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Practical Music Resources for the Classroom

The National Plan for Music Education, refreshed earlier this year, stressed how every child in primary education should have access to inspiring music teaching at school. With pressure on school budgets and time at a premium, finding outstanding music resources quickly is more important than ever. From primary music lessons to A-level examination prep, we’ve got everything you need to help facilitate outstanding teaching and learning for young musicians in the classroom for the 2023–2024 academic year. So what are you waiting for? Dive into our recommendations for practical music resources for the classroom available from Musicroom!

For Primary Schools

Instant Primary Music Lessons: Rhinegold Education

Instant Primary Music Lessons

Instant Primary Music Lessons provides 33 classroom music lessons and hundreds of ideas, offering accessible inspiration for the general primary teacher and a time-saving resource for music specialists to diversify their scheme of work. Beautifully presented, Instant Primary Music Lessons provides essential information for each lesson: 

  • Musical objectives based on understanding, composing, and performing music
  • A bite-sized guide to a classical work of focus 
  • Required preparation or resources 
  • Useful lesson-specific knowledge 
  • Activity explanations and related musical examples, diagrams, and illustrations
  • A glossary of useful musical terms 
  • An index of musical pieces 

Instant Primary Lessons also includes audio for classical music used within each lesson, plus 33 teaching videos for preparation featuring each lesson being delivered to a class of children! This is an excellent resources for setting up and organising your music classes.

Pop Songs for Primary Schools: Hal Leonard

Pop Songs for Primary Schools

The ultimate singing resource for primary schools. A collection of 18 popular songs, sensitively arranged for unison primary voices with piano accompaniment and guitar chords. This book also includes additional online resources for every song, including:  

  • Alternative two-part arrangements 
  • Lyric videos, with and without vocal audio 
  • Demonstration audio for all arrangements 
  • Backing tracks
  • Lyric sheet for learning words

Including repertoire from the Model Music Curriculum, Pop Songs for Primary Schools, has all you need for accessible singing. Perfect for classroom singing, singing assemblies, choirs, concerts, and school productions!

Musical Cups

Musical Cups: Hal Leonard

Enhance music-making in your school by teaching with Musical Cups. Using just simple plastic cups and fantastic songs, Musical Cups will develop performance skills, musical literacy, teamwork and coordination in all children. Learn amazing group rhythmic patterns to perform together, using our easy-to-read cup notation and popular song collection. Each book comes with a unique code for online access to audio resources and demonstration videos. Differentiated into simple to more challenging cup patterns, Musical Cups is a flexible and affordable resource to engage musical learning across Key Stages 2.

Red Hot Song Library: Chants and Music Games

Red Hot Song Library: Chants and Music Games: Kevin Mayhew

From Sarah Watts comes an amazing resource to help teachers introduce singing that is fun, relaxed, and successful. Play through the books or listen to the audio, which includes both practice and performance tracks, and you’ll hear just why so many educational professionals embrace Sarah Watts’ music with such enthusiasm.

The ABCs of Music

YolanDa Brown – The ABCs of Music (My First Music Book): Hal Leonard

Ideal for primary classroom learning. Journey into the wonderful world of music with YolanDa Brown and The ABCs of Music: My First Music Book. Perfect for children aged 6–11, The ABCs of Music is the ideal book for parents, carers, and teachers looking to facilitate those first musical steps. Discover all about instruments, types of music, the musical alphabet, and the basics of music literacy through games, quizzes, and play-along audio. Even make music with YolanDa herself as you learn about melody and rhythm. With its interactive activities and online audio resources, The ABCs of Music is a fun and accessible introduction to music; packed full of sounds and songs that bring learning to life!

Sarah Watts – Class Combo

Sarah Watts – Class Combo: Kevin Mayhew

A terrific and flexible resource for practical, ensemble music-making in the classroom. Each of the 12 upbeat songs can be put together in the space of one lesson, using any combination of available instruments as accompaniment. The songs are suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2 and also make excellent performance pieces. The pack contains the main score, plus easy, photocopiable parts for C, B-flat, and E-flat instruments, guitar, ukulele, keyboard, pitched percussion, bass, body percussion, and a piano accompaniment with voice. There is a separate, photocopiable part for the song lyrics.

