The 2021 Model Music Curriculum (MMC): a summary

Mar 29, 2021

What’s this then? A new curriculum? No, fortunately not. The 2021 Model Music Curriculum (MMC) is a non-statutory piece of guidance that aims to support the music National Curriculum in schools.

Actually, now you mention it, it does ring a vague bell… The DfE first spoke about a new model curriculum for music ages ago. It has taken quite some time to appear, but here it is! To be fair, it does seem to have been an impressive collaborative effort, “teacher led, with input from leading musicians and education sector bodies.” All of those involved, and it is quite a list, can be found in Appendix 7 (pp 46-48) of the MMC Appendices.

Quite the gathering of minds! But what exactly is its overarching aim? Its main aim is “to ensure a universal provision of music education, for all pupils in all schools”. It hopes to achieve this through three key initiatives of relevance to primary schools:

  1. All KS1 & KS2 children have a dedicated hour of music teaching each week
  2. A minimum of one term in either year 3 or 4 is dedicated to a “whole-class instrumental programme,” supported through local Music Education Hubs
  3. All KS1 & KS2 pupils have access to access to both rhythmic and melodic instruments

Sounds great, although quite ambitious. So, tell me about the framework itself. What does it look like? Organised by year group, it focuses on developing four aspects of music:

  • Singing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • Performing/Instrumental Performance

It sets out the key principles for each of these areas, and then for each year group it provides specific activities and suggested repertoire choices for each aspect.

What about the appendices? What’s do they include? Loads, including:

Appendix 1 – Key Stages 1 & 2 Glossary

Appendix 2 – Chronology: Repertoire in Context

Appendix 3 – Key Stages 1 & 2 Foundation Listening and Case Studies

Appendix 4 – Key Stage 3 Foundation Listening

Appendix 5 – Case Study of Integrated Learning in Years 3–6

Appendix 6 – Year 6 to Year 7 Transition Project

Appendix 7 – Sources of Information and Support

Appendix 8 – Statutory Guidance (the National Curriculum)

Sounds comprehensive! Anything else I should know? Yes! Further supporting resources are apparently on their way and there is a plan for CPD opportunities to be developed at a local and national level.

In a nutshell… There’s a new guidance doc on the block that may be music to your ears.

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