Charanga Musical School brochure
The award-winning, modern-day resource for primary music
Foreword from Madeleine Casson
Charanga Musical School
The latest technology, solid pedagogy, great music and brilliant resources
Just a short walk from Brighton Palace Pier, you’ll find Charanga’s team of talented, passionate and creative musicians, technologists, music teachers and web developers hard at work.
We want teaching and learning music in schools to be fun, relevant and inspiring; central to each child’s academic, social and emotional development.
We want classrooms to be buzzing with young people who love music and teachers who love teaching it.
And we know that by working in partnership with teachers and combining the latest technology, solid pedagogy, great music and brilliant resources, we can really help to make this happen for lots of schools.
CPD and training are central to all that we do at Charanga. We’re passionately committed to working with our teachers, schools and partners to ensure young people’s musical learning and experiences are wholly positive.
Personalised support, expert guidance
Personalised support, guidance and professional development is offered to all Charanga teachers. Our friendly, experienced team can provide you with support and advice on all aspects of teaching and learning. To meet them and find out who your designated contact is, visit the CPD & Training Centre.
CPD & Training Centre
To complement the resources Musical School provides, you’ll find a dedicated CPD & Training Centre on the platform.
Free CPD & Training events
We organise over 600 free events every year – most commonly as twilight sessions to make them as accessible as possible.
Because every student, teacher and school is unique, we provide an extensive range of live and recorded introductory, advanced, themed or SEND-focused webinars, ‘open’ workshops, and bespoke sessions.
In-school training just for your school
For more information about any of the training we offer, please contact our Education Director, Madeleine Casson at firstname.lastname@example.org
National and international conferences
In partnership with music education hubs and national and worldwide organisations we attend a number of conferences.
The interactive nature of our materials provides a great deal of in-built modelling and support.
Everything you need is provided including planning, teaching and assessment documents.
A survey of nearly 1,000 specialist and non-specialist teachers using the Musical School programme
The positive evidence is overwhelming. Two independent masters’ theses show that schools using the Charanga Musical School programme have experienced a significant improvement in music teaching and musical achievement.
Our close links with schools through Charanga’s partnerships with over 100 music hubs and through the 600 plus Musical School training sessions we run each year, we get a great insight into how effectively the programme is working for teachers.
This year, almost 1,000 music teachers shared their experiences of using Musical School resources via an online survey. 96% reported improvements in the quality of their teaching and pupil attainment. It’s given staff – and non-specialists particularly – the confidence, professional knowledge and tools to deliver exciting and progressive music lessons.
Is Musical School widely used?
YES - over 12,000 schools and over 50,000 teachers in 64 countries use our award-winning platform to help them teach music – that’s over 2.5 million children enjoying Charanga-supported music lessons every week. 66% of all English primary schools have adopted the programme, with more working with us every month.
What about Ofsted?
While Musical School is totally in line with Ofsted guidance and it does a massive amount to support your teaching, Ofsted inspection is always about the teaching so we do like to highlight our little sign (right).
A step-by-step approach to teaching music in your school
The Musical School Scheme provides teachers with week-by-week lessons for each year group in the school, from ages 5–11.
Used by over 50,000 specialist and non-specialist teachers globally, it provides lesson plans, assessment, clear progression and exciting whiteboard resources for every lesson.
The Scheme supports all the requirements of the national curriculum in England and is absolutely in line with published Ofsted guidance.
Musical School Learning
The learning within this Scheme is based on:
Everything is clearly and simply explained and the planning support is extensive.
Interactive Teaching Resources
Because the on-screen resources are so visual, supportive and everything is at your fingertips, each lesson is full of music and the children enjoy every moment.
Musical School Assessment
We’ve looked at all the great thinking that has been done on assessment and created an easy-to-use framework that’s perfectly suited for both music specialists and non-musicians.
In essence, there are three aspects to the assessment:
We constantly seek to improve what we do and in response to the feedback we receive from teachers. Among other things, we regularly refresh the Musical School Scheme, adding more progressive Listening & Appraising and Musical Activities to give you more variety and to challenge students of all ages. Everything is designed to give you flexibility when you need it most and to help you plan for the academic year ahead.
New units are published throughout the year to inspire and to keep children engaged. They will include Music and Identity, the culmination of our partnership with the Brighter Sound music charity. This unit embraces many of the challenges facing young people today and focuses on the roles and achievements of women in the music industry.
Visit our website, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media to be the first to hear about all of the latest additions to the Scheme.
A vast, growing library of music resources
While many teachers might enjoy using our Scheme options most, others may like the more flexible Freestyle approach provided by Musical School’s resource library.
From this library, you can choose from a range of Charanga music resources to mix in and match with your own. You can also use the library to find and save resources linked to many other areas of music-making in your school.
A look inside the Freestyle library
Musical School provides topics containing collections of songs or related resources linked to popular primary themes. There are no lesson plans as they are intended to be used flexibly to support your teaching in various contexts. Each topic is categorised by age range, although many can be used across all primary year groups.
