The Generic Framework

Learners should have access to broad and balanced Programmes of Study that support them to create their own individual musical pathways to develop musical singing and playing. All Programmes of Study comprise the following areas: 

A: Listening and internalising
  • listening to music with concentration in and out of lessons, building on their experiences
  • having a clear aural perception of the music to be sung/played
  • recognising and discriminating between the musical elements of pulse, pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, texture, and tone colour
  • recognising and conveying structural elements in their singing/playing
  • making links between sound and symbols when using notation
B: Making and controlling musical sounds – Developing technique
  • posture and freedom of movement (for all curricula)
  • instrument-specific aspects of technique including:
    • tone quality
    • tuning
    • intonation
    • breathing
    • embouchure
    • coordination
    • articulation
    • fingering
    • diction
C: Creating and developing musical ideas
  • improvising expressively
  • applying vocal/instrumental skills in composing
D: Singing/playing music
  • working out how to sing/play music by ear
  • repeating musical patterns and phrases accurately from memory
  • singing/playing pieces in a variety of styles with fluency, expression and understanding
  • memorising songs/pieces that have been learnt
  • reading and singing/playing music at sight (where appropriate)
  • interpreting music, developing a personal response
E: Singing/playing music with others
  • listening, watching, responding and leading
  • contributing to collective decisions, including interpretation
F: Performing and communicating
  • interpreting and communicating the character of the music
  • evaluating their performances and making improvements


The six interrelated areas should be viewed as a whole and not as hierarchical. Rather than working through each area sequentially, skills should be developed through interrelated activities using a holistic approach to teaching and learning.