Bucket Blast

Bucket Blast: Hal Leonard

Bucket drumming has never been so fun! Using plastic buckets, classroom percussion, and great popular songs, Bucket Blast will boost your bucket-drumming planning with music children will love to learn. Each book comes with a unique code for online access to play-along audio resources and separate PDF notation for bucket drum and optional classroom percussion. Differentiated into simple to more challenging patterns, this is the ideal musical tool for all primary teachers. Perfect for classroom learning, assemblies, and outdoor music-making!

For Secondary Schools

Teaching Music – Practical Strategies for Key Stage 3

Teaching Music – Practical Strategies for Key Stage 3: Rhinegold Education

A must-have resource for all schools, Teaching Music is packed with practical strategies and advice for teaching music in the classroom. Focused on flexible, bite-sized ideas that can be used to revitalise your existing schemes of work, Teaching Music also includes exclusive access to a rich collection of audio, video, and teaching resources, designed and delivered by some of the best classroom music teachers in the country. Primarily written for KS3, much of the material can be tailored to all levels of classroom music-making.

Classroom Jam (Pop Hits)

Classroom Jam (Pop Hits): Chester Music

Perfect for classroom, ensemble music-making. 10 ensemble pieces specially arranged for just about any instrument for those at Key Stage 3 level. Governed by the premise of enabling group performance with almost any instrument, anyone can take part with the  Classroom Jam series. An exceptionally useful teaching aid, and valuable introduction to the experience of ensemble playing… and lots of fun besides!

Teach and Play Samba: Rhinegold Education

Teach and Play Samba

Enrich your scheme of work for Key Stage 3! The six pieces in this book represent an exciting and varied selection of music from across Brazil, from traditional Carnival music and samba reggae to a Paul Simon song and a jazz samba. Each piece is broken down into clear and simple steps that show you how to build up the music gradually with your class. Combined with the accompanying media, which contains 60 short clips of the author and a group of KS3 students demonstrating all of the instruments and patterns to each piece – teaching and learning world music has never been so easy or enjoyable. Also available in the Teach and Play series are “African Drums,” “Balinese Gamelan,” and “Steel Pans.”

The Hal Leonard Pocket Music Dictionary: Hal Leonard

The Hal Leonard Pocket Music Dictionary

A cult classic for teachers and students of music. Conveniently divided into three main sections, The Dictionary of Music Terms defines over 2,000 music terms concisely, including notation and theory terms, instruments, and terms used in pop music, electronic music, and the music business. This pocket-sized gem provides more than 400 capsule biographies of composers and other musicians; and Reference Charts give instant, at-a-glance summaries of the essentials of music, encompassing instrumental and vocal ranges, notation signs and symbols, and scales, modes and key signatures.

Step Up to GCSE Music: Rhinegold Education

Step Up To GCSE Music

The authoritative resource for getting you up to speed with the core content of GCSE music for England and Wales. Whatever instrument you play, whatever your background, this clear and accessible guide: 

  • Provides 14 sessions that can be tackled one-per-day for a fortnight’s ‘crash-course’ in the holidays, or spaced out over a school term 
  • Gets you up to speed with stave notation and the musical language requirements for all GCSE boards 
  • Contains regular tests to make sure that you fully understand each topic.

GCSE and A Level Examination Resources: Rhinegold Education

Rhinegold Education

Trusted by thousands of teachers and students every year, and authorised by examination boards, Rhinegold Education provides essential resources at GCSE and A Level for WJEC, OCR, AQA, and Edexcel. A comprehensive library of books includes the best-selling Revision Guides, Listening Tests, and Study Guides. Available as individual books or all-in-one exam packs, these trusted texts offer comprehensive support and assessment material for music examinations at GCSE and A Level.

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