The stand-alone units within the Freestyle section can be combined or added to other materials to form a unique music plan for your school. They offer a pathway containing every resource from the unit in a single lesson, giving you complete flexibility in your teaching. Many of these units, which cover a wide range of musical genres, centre around a central song – some well-known and some specially commissioned for young voices.
Our full school musical productions can be used to celebrate key points in the school year. Each production provides everything you need, including tracks for learning the songs, backing tracks for the performance, scripts, scores and director guides. The songs can be used in schools as often as you like. However, in most cases, it will be necessary to take out a Public Performance Licence for public shows. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Listening Centres and Courses
The Listening Centre offers teachers a colourful collection of music covering a range of periods, styles and genres. Listen to over 150 musical works by style, genre or era; access a guided Classical music library complete with fast facts and historical context; and explore a monthly Listening Calendar, linking music to specific events throughout the year. A range of courses will also enrich, enhance and extend your curriculum delivery.
A suite of music teaching apps is used throughout the platform to provide teachers and learners with an enjoyable, effective and inspiring experience.
The fundamental activities in music learning encompass listening and understanding, singing, improvising, composing and playing instruments.
Each of these areas benefits from a choice of several Charanga apps that provide variety for teachers and support the full range of learning modalities. They include:
A great way to introduce students to simple and compound 2, 3 and 4-beat time signatures. Children love the rotation feature particularly.
An exciting app supporting lots of different musical activities, including pulse games, listening skills, improvising, composing and use of notation.
Play along with excerpts from famous works or create your own simple classroom percussion pieces.
An app that supports the learning and understanding of generic musical ideas and terminology, such as pulse and rhythm, notations and historical context.
Start making your own beats with a range of kits, from a ready-made template or a blank grid.
A great way to teach and learn the written language of music. Students can use it to notate melodies in any key before saving and sharing their work with you.
A fantastic teaching resource that encourages everyone to sing more!
Extensive research has shown the undeniably positive impact that singing has on emotional, physical and mental well-being. This is why singing features so highly in our music curricula and on educational agendas globally – as well as simply being a great thing to do!
Charanga Sing contains a growing bank of over 500 songs presented intuitively to be used by vocal specialists, confident singers or those just keen to encourage more singing every day. There are songs for all occasions, ages and groupings, from soloists to massed choirs. The repertoire covers a wide range of styles, cultures and purposes; each piece is carefully chosen.
By providing songs from around the world and their cultural contexts, learners’ music education experiences are enriched. Every student in your classroom is a culture bearer, representative of a community. Teachers are encouraged to use this rich resource accordingly, offering a way for students to explore their identity.
Finding the right song is easy. Use the categories provided, such as age range or genre, to highlight suitable material or the Musical School search engine to look for specific words – perhaps linking to work you are doing in other curriculum areas.
A wealth of information
You’ll find a wealth of information for each song, helping you decide which one will work best for you and the children. This information is presented with a brief overview of the song appearing in the list view, such as age suitability, difficulty and genre.
Opening the Song Description and Details reveals teaching ideas, where else in the programme the song is found, musical guidance such as range, key and tempo, and much more.
Quick access to your favourite songs
When looking through the song bank, you can ‘star’ songs that will be useful for your teaching or specific projects. These will be added to your My Resources page with My Workspace, allowing easy access whenever they are needed.
Musitrax Sing 1 & 2
A child-centred approach to music-teaching for Early Years and Key Stage 1 based on Kodály principles, using singing and singing games, with fun and learning through play at its heart.
For Younger Children
A bank of nursery rhymes, action songs, including many old favourites, and specially written songs perfect for little voices.
A vocal health section all about taking care of the voice with fantastic body and vocal warm-ups, exercises and popular tongue twisters.
For Older Children
A wide range of unison and two or more part songs. Some are specially composed or traditional; many are new and very well-known from popular shows, musicals and Pop artists – all ideal for encouraging every one of your pupils to sing.
There are lots of 2 or more part songs within the Song Collections section, which are ideal for older children and choirs. Many of these collections contain well-loved materials which will prove popular with everyone.
All Songs A-Z
Units of Work
Well-known Charanga Unit Songs
2-Part Well-known Songs
2-Part Film & Theatre Songs
Songs from Friday Afternoons
3-5 Part Songs of Today – Sing Out
Resources for popular classroom instruments
Playing instruments is an important part of music-making. This section is full of resources for popular classroom instruments, such as recorders and guitars. All are designed to extend learning and can be used as part of the music curriculum or as enrichment activities. Many have been developed in collaboration with leading authors and publishers.
The lovely Heather Ward’s Blown Away Recorder Books 1 and 2 use our latest technology and are suitable for children throughout the primary phase.
Two recorder books, Guinea Pig Gig and Fairground Fiesta, accompany the series.
Also for recorders is the ever-popular Jane Sebba’s Recorder Course with its extra repertoire, perfect for the younger beginner.
