first lesson!

Our first song – Rigaudon.  The children first learn the Red Part, then the Blue Part, then we add the Purple Drum Part, and then the teacher, or a competent child, plays the Green Part.  It’s all explained in the Teachers’ Handbook.  The children love playing Rigaudon altogether, when they divide up into three groups and each play a different part in the music.  This is real ensemble playing, from Day One!

Rigaudon - Score


Here is one of the Rhythm Cards that we use when learning to speak Rhythm Language, and when playing many of the games in the scheme:

The Music Trail - Rhythm 7

There are over 50 Rhythm Cards altogether!

Here’s another page from The Music Trail, showing the lyrics to one of the songs the children will learn to sing and play on their keyboards:

Amani Utupe lyrics

And here’s another page – this time showing the song that introduces the note D – Dachshund:

Dachshund - Score

There is a Green Part for Dachshund – an accompaniment with chords – on the next page in the book.  The Green Parts really bring the songs to life, adding drum tracks, harmonies, a counter-melody and additional texture.

Learning about rests – Down in the Forest:

Down in the Forest - Score

And once that’s mastered, we can add the Green Part:

Down in the Forest - with the Green Part

The Music Trail is lively and colourful.  There are illustrations on every page, explanations for the children to refer to (to be encouraged!) and plenty of opportunities for those who already have piano or keyboard lessons to tackle the more challenging Green Parts.  There are also percussion parts.

Chord symbols are included, and guitarists and other instrumentalists can all join in.  The scheme is adaptable and works for any group or class size.  It is intended as a two-year course, to be started in the September of Year 5.

This scheme either requires some keyboard skill on the part of the teacher, or you may wish to purchase backing tracks for the children to play along to.

Children love The Music Trail, and it’s great to see their musical confidence grow and grow.

To use The Music Trail in your school, you will need a set of keyboards, one between two children, and a set of The Music Trail books, also one between two children.  You will also need the Teachers’ Handbook, which guides you through the whole scheme, step by step and also provides detailed descriptions of many games and other activities.

Teachers' Handbook front cover

Please contact me for further information, to purchase the books (and the backing tracks), and for pricing.


RIPPLINGKEYS MUSIC KEY STAGE 3 is a scheme for use in high schools, from the start of Year 7 to the end of Year 9.

The Course closely follows the National Curriculum, but – unlike many Key Stage 3 schemes of work – is a continuous and linear programme of learning music.

RIPPLINGKEYS MUSIC KEY STAGE 3 makes extensive use of electronic keyboards, and is a very hands-on course.  At the same time, it is academically rigorous, and demands a high standard of work.  Children play and sing in every lesson.  In this scheme, children are exposed to many different genres and styles of music, across the ages and all around the world.  They learn to compose, arrange, perform, analyse and interpret.  They learn to listen with understanding.

A child who uses RIPPLINGKEYS MUSIC KEY STAGE 3 will be able to opt for GCSE Music, even if he or she has had no external instrumental lessons.  This aspect of the Course is a vital one, and lies at the heart of the scheme.

For further information, or to use RIPPLINGKEYS MUSIC in your school, please contact me.


The Ripplingkeys Music Key Stage 3 Scheme:  Course Book One, Course Book Two, Handbook for Teachers and Student Workbook


4 thoughts on “Classroom Music Schemes

    • Hi Denise,

      I can email you some pages from the books. Please tell me where you live and I can give you a price including shipping. You also need to let me know how many of each book you would like. There are four books altogether – a teacher’s handbook, a student workbook and two course books (Levels 1 and 2). Ideally, students will have one course book between two students, and one workbook each. I look forward to hearing from you with further information and your precise requirements. Thank you – Rory

  1. Hiya. This looks very interesting. I am in the start phase of implementing new schemes of work and I wanted to break away from the strict topic style of my predecessor. I like the linear approach of developing the skills. Built upon each year. Is this the sort of thing covered by what you do? I would appreciate having an example to see if this is the right way I would like to go

    • Hello Helen – thank you for getting in touch. Ripplingkeys Music (Key Stage 3) assumes no prior musical knowledge, and teaches music in the classroom through the medium of keyboard playing. By the end of Year 9, students are musically literate and have sufficient keyboard skills to enable them to opt for music in Key Stage 4, leading to GCSE. The course is entirely linear, and is structured in units, each unit taking approximately half a term to complete. There are built-in assessment tasks and marking schemes too. In each unit there are elements of singing, listening, performing, literacy, composing and understanding music. Towards the end of the scheme, in Year 9, students explore different periods of music, again through keyboard playing, and again involving all the elements I’ve just listed. I’ve called these elements ‘Ribbons of Learning’, as they weave together to make the tapestry that is music.

      The course is practical and fun. There are two Course Books, for use by the students, a Student Workbook and a Teacher’s Handbook. There are audio files too, of course.

      If you’d like to see some sample pages, let me know and I’ll email them to you. Don’t hesitate to get back to me if you have any further questions. Thanks again for your interest, and I look forward to hearing from you. Rory

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