Kay Tucker’s progressive Stringbabies series caters for beginner cello and violin players, helping them to compose their own melodies, develop their singing, rhythmic and aural skills, and sight-read.
Fiddle Time remains one of the UK’s most popular violin teaching methods. Fiddle Time authors Kathy and David Blackwell have selected 30 pieces suited to whole-class violin teaching and its need for flexible learning progression.
The Beginner Guitarist has brilliant video tutorials and an added feature allowing you to slow the video without changing the pitch. This course is ideal for small groups and after-school clubs.
The Ukulele Course is aimed at older primary-aged children and contains interactive resources and detailed lesson plans. Teachers who are not familiar with the ukulele may wish to follow the course themselves first.
Our Djembe Course is ideal for older pupils but can be adapted for younger children. Pupils are encouraged to play accurately and to enjoy being creative. The course includes simple plans for 12 lessons.
Two Glockenspiel Stages introduce the language of music in a practical way. Children have the opportunity to explore and develop their playing skills. You can decide whether to follow the six steps in each stage or use the Flexible Pathway and work at your own pace.
The Beginner Keyboard Course is an excellent introduction to the keyboard. The interactive pieces offer a choice of notations and speed and come with a helpful loop function. All the materials can be printed or shared with students to practise between lessons. The course works equally well with individual pupils, groups or whole classes.
Supporting inclusive practice
Musical School’s SEND section is dedicated to supporting teachers working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. While a discrete area, many teachers use the section alongside the main Musical School platform, allowing them to find the most appropriate resources for each learner.
The SEND section has four areas:
SEND Scheme – Anyone Can Play
Our SEND Scheme of ready-made lessons is called ‘Anyone Can Play’ and was devised by the Music Unlimited team, leveraging its 30 years of experience in special school settings.
This Scheme is suitable for youngsters at any point on the learning difficulty spectrum and is ideal for use by the non-specialist teacher. Although there are whiteboard resources, the Scheme works equally well without them.
The award-winning SEND CREATE uses iPads to inspire and nurture school-aged composers, improvisers and performers. Like the SEND Scheme, SEND CREATE has been devised by specialists in this field – in this case, Transformance Music.
CREATE offers four unique projects which are suitable for all learners:
SEND Freestyle – Resource Library
The SEND Freestyle library brings together bespoke versions of the most popular Charanga resources from the Musical School platform. If appropriate, these lighter versions can provide a seamless pathway into the main Freestyle section.
SEND Freestyle – Signed Songs
Created by musician and music teacher, Samantha Harper, the Signed Songs collection is presented in alphabetical order for easy access, and can also be found within Sing as an additional way to communicate the song.
A safe online learning space for students
Teachers increasingly rely on online learning approaches to educate their students and supplement traditional classroom methods. Those using the Charanga platform adopt Yumu to support their students’ music-making and learning outside the classroom and at home. Yumu currently supports over 1.4 million students.
Accessibility and inclusivity
Yumu is a secure online space where students learn, play and develop their musicianship by:
Who can use Yumu?
Teachers using Charanga’s Musical School programme can use Yumu to support every child and young person they teach. It’s quick and easy to set up whole classes with usernames and passwords (similar to MyMaths and Mathletics).
Support for blended, hybrid and home learning
Sharing resources with students and supporting their music-making between lessons via Yumu is effortless. Teachers who are less familiar with the platform need only follow three steps to get started.
As well as the thousands of musical resources available on the platform, you can also easily upload your own
My Workspace is personal to you and allows you to access resources, create and edit lessons, and share them with your pupils. It is essential that each teacher has their own personal login to the platform. If you don’t have your own login, your school’s designated ‘lead music teacher’ can add you to our system.
My Student Groups
It’s quick and easy to set up whole classes with usernames and passwords for Yumu to enable pupils to access ready-made packages and any lessons you have shared. You can also track pupils’ usage and progress.
My Resources is your personal library of resources to use in your teaching. Whenever you come across a Charanga resource you like, simply add it to the library by ‘starring’ it. As well as the thousands of musical resources available on our platform, you can upload your own into this area.
Each lesson is a collection, or playlist, of resources. There are two ways to build a lesson:
This allows you to create your own lessons, which can be used in your teaching or
Just a short walk from Brighton Palace Pier, you’ll find Charanga’s team of talented, passionate and creative musicians, technologists, music teachers and developers hard at work.
We want teaching and learning music in schools to be fun, relevant and inspiring; central to each child’s academic, social and emotional development.
What does Charanga mean? It’s a small musical band often linked to Cuban music. We thought it was a great name for a music education company. We’re all a bit partial to the Latin music vibe too!
Sign up now for a fully-subsidised licence.
Devon & Torbay Music Education Hubs are fully subsidising the cost as part of our support
for all primary and special schools.
Charanga, 3rd Floor, Castle Square House,
9 Castle Square, Brighton, BN1 1EG
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 01273